Sense, Think, Act

Sense, Think, Act:
What automated vehicles need to be capable of

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Information package for drivers

Infographic automated driving

Information package for journalists

Infographic automated driving

In principle, an automated vehicle needs to have the same skills as a human driver – only better. Firstly, it has to be able to perceive and interpret its surroundings and its interior (“Sense”). For this, it uses the surround sensors just like humans use their senses. Secondly, it needs to process information received and plan its driving strategy (“Think”). This task is undertaken by the vehicle computer using software and intelligent algorithms. And thirdly, it needs to use its powertrain, steering and braking power to move its wheels in such a way that the planned driving strategy is put into practice (“Act”). To this effect, the wheels of a car are its limbs while the sub-systems for accelerating, steering and braking represent its muscles. Electronic lines are the nerve pathways sending impulses in the form of data to the sub-systems and stimulating action.

With its solutions and expertise in each of these three areas (Sense, Think and Act), Bosch is ideally positioned to gradually revolutionize mobility with automated technology.

Sense Think Act

Sense

Automated cars perceive and interpret

The surround sensors provide all the information used by the automated car for perception of its entire surroundings. In combination with high-resolution digital maps, they also ensure that it always knows its exact position. The sensors also keep a permanent eye on the interior of the vehicle and warn the driver in critical situations. Using connected services, the vehicle even knows about road conditions ahead and can adapt its driving behavior accordingly, e.g. in the event of icy conditions. Already today, Bosch has the requisite technologies for perception of the vehicle’s surroundings as well as its interior and has started volume production of many of them in its driver assistance systems.

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Think

Automated vehicles learn and plan ahead

Automated cars decide in real time which driving strategy is the best in order to resolve the current traffic situation and reach their destinations. This task is assumed by the vehicle computer using the interpreted surround sensor data processed by the software. By using artificial intelligence in the software development the vehicle learns to better understand its environment. The software distinguishes between various objects such as pedestrians, cyclists, buildings or other vehicles and familiarizes itself with their respective characteristic behavior. This enables the vehicle to make reliable forecasts and to drive safely and proactively.

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Act

Automated vehicles drive safely to their destinations

The central vehicle computer calculates the values used by the vehicle’s powertrain, braking or steering system to implement individual driving maneuvers such as changing lanes, turning off or driving around bends. What direction needs to be steered in? How much acceleration or braking is necessary? Particularly high demands apply during automated driving for safety-critical systems and components which are designed redundantly for this purpose: If one of the systems is no longer able to fulfill its function, this is assumed by a back-up system. Bosch already avails of redundant system solutions for steering and braking.

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Perfect collaboration – in the car and in development

The complex demands associated with automated driving cannot be managed by a single company. That is why Bosch has concluded strategic partnerships with other companies and initiated numerous pilot and research projects. Such joint commitment covers many areas of automated driving and ranges from the development of innovative camera sensors and connected onboard systems through the generation of detailed , high-resolution digital maps to fully automated driving system for the city.

While some projects are based on technology already available today, such as sensors, others are clearly aligned toward the development of future technologies.

Find out more about the partnerships concluded, the resulting synergies, and how they help to get automated vehicles onto the road safely.

Safety inside: new interior monitoring system with artificial intelligence

The interior monitoring system detects driver drowsiness and distraction, and provides driving assistance.

The interior monitoring system detects driver drowsiness and distraction, and provides driving assistance.

International studies state that nearly one in ten accidents are caused by distraction or drowsiness. To avert such accidents Bosch has developed a new interior monitoring system featuring cameras and artificial intelligence (AI). The system is able to detect driver distraction and signs of drowsiness and it alerts the driver to critical situations. By keeping an eye on what is happening inside the car, it is hoped that a fundamental problem of self-driving cars will be solved. If responsibility for driving is to be transferred to the driver again following an automated drive on the freeway, say, the car needs to be sure that the driver is neither sleeping, nor reading the newspaper, nor writing e-mails on their smartphone.

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Pilot project for automated ride-hailing service started in San José

Bosch and Mercedes-Benz they are not interested in prototypes, but instead want to develop a production-ready system that can be integrated into different vehicle types and models.

Bosch and Mercedes-Benz they are not interested in prototypes, but instead want to develop a production-ready system that can be integrated into different vehicle types and models.

Bosch and Mercedes-Benz launched their pilot project for an app-based ride-hailing service using automated vehicles in the Californian city of San José. Monitored by a safety driver, the self-driving cars shuttle between West San José and downtown. The service will initially be available to a select group of users.

Bosch and Mercedes-Benz hope this trial will provide valuable insights into the further development of their SAE Level 4/5 automated driving system. Their common goal is a driving system for fully automated and driverless vehicles, including the software for vehicle management. However, they are not interested in prototypes, but instead want to develop a production-ready system that can be integrated into different vehicle types and models.

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Bosch offers a unique system for precisely determining the position of automated vehicles

Special sensors scan the vehicle’s surroundings to create a road signature.

Special sensors scan the vehicle’s surroundings to create a road signature.

The satellite data used by navigation systems is, on its own, not adequate for determining the position of automated vehicles with sufficient accuracy. What is needed is a holistic solution comprising hardware, software, and services. This is precisely the kind of package Bosch is now offering as a redundant system that is unique in the world. The motion and position sensor specially developed by Bosch makes it possible for vehicles to determine their own position with pinpoint precision. A network of stationary terrestrial reference stations is used to correct inaccuracies in the satellite data. Smart Bosch algorithms then process the data from the various sources to accurately determine the position. Finally, the Bosch road signature service provides additional redundancy using a combination of map-based localization and sensors that scan the vehicle’s surroundings.

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Bosch provides vehicles with a highly reliable feel for the road

The combination of vehicle data and weather data helps provide the necessary standard of safety.

The combination of vehicle data and weather data helps provide the necessary standard of safety.

Correctly judging the state of the road surface is essential for safe driving. This assessment has hitherto been based mainly on each driver’s own perception of the surroundings. Bosch, however, has developed a predictive road-condition service that enables the vehicle itself to identify potential hazards in good time. The new multiphase concept uses weather data from Bosch partner Foreca and vehicle data collected from all connected cars. All this information is combined and analyzed using smart technologies to produce an accurate prediction that not only enhances safety in vehicles of all SAE automation levels but will also ensure that the availability of all highly automated driving functions is maximized.

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