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.
Intelligent mobile telephony can help prevent potentially dangerous driving situations from becoming even more critical. Known as Cellular-V2X (vehicle to everything), the technology makes it possible for a car to communicate with other vehicles and its surroundings through mobile telephony. Since February 2017, Bosch, Vodafone, and Huawei have been performing trials of the new, high-performance technology − the first companies in Europe to do so. The A9 freeway in Bavaria is the location for the field tests with the first 5G test modules. Direct communication between vehicles provides information about what is happening in parts of an intersection not visible to the driver, or on the freeway beside or behind the driver’s own car. The new mobile telephony system thus paves the way for automated driving.
Automated driving continues to advance thanks to sensors and software, but also thanks to redundancy of safety-critical systems. Bosch is actively developing and bringing to market redundant braking and steering solutions to support all levels of automation as defined by SAE. SAE level 3 (conditional automation) vehicles will begin to hit the market as soon as 2018. For these vehicles, a human driver is still necessary, but safety-critical functions may be completely shifted to the vehicle under certain traffic or environmental conditions. Redundant functions ensure that all safety-critical functions continue, even in the rare case of a failure in the system.
Bosch is acquiring 5 percent in HERE Technologies, a global provider of digital mapping and location services. The acquisition gives a boost to Bosch’s services business. It also helps HERE take a further step toward its goal of becoming a global provider of data-based real-time location services to customers both inside and outside the automotive industry. Open platforms for all customers will be the focal point of the collaboration between Bosch and HERE, both in non-automotive as well as automotive domains, and particularly where increasingly connected and automated mobility is concerned. High-definition maps are a requirement for self-driving cars.
Automated driving turns drivers into passengers – and cars into drivers. In the future, cars will independently pilot themselves at the touch of a button whenever drivers want. In doing so, they will obey traffic laws and speed limits, which will make driving safer. Many respondents want a self-driving car to relieve them of their stressful driving duties. Drivers are particularly interested in handing control over to the car during parking or in traffic jams, according to a recent survey on behalf of Bosch in six countries (Brazil, China, Germany, France, Japan, and the U.S.).
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.
The MEC-View project pursues the objective of automated driving in complex urban traffic scenarios, e.g. automatically entering a priority road. By this, MEC-View strives for a safer and more efficient automated driving in urban traffic. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) on behalf of the German Bundestag.
Today's automated vehicles are equipped with a variety of diverse surround sensor systems by means of radar, video, ultrasonic, and lidar technologies, in order to gain a full 360-degree surround view. However, these systems are not able to detect a cyclist behind a truck at a crossing nor a pedestrian approaching a cross-walk from behind a wall.
In future, communal development authorities will install video or other sensors at street lights and sites which are important for the improvement of the local traffic situations. The project MEC-View uses the data of these road side sensors to make automated driving accessible in urban environments.
Partners of the joint research project, that is coordinated by Bosch, are the University of Duisburg-Essen, the University of Ulm, as well as Daimer, Nokia, Osram, TomTom, and the company IT-Designers. The City of Ulm acts as an associated partner.
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.