In the 1980s, Hollywood created the action series “Knight
Rider”, featuring a speaking and – more importantly – self-driving Pontiac
Firebird Trans Am named K.I.T.T. Nearly 30 years later, automated driving is no
longer confined to the screen. “Bosch is making science fiction reality, one
step at a time,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, who is on the Bosch board of
management. Cars equipped with Bosch technology can already drive themselves in
certain situations, such as in traffic jams or when parking. Bosch will be
presenting its solutions at the Vehicle Intelligence Marketplace during the CES
in Las Vegas, according to a press release issued by the company.
The company will also be exhibiting a true Hollywood legend:
K.I.T.T. replica from the action series “Knight Rider”.
As one of the world's largest providers of mobility
solutions, Bosch has been working on automated driving since 2011 at two
locations – Palo Alto, California, and Abstatt, Germany. The teams at the two
locations can draw on a worldwide network of more than 5,000 Bosch engineers in
the field of driver assistance systems. The motivation behind the development
at Bosch is safety. Worldwide, an estimated 1.3 million traffic fatalities
occur each year, and the numbers are rising. In 90 percent of cases, human
error is the cause.
emergency braking to traffic jam assistance
Assisting drivers in critical traffic situations can save
lives. Studies suggest that, in Germany alone, up to 72 pc of all rear-end
collisions resulting in casualties could be avoided if all cars were fitted
with the Bosch predictive emergency braking system. Drivers can also reach
their destinations safely and with minimum stress using the Bosch traffic jam
assistant. At speeds of up to 60 kmph, the assistant brakes automatically in
heavy traffic, accelerates, and keeps the car in its lane.
“With driver assistance systems, Bosch expects to generate
sales of one billion euros in 2016,” Hoheisel says. Assistance systems are the
cornerstone for automated driving, which will become established in a gradual
process. Bosch already has its sights on highly automated driving, in which
drivers no longer have to constantly monitor the vehicle. “With Bosch highway
pilots, cars will be driving automatically on freeways by 2020, from entrance
ramp to exit ramp,” Hoheisel predicts. In the decade that follows, vehicles
driving fully automated will be available, capable of handling any situations
Bosch sensors are the
car's eyes and ears
Automated driving affects every aspect of the car – powertrain,
brakes, steering – and requires comprehensive systems expertise. It is based on
sensors featuring radar, video, and ultrasound technology, sensors Bosch has
been manufacturing by the millions for many years. “Sensors are the eyes and
ears that let vehicles perceive their environment,” Hoheisel says. Powerful
software and computers process the collected information and ensure that the
automated vehicle can move through traffic in a way that is both safe and fuel
As vehicles gradually take over more and more driving tasks,
safety-critical systems such as brakes and steering must satisfy special
requirements. Should one of these components fail, a fall-back is needed to
ensure maximum availability. Bosch already has such a fall-back for brakes: the
iBooster, an electromechanical brake booster. Both iBooster and the ESP braking
control system are designed to brake the car – independently of each other –
without the driver having to intervene.
for automated driving
In this way, the Bosch iBooster meets an essential
requirement for automated driving. The brake booster can build up brake
pressure independently, three times faster than an ESP system. If the
predictive brake system recognizes a dangerous situation, the vehicle stops
much faster. At the same time, the iBooster can also provide the gentle braking
required by the ACC adaptive cruise control, all the way down to a complete
stop. Moreover, it is practically silent.
The iBooster is also a key component for hybrid and electric
cars. One reason is that it does not require a vacuum, which otherwise has to
be generated in a complex process by the combustion engine or a vacuum pump.
Second, because in conjunction with ESP hev (designed especially for hybrid and
electric vehicles), the brake booster can recover nearly all braking energy and
convert it into electricity, which extends the e-vehicle's range. Thanks to the
iBooster, nearly all typical traffic delays can be used to recover maximum
braking energy for the hybrid or electric vehicle's electric motor. If the car
has to brake sharply, or if the generator is unable to provide the necessary
brake torque, the brake booster generates any additional brake pressure
required in the conventional way, using the brake master cylinder.
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