Bosch rounds up components for automated driving

Bosch rounds up components for automated driving
Technology News |
While robot taxis still are a vision of a rather distant future, the automotive industry is feverishly working on levels 3 (“eyes off”) and 4 (“mind off”) driving. Accordingly equipped vehicles are expected to be available around the middle of the next decade at latest. Automotive supplier Bosch presented the complete set of components that help carmakers to automate their vehicles. Not that it contains much technological news, but at least it offers a rather comprehensive overview.
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

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In line with the generally accepted state of the art in terms of automated driving, the common denominator for Bosch’s product strategy is the understanding that automated driving affects all segments of the vehicle – powertrain, brakes, steering, navigation and sensors as well as connectivity within the car and to the outside world. All components introduced are designed to fit into this scheme.

Connected Horizon (Fig 1): Automated vehicles are dependent on environmental information that goes beyond the detection range of the sensors. Real-time traffic data, such information about as congestions and accidents, is required. This can only be achieved by networking the vehicles with a backend server. Therefore, Bosch has developed something I calls Connected Horizon. The system allows a dynamic route preview of the route and corresponding adjustments to the driving strategy. The Connected Horizon enables vehicles to “think ahead”, increasing safety and comfort when driving. Thus, the networked vehicle is aware of hazards that are hiding behind a curve or mountain peak and can reduce the thrust in time.

Electric power steering (Fig. 2). A key technology for automated driving is the fail-safe electrical steering. The fail-operational capability allows the driver or the automated driving car to maintain the necessary steering functions also at a fall-back level. Thus, in the rare event of a fault, at least 50 percent of the electric steering assistance can be provided. With this technology, car makers can meet the failsafe performance requirements set by the US Department of Transportation and the US Federal Highway Traffic Safety Association, for example, in their Federal Automated Vehicles Policy.


ESP (Fig. 3): A pivotal role for automated driving is the Electronic Stability Program. As soon as the task of driving is handed over to the electronic controls, particularly high requirements apply to on safety-relevant systems such as the brake. In order to ensure the greatest possible availability in case of a failure, a safety feature in the form of redundancy is required. Without the driver being required to intervene, the ESP and the electromechanical brake booster iBooster can independently decelerate the car. Bosch offers ESP in a modular design kit that includes appropriate systems for multiple sets of different requirements and environments.

HMI (Fig. 4): Automated driving is affecting the way to operate vehicles and demands appropriate concepts for the communication between driver and vehicle. The driver must be able to intuitively understand and control the system. With its display instruments, Bosch is delivering appropriate solutions. The display-based instrument cluster offers maximum flexibility in processing. Head-up displays bring information such as speed, navigation and warnings directly in the driver’s field of view. At the same time, the generated image is inserted into the scene outside of the car. Virtual and real vision seem to merge at a distance of approximately two meters in front of the vehicle.


IBooster (Fig. 5): With the iBooster, Bosch has developed a vacuum-independent, electromechanical brake booster that meets the requirements of a modern braking system. It is suitable for all drive designs and is particularly suited for hybrid and electric vehicles. With this system, the actuation of the brake pedal is detected via an integrated pedal travel sensor and forwarded to the control unit. The control unit calculates the control signals for the electric motor which converts its torque into the required supporting force via a two-stage transmission. The force delivered by the amplifier is converted into hydraulic pressure in a standard master brake cylinder.

Electronic Maps (Fig 6): Without high-resolution maps updated in realtime, there will be no automated driving. These maps provide the vehicles with information on changing traffic situations, such as traffic jams or construction sites, which go beyond the detection range of the on-board sensors. These sensors however, like radar and video sensors, capture and upload relevant data from the flow of traffic to a cloud server where the high-resolution maps are created on the fly and forwarded to all connected vehicles in the respective area.


Lidar sensors (Fig. 7): In addition to radar, video and ultrasonic sensors, Bosch is using lidar sensors in its automated test cars. The different sensor principles complement each other very well and provide reliable field identification by means of data fusion. Future automated cars will build their driving strategy on these data. Bosch regards the Lidar technology as an important addition to its sensor portfolio.

Radar sensors (Fig. 8): They provide a 360° surround environment information for automated cars at distance up to 250 meters. The main task of a radar sensor is the detection of objects as well as the measurement of their speed and position, compared to the movement of the ego vehicle. For this purpose, Bosch radar sensors transmit frequency-modulated radar waves in the frequency range between 76 and 77 GHz. These are reflected by objects in front of the vehicle. The relative speed and the distance of objects are measured by means of the time of flight and the Doppler effect, which produce both frequency shifts between the transmitted and the received signal. By comparing the amplitude and phase of the reflected radar signals it is possible to conclude the position of the object.


Ultrasonic sensor (Fig. 9): These sensors are required for automated detection at very small distances of up to six meters and at low speeds, for example when parking. The emit short ultrasonic pulses reflected by obstacles. The echoes are registered by the sensors and evaluated by a central control unit.

Video sensor (Fig. 10): With a 3D measuring range of more than 50 meters, the stereo video camera delivers critical optical information about the vehicle environment. The two highly sensitive CMOS image sensors with color separation have a resolution of 1.280 by 960 pixels and can handle stark contrasts. Such a video camera can not only detect objects spatially and determine their distance, but also recognize, above all, free spaces for driving. The information from the sensor is fused with data from other sensor into an environment model for automated vehicles.

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