Bosch completes sensor portfolio for automated driving

January 06, 2020 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Bosch completes sensor portfolio for automated driving
After a long period of abstinence, Bosch is now entering into the development of lidar sensors for automated driving. According to the company, its lidar sensor will be able to detect both close range and longer distances, thus covering automated driving at SAE levels 3 to 5 in both urban driving scenarios and on the highway.

Only the parallel use of three sensor principles - camera, radar and also lidar - ensures that automated driving is as safe as possible on the road. Bosch analyses have confirmed this: the company's developers examined all applications of automated driving functions - from highway assistance to fully automated driving in the city. If, for example, a motorcycle approaches an automated vehicle at an intersection at high speed, a lidar is needed in addition to a camera and radar to ensure reliable detection of the two-wheeler. This is because a narrow silhouette and plastic fairings are difficult for a radar to detect in this case. Moreover, a camera can always be blinded by unfavourable light incidence. This shows that when radar, camera and lidar are used in a trio, they complement each other perfectly and provide reliable information in every driving situation. Bosch has been manufacturing intelligent cameras and radar systems for years, but the company took a long time to prepare for its entry into lidar technology. For years, the automotive supplier had been making only vague allusions to the press about the "imminent" introduction of a lidar sensor.

Compared to radar, the lidar principle has some similarities, but also advantages. Lidar offers a very high resolution at a long range and a large lateral viewing angle. For example, laser-based distance meters reliably detect non-metallic obstacles at long distances - for example stones on the road. Driving maneuvers such as braking or taking evasive action can be initiated in good time.

At the same time, the use of a lidar in a vehicle places high demands on its components such as detector and laser source - especially in terms of temperature resistance and reliability over the entire life of the vehicle. Since Bosch can draw on its sensor and system know-how in the radar and camera sector for its lidar development, all three sensor technologies can be optimally entangled with each other. The company promises that the long-range lidar can be efficiently integrated into a wide range of vehicle types.

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