People are still the leading cause of traffic accidents. Around 90 percent can be attributed to human error: risks are not detected or situations are misjudged, and the driver reacts too slowly or incorrectly. A higher degree of automation is the key to considerably decreasing the frequency of accidents – and, consequently, to reducing the number of fatalities and the amount of property damage. Automated vehicles can detect and prevent critical traffic situations much earlier than a human driver. They reliably abide by local traffic regulations without becoming tired, getting bored, or being influenced emotionally.
Bosch and the Dutch map and traffic information provider TomTom have achieved a breakthrough in the development of high-resolution maps for automated driving. The supplier of technology and services has become the first worldwide to create a localization layer using radar signals – which will be indispensable for maps like these. Bosch’s “radar road signature” is made up of billions of individual reflection points. These are formed everywhere that radar signals hit – for example, on crash barriers or road signs – and reproduce the course a road takes. Automated vehicles can use the map to determine their exact location in a lane down to a few centimeters.
Suddenly dazzled, vision restricted: This is something drivers experience regularly when driving on a sunny day when the sun is low in the sky. Briefly driving blind is often also required due to the glare when driving out of a tunnel on a bright day. Changing or poor lighting conditions provide a challenge not only for the human eye, but also for video sensors such as those required for driver assistance systems and automated driving. To make these sensors better, Bosch and Sony Semiconductor Solutions have agreed a cooperation. Together, the two companies aim to develop a highly innovative camera technology that will enable cars to reliably sense their surroundings even in difficult lighting conditions
In order to get automated driving off the ground in China, a promising concept is still needed for how to generate high-precision, up-to-the-minute maps. Bosch wants to change this and has signed a collaboration agreement with the Chinese internet group Baidu and the map providers AutoNavi and NavInfo. Together, the four partners are working on a solution that will let them use information collected by Bosch’s radar and video sensors in vehicles to generate and update maps. Automated vehicles will use the data collected by Bosch sensors to determine their own location, which is essential for automated driving. This data will be compatible with the three partners’ map data.
Bosch and Daimler have agreed to set up a development alliance that aims to make a system for fully automated and driverless vehicles a reality on city streets by the start of the next decade. The objective is the joint development of software and algorithms for an autonomous driving system. The project will take the comprehensive vehicle expertise of Daimler – the world’s leading premium-class automaker – and combine it with the systems and hardware expertise of Bosch, the world’s biggest automotive supplier. The synergies that arise as a result will be channeled into making this technology ready for production as early as possible.
Just a few years from now, driving will change beyond all recognition. Starting in the next decade, Bosch will introduce a new system to the market that will enable cars to drive themselves on freeways or expressways. This will not only increase road safety, but more importantly, it will also open up new options for the driver. Bosch presented its vision of the future relationship between the car and the driver in October 2016 in Melbourne, Australia, using a development vehicle. The key building block is a modern human machine interface (HMI) for operating the vehicle. In the future, the HMI and the car’s web connectivity will together facilitate a new driving experience.
A major regulatory milestone towards the deployment of automated vehicle technologies was attained on 23 March 2016 with the entry into force of amendments to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. As of that date, automated driving technologies transferring driving tasks to the vehicle will be explicitly allowed in traffic, provided that these technologies are in conformity with the United Nations vehicle regulations or can be overridden or switched off by the driver.
As well as in Germany and the U.S., Bosch is now testing automated driving in Japan. Bosch’s initial goal is the development of the highway pilot, which will allow cars to drive autonomously on freeways and freeway-like roads starting in 2020. Because people there drive on the left, and because of the complex traffic conditions, Japan provides Bosch with valuable insights for development. Worldwide, nearly 2,500 Bosch engineers are working to develop driver assistance systems and automated driving further. Like the engineers in Germany and the U.S., the team in Japan is already conducting tests with automated test vehicles on public roads. The test drives are being conducted on expressways around the cities of Tohoku and Tomei in the Tochigi and Kanagawa prefectures, as well as on the two Bosch proving grounds in Shiobara and Memanbetsu.
Bosch has joined forces with a number of other suppliers, automakers, and public-sector partners to launch the "cooperative highly automated driving" (Ko-HAF) research initiative, which aims to push forward the development of automated driving. The publicly funded project will tackle the challenges of highly automated driving, in which drivers no longer need to be constantly vigilant. But for this to happen, technical precautions are necessary. Within the framework of the Ko-HAF project, Bosch has assumed primary responsibility for developing a backend solution for collecting and making available such information about a vehicle’s current surroundings, including the traffic infrastructure.
