Think – Bosch makes automated cars smart

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Fast processing, clever planning: The vehicle computer handles complex challenges

The automated cars of the future will be in control of all traffic situations which an excellent human driver should also be able to master. To do so, they constantly need to know where they are and what situations they face. Furthermore, they must be able to implement the planned driving strategy. But before that, automated vehicles need to decide in real time which driving strategy is the best in order to resolve the current traffic situation and reach their destinations safely (“Think”). This task is assumed by the vehicle computer which is responsible for thinking in its capacity as the car's brain, so to speak. Top priority in all decisions by the vehicle computer is given to the safety of all driving maneuvers.

In the development process Bosch is working intensively on fitting automated vehicles with adaptive artificial intelligence enabling them to drive like a human being – only more safely and efficiently. After all, unlike human drivers, technology never gets tired. It constantly perceives its entire surroundings and can react faster. Combining these strengths with sophisticated artificial intelligence is the key to automated mobility of the future. And the particular competence displayed by Bosch concerns exactly this combination.

extensive expertise

Bosch combines its in-depth vehicle expertise with software competence and machine learning to make cars smart.

protection from manipulation

Multi-layer security concepts from Bosch protect vehicles from hacker attacks.

Learning from experience: artificial intelligence accelerates the development

The central intelligence of automated vehicles lies in the software which runs on the vehicle computer in the form of adaptive algorithms. It analyses and interprets incoming data from the surround-sensor system. It can, for example, detect whether an object perceived by the sensors is a car, a pedestrian or a cyclist, the direction it is moving in, and at what speed. This way, it learns the high art of anticipation: by observing a large number of objects in the development process, the system can determine their respective characteristic behavior which helps it to make forecasts which are ever more reliable. Just like people are capable of learning from experience. In the future, the vehicle's intelligence can calculate the probability of a pedestrian crossing the road and activate the brake system in good time. Its swift powers of perception and extremely fast reaction times mean that it has a clear advantage over human drivers.

The smart vehicle computer recognizes various objects and anticipates their characteristic behavior.

“We are making the car smart. It knows in advance where it has to go and if there are any hazards en route.”

Dr. Rolf Bulander

Dr. Rolf Bulander

Chairman of the business sector Mobility Solutions at Bosch

Effective solutions for holistic vehicle safety

Safety during automated driving means more than just consistently avoiding accidents. Automated and connected vehicles must also be protected from external manipulation. Furthermore, it must be possible to handle a possible failure by a system of safety relevance at all times. Bosch already offers effective solutions for both: redundant system components protecting against failures and a well-conceived security concept for protecting against manipulation.

Find out more about redundant system components.

Protection from hacker attacks

In the event of a hacker attack on the vehicle systems, Bosch has a multi-layer security concept to prevent attacks on the automated vehicle. The individual control units and the internal network, electrical and electronic systems as well as the interfaces to the internet and the cloud are protected by individual measures. Accordingly, if one security measure is overcome, it is impossible for the entire system to be compromised.

Automated vehicles must have three fundamental skills: They need to perceive and interpret (Sense) their surroundings, use this information to make forecasts and derive a suitable driving strategy (Think), and then implement it reliably and safely (Act). Sensing the immediate environment is the task of the surround sensors which combines camera, radar and ultrasonic. Vehicle intelligence enabling it to interpret its surroundings and find the optimal driving strategy is made possible by software and algorithms which use the information gleaned from sensors as well as data from other connected systems.

Systems such as the powertrain, steering and brakes ensure that the respective driving strategy is then implemented on the road. This process of sensing, thinking and acting takes place during the entire journey. When applied to human beings, this process is similar to constant interactions in the body during which the sensory organs pick up stimuli which are processed by the brain before the nerve pathways, muscles and limbs implement the brain's control signals as actions.

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