Many different sensors and systems, from sonar to machine vision, have been installed on ground vehicles and automobiles. This paper describes the use of radar to improve driving safety and convenience. Radars are valuable sensors for all weather operation and experiments with automotive radar sensors have been conducted for over 40 years. This paper shows the advantages and disadvantages of applying microwave and millimeter wave radar to obstacle detection and collision avoidance in a roadway environment. The performance differences between avoidance and warning sensors are discussed and a problem set is devised for a typical forward-looking collision warning application. Various radar systems have been applied to this problem that include pulse and continuous wave transceivers. These system types are evaluated as to their suitability as a collision warning sensor. The various possible solutions are reduced to a small number of candidate radar types, and one such radar was chosen for full scale development. A low cost frequency modulated/continuous wave radar system was developed for automotive collision warning. The radar is attached to the sun visor inside the vehicle, and has been in operation for over four years. The radar monitors the range and range-rate of other vehicles and obstacles, and warns the driver when it perceives that a dangerous situation is developing. A system description and measured data is presented that shows how the 24.075 to 24.175 GHz band can be used for an adequate early warning system.