Industrial, administrative, and research partners
The consortium behind the Ko-HAF research initiative is made up of automakers, automotive suppliers, and highway administration and research partners. With total funding of 36.3 million euros, Ko-HAF is a large and strategically important project designed to drive forward progress on one of the biggest trends in the automotive industry. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is supporting the project with 16.9 million euros in funding as part of its "new vehicle and systems technology" program. The Ko-HAF project is scheduled to run until November 2018.
The trend towards automated driving means that individual computers have to run more and more software, and the overall system is becoming considerably more complex. That's why embedded systems will need more computing power in the future. Bosch is now heading an international research team that is working on laying the foundations for highly efficient use of state-of-the-art, high-performance hardware.
The AMALTHEA4public project involves 21 partners from Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey, with the German project partners focusing primarily on automotive industry requirements. AMALTHEA4public will run through August 2017.
Automated vehicles will contribute to enhanced traffic safety by assisting drivers and minimizing human errors. They are also expected to make traffic flow more efficient, ensuring optimum driving conditions with minimal speed variations in the traffic flow.
Over the planned 42-month duration of AdaptIVe, the partners will develop and test new functionalities for cars and trucks, offering both partially and highly automated driving on motorways, in urban scenarios, and for close-distance maneuvers.
The focus of the project will be on achieving ideal cooperative interaction between the driver and the automated system by using advanced sensors, cooperative vehicle technologies and adaptive strategies in which the level of automation is dynamically adapted to the situation and driver status.
Seven cars and one truck will demonstrate various combinations of automated functions. In addition to addressing technology development aspects, the project will also explore legal implications for manufacturers and drivers – in particular regarding product liability and road traffic laws.
The consortium, led by Volkswagen, consists of ten major automotive manufacturers, suppliers, research institutes, universities, and small and medium-sized businesses. The project has a budget of 25 million euros and is funded by the European Commission.
“AdaptIVe” includes the following partners:
Thirty partners, including automobile and electronics manufacturers, suppliers, communication technology and software companies, as well as research institutes and municipalities, have joined in the cooperative project UR:BAN to develop advanced driver assistance and traffic management systems for cities. The focus is on the human element in all aspects of mobility and traffic – drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, or city planners.
"Cognitive assistance" project (CA)
Bosch is a partner in the "Cognitive assistance" project. The aim of the project is to improve safety in city traffic with a focus on supporting drivers in complex situations, including at intersections involving pedestrians and cyclists, on narrow roads, when encountering oncoming traffic, and when changing lanes. New sensor technologies now enable comprehensive all-around vision in the city. It is possible to avoid collisions, not only by means of automatic braking, but also by taking evasive action. These tasks are also being considered from a legal point of view, and are undergoing active field evaluation.
The simTD research project is shaping tomorrow's safe and intelligent mobility through researching and testing vehicle-to-infrastructure communication and its applications.
The simTD project used the results of previous research projects. For this purpose, realistic traffic scenarios were addressed in a large-scale field-test infrastructure around Frankfurt, Germany, in order to create the political, economic, and technological framework for the successful introduction of vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. Various simTD functions were also evaluated in driving and traffic simulations.
As part of the research project, the suitability of vehicle-to-infrastructure communication in everyday life was proven in one of the largest field tests worldwide. The exchange of information from vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure can make a considerable contribution to increasing safety, comfort, and efficiency in road traffic.
simTD is a joint project involving leading German automobile manufacturers, suppliers, communications companies, research institutes, and public institutions. The project is funded and supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development.
The CONVERGE research initiative, launched on August 1, 2012, encompassed a total of 14 partners from the automotive industry, as well as the electronics, telecommunications, and software industries, academia and a road operator, working to developing a vehicle-to-infrastructure system network that connects all those involved, covering all levels of responsibility and all systems.
The project ran until mid-2015. The project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
The V-Charge project was based on the vision that, due to required drastic reductions in carbon emissions and energy consumption, mobility will undergo significant changes in the years to come. These changes include new concepts for an optimum combination of public and personal modes of transportation, as well as the introduction of electric cars that require coordinated recharging.
A typical scenario of such a concept might be the automatic drop-off and recovery of a car in front of a train station without parking or re-charging. Such new mobility concepts require autonomous driving in designated areas, among other technologies. The objective of this project was to develop a smart mobility system that allows autonomous driving in designated areas (e.g. valet parking, park and ride) and can offer advanced driver support in urban environments.