Five steps

On the road to automated driving with systems from Bosch

Bosch has always taken a holistic approach on the road to automated driving – and in doing so combines its expertise and all of its experience from areas such as mechanics, electronics, hardware and software development, and telematics. The result: production-ready technologies and complete system solutions that can already enable highly automated driving (SAE Level 4) reliability and safely today. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) defines a total of six levels of automated driving (Levels 0–5), with Level 0 not yet considered automation. Rather, this level refers to systems that warn or temporarily supports the driver as needed.

The levels of automated driving

What appeared to be nearly inconceivable at the beginning of the century has now come tangibly close – the vision of self-driving vehicles. As an innovative development partner and reliable systems supplier, Bosch has played a decisive role in promoting automated driving. In this regard, Bosch already has the technologies to pave the way to automated driving. But see for yourself – on an exciting journey of discovery through the five levels of automated driving.

Level 0

Level 0: No Driving Automation

No automation means that the driver operates and controls the vehicle manually. At this level, there are certainly already systems in the vehicle that support the driver, for example, the electronic stability program ESP®, the automatic emergency braking, or the lane keeping assist. However, since these systems technically do not guide the vehicle but only intervene in certain driving situations, they are not classified as automation.

Electronic stability program ESP®

Electronic stability program ESP®

The electronic stability program (ESP®) increases driving safety considerably by supporting the driver in critical driving situations. It comprises the functions of the antilock braking system (ABS) and traction control, which together detect and actively counteract skidding movements. To maintain the stability of the vehicle, the system reacts in the blink of an eye without the involvement of the driver. To this end, it reduces engine torque and, if necessary, also brakes individual wheels. The resulting rotational movement of the vehicle counteracts the skidding movement – within the limits of physics, this keeps the vehicle safely in the desired lane.

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Automatic emergency braking

Automatic emergency braking

To reduce the risk or at least mitigate the effects of an accident in heavy traffic or when turning at an intersection, Bosch has developed the automatic emergency braking system. The system detects at an early stage if an object or vehicle is approaching to a critical distance and warns the driver. If the driver does not react, it can initiate partial or full emergency braking, thereby preventing a possible collision or mitigating the effects of an accident. It supports the driver while driving at any speed – day and night. However, the driver must continue to drive attentively and considerately at all times.

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Lane keeping assist for heavy commercial vehicles

Lane keeping assist for heavy commercial vehicles

The lane keeping assist increases driving safety by actively supporting the driver in keeping the vehicle in the lane. To this end, the system uses a camera to capture the lane markings in front of the vehicle and compare them to the position of the vehicle within the lane. If the system determines that the vehicle is failing to maintain a defined minimum distance to the boundary of the road surface, it intervenes: in vehicles with electric power steering, the lane keeping assist can provide a gentle but noticeable steering movement to keep the vehicle in the lane. In vehicles without electric power steering, the vehicle can be guided back into the lane through targeted braking of individual wheels. The function can be overridden by the driver at any time, meaning the driver remains responsible for the vehicle.

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Level 1: Driver Assistance

Level 1

Driver Assistance means that an assistance system relieves and supports the driver in a specific scenario, either during accelerating and braking (longitudinal control) or when steering the vehicle (lateral control). At this level, the driver must constantly monitor the system and always be in a position to immediately intervene and make corrections. Examples of driver assistance systems from Bosch are the reversing assist, adaptive cruise control, and the lane centering assist.

Reversing assist

Reversing assist

The reversing assist can actively support the driver when driving backwards, especially in narrow locations with poor visibility. This can prevent unnecessary stress as well as damage to the vehicle.

For example, if the driver has to back up in a parking garage to make enough space for oncoming traffic because the lanes are very narrow, they can simply turn to the reversing assist, which takes over the steering and follows the previously recorded vehicle path backwards. The driver only has to accelerate and brake. Once the oncoming traffic has passed the bottleneck, the driver can take over control again and continue driving. This function can be expanded to include longitudinal vehicle control in addition to lateral control and also accelerate and decelerate for the driver. The expanded version of the reversing assist is then a Level 2 function.

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Adaptive cruise control

Adaptive cruise control

The adaptive cruise control (ACC) system can adjust the vehicle’s speed to match the traffic flow and can maintain a preset distance to the vehicle ahead. This increases the comfort and convenience of driving and primarily assists drivers during journeys on highways and over longer distances. When the way ahead is clear, the system maintains the set speed requested by the driver. If it detects a slower vehicle in the sensing range, it comfortably reduces the speed. If the vehicle ahead speeds up again or leaves the lane, the system will automatically accelerate to reach the driver’s chosen speed. Even when the system is switched on, it remains the driver’s responsibility to monitor the speed and distance from the vehicle in front.

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Lane centering assist for heavy commercial vehicles

Lane centering assist for heavy commercial vehicles

The lane centering assist for heavy commercial vehicles increases safety and driving comfort by actively supporting the driver in keeping the vehicle in the middle of the lane. To this end, the system uses a multipurpose camera to detect lane boundaries and other lane markings or structural boundaries and to compare them to the position of the vehicle in the lane. Then, the system aligns the vehicle using the steering system so that it is centered in the lane. The lane centering assist can be activated while driving and can be overridden by the driver at any time if necessary. This allows the driver to always maintain full control of the vehicle.

