The driving strategy decides how the automated vehicle is to act in road traffic and calculates the requisite values for vehicle steering. The vehicle must also be capable of assuming tasks which are already a challenge for human drivers. It must autonomously decide where it is going, when to accelerate, brake and steer – all on the basis of information which can change at a moment’s notice. The system must therefore consider its entire surroundings when calculating the route and steering the car swiftly, safely and precisely. Because the vehicle knows the current road conditions, when there is an icy stretch ahead, for example, it can adapt its driving strategy accordingly and reduce speed for safely crossing icy patches.
As it constantly perceives and evaluates its own position and its entire 360-degree surroundings, it is also capable of bypassing obstacles or changing lanes as required. And because its software’s artificial intelligence learns the characteristic behavior of objects, it can drive proactively and react in good time in critical situations – for example, by activating the brake system when a pedestrian is about to cross the road ahead.
For highly and fully automated driving in particular, drivers no longer need to monitor the system. When automated vehicles assume the driving responsibility, there is also the question of safety which needs to be addressed. Although the risk of failure by the system and individual components can be reduced to a minimum – it cannot be entirely eliminated. In the event of a system failure, it must therefore be possible for the vehicle to achieve a safe state even without intervention by the driver.
For this reason, Bosch has developed solutions which safeguard the automated system against malfunctions: safety-critical sub-systems such as steering, braking, onboard power supply system and data processing have a redundant design and are controlled independently. This means that when one system fails, another independent system is always capable of assuming the respective task and, for example, bringing the vehicle to a safe standstill in a critical situation.
Bosch already offers a redundant solution for safeguarding the braking system: independently of each other, the iBooster, an electromechanical brake booster, and the ESP® brake control system can decelerate the vehicle to a standstill without requiring intervention by the driver. The steering system is also a key technology for automated driving. With its Servolectric® electric power steering, Bosch has developed a steering solution which meets all of the safety requirements associated with highly automated driving.