Forewarn® is a radar-based system which detects anything significant in its path: children, pets, trash cans, mailboxes, hydrants, shopping carts, and so on. It improves safety. The most obvious early adoptions are for vehicles frequently maneuvering in crowded areas, such as school buses and delivery vans, or every day risks encountered by passenger cars in driveways and parking lots.
This radar-based warning unit can be retrofitted to almost any vehicle. Rear-mounted it’s a back up aid, detecting obstacles to a distance of thirty feet; side-mounted, the same device is a side alert. As a back up aid, beep intervals shorten into a continuous tone at about eighteen inches, so a driver can back to a wall without looking.
Priced to sell in the consumer market, Forewarn® outperforms ultrasound and radar-based competitors, and does so at lower cost. It has longer range and superior target detection, which is not stopped by rain, snow, or mud spatters on the unit. It can be installed in the open or behind a fascia within an hour, and usually much less. The unit pays for itself if just one body dent is avoided, and pays incalculably if just one traumatic back up accident to a child or family pet is avoided.
To accomplish this, Delphi Delco Electronics has in ten years time transformed aerospace radar into a consumer product through great simplification of design, and by optimizing the entire related supply chain using lean manufacturing principles. In addition, in 2003 Delphi broke with its traditional business model as exclusively a supplier of original equipment, offering this Forewarn® unit in the aftermarket, beginning with commercial trucks. Those aftermarket sales are already beginning to accelerate, because demand comes from experiencing the unit, not reading the literature. Demand is expected to build for these units, and eventually to be retrofitted to consumer vehicles in significant numbers.