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Servotwin® electrohydraulic steering system

Servotwin® electrohydraulic steering system

The world’s first mass-produced electrohydraulic steering system for heavy-duty commercial vehicles reduces the driver’s workload during parking and maneuvering, for example, and also provides a considerable increase in driving comfort and safety in different driving situations. In addition to the speed-dependent steering support with active return, the system is also the basis for various driver assistance functions in heavy-duty commercial vehicles. This includes, for example, the lane centering assist and the traffic jam assist. By connecting it with the vehicle electronics, the innovative Servotwin® electrohydraulic steering system also enables automated driving functions. Another advantage: compared to conventional systems, it consumes less fuel and therefore emits less CO2.

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Level 2

Level 2: Partial Driving Automation

With Level 2, Partial Driving Automation, the system assumes the longitudinal and lateral control of the vehicle in a specific use case and thereby supports the driver. Examples of this are the Bosch driving assist, which combines adaptive cruise control (ACC) and the lane centering assist – or the home zone parking assist from Bosch, which can perform recurring parking maneuvers at the push of a button. Even with Partial Driving Automation, the driver must constantly monitor the system and always be able to intervene and make corrections.

Bosch driving assist

Bosch driving assist

The Bosch driving assist can contribute to greater safety and an increased sense of comfort while driving. To this end, the Bosch driving assist assumes longitudinal and lateral control of the vehicle and helps drivers reach their destination feeling more relaxed even in heavy traffic or traffic jams. The partially automated system can set the vehicle in motion automatically, accelerate and brake, as well as steer independently to a certain extent. It combines the features of adaptive cruise control (ACC) with the stop-and-go function and the video-based lane centering assist into one system. The Bosch driving assist can also be expanded to include an automatic lane change function: when the driver signals a lane change by activating the turn signal, the system performs the lane change into the neighboring lane as soon as it is safe. The driver, however, remains responsible for the driving task and must be able to assume control of the vehicle at any time.

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Home zone park assist

Home zone park assist

Park more easily and conveniently: the home zone park assist from Bosch can easily assume longitudinal and lateral control during recurring parking maneuvers at the driver’s own parking space, in the carport, or in the garage at the push of a button. To teach the system the exact path to the desired parking space, the driver does a training run by driving the corresponding trajectory manually. A total of up to ten parking maneuvers can be stored. The system uses the data from ultrasonic sensors, near-range cameras, and corner radar sensors for the automated parking process. If the vehicle detects a static obstacle in its path on the way to the parking space, it stops. If the obstacle can be avoided by adapting the path slightly, the vehicle drives around the obstacle.

The driver must monitor the automated parking process from inside or outside the vehicle – and stop it if necessary.

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Level 3: Conditional Driving Automation

Level 3

Starting at Level 3, Conditional Driving Automation, the system takes over the driving task completely in specific use cases. For maximum safety and reliability, systems such as the steering, brakes, vehicle electrical system, and data processing are designed redundantly starting at this automation level. This means that if one system fails, another one is always able to take over and bring the vehicle to a stop safely in a critical situation. However, even at Level 3 the driver must still be capable at all times of resuming full control over the vehicle when requested to do so.

Bosch driving pilot

Bosch driving pilot

With the Bosch driving pilot, Bosch is planning the next step toward automated driving. It expands the partially automated Bosch driving assist to include further functions and thus takes it to the next level of automation. The vehicle should then be able to take over driving completely so the driver can take their hands off the wheel, for example, to actively use the infotainment system for a certain amount of time. However, the driver must always be capable of resuming driving within a certain amount of time when requested to do so.

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Level 4

Level 4: High Driving Automation

High Driving Automation means that the system drives completely independently in a specific use case. Even in the event of a system error or when system limits have been reached, the responsibility for driving remains with the system, which can return to a safe state by, for example, bringing the vehicle to a stop. Bosch has already reached this level. With automated valet parking, the first officially approved Level 4 parking system, highly automated driving is possible safely and reliably.

Automated valet parking

Automated valet parking

With automated valet parking, Bosch has developed the first highly automated system (SAE Level 4) that not only takes the hassle out of searching for a parking spot but also handles the actual task of parking the car in the parking garage. The smart parking garage infrastructure from Bosch works hand in hand with the technology in the vehicle as a fully automated solution that handles the entire parking process. The driver leaves the car in the drop-off area, gets out, and the smart parking garage infrastructure from Bosch guides the vehicle safely and efficiently to an empty parking space. As soon as the driver calls the car with the app, automated valet parking brings the vehicle to the pick-up area, all without the hassle of searching and maneuvering, where the driver and passengers can get in at their leisure. Payment of the parking fee is processed automatically as soon as the vehicle exits the garage.

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Level 5: Full Driving Automation

Level 5

The system takes over driving completely in all use cases and takes care of all the necessary tasks independently. There is no more driver, just passengers. The vehicle is therefore in full control of driving in inner-city traffic, on country roads, and on highways in all weather conditions. In the event of a system error, the responsibility for driving remains with the system, which returns to a safe state.

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