Next generation Volvo cars to be powered by Luminar LiDAR technology for safe self-driving

Volvo Cars, a global leader in automotive safety, is setting new safety and technology standards by partnering with tech firm Luminar to provide their industry-leading LiDAR and perception technology for Volvo’s next generation cars.

The partnership will deliver Volvo’s first fully self-driving technology for highways and paves the way for future active safety developments.

Volvo Cars’ next generation SPA 2 modular vehicle architecture will be available as hardware-ready for autonomous drive from production start in 2022, with the Luminar LiDAR seamlessly integrated into the roof.

Cars based on SPA 2 will be updated with software over the air and if customers decide to opt for it, the Highway Pilot feature that enables fully autonomous highway driving will be activated once it is verified to be safe for individual geographic locations and conditions.

Luminar LiDAR highway perception

“Autonomous drive has the potential to be one of the most lifesaving technologies in history, if introduced responsibly and safely,” said Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars. “Providing our future cars with the vision they require to make safe decisions is an important step in that direction.”

In addition to the Highway Pilot feature, Volvo Cars and Luminar are also exploring LiDAR’s role in improving future advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), with the potential for equipping all future SPA2-based cars with a LiDAR sensor as standard.

Luminar’s technology is based on its high performance LiDAR sensors, which emit millions of pulses of laser light to accurately detect where objects are by scanning the environment in 3D, creating a temporary, real-time map without requiring internet connectivity.

LiDAR is key in creating cars that can navigate safely in autonomous mode, providing them with the reliable vision and perception that cameras and radar alone cannot provide. LiDAR is the ideal basis for safe decision-making in complex environments at high speeds.

Luminar roofline LiDAR integration

To enable the Highway Pilot feature, Luminar’s perception technology will be combined with autonomous drive software and the cameras, radars and back-up systems for functions such as steering, braking and battery power installed on forthcoming Volvo cars equipped for self-driving. Put together, this gives Volvo users who want it access to a safe, fully self-driving feature for use on highways.

“Soon, your Volvo will be able to drive autonomously on highways when the car determines it is safe to do so,” said Henrik Green. “At that point, your Volvo takes responsibility for the driving and you can relax, take your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel. Over time, updates over the air will expand the areas in which the car can drive itself. For us, a safe introduction of autonomy is a gradual introduction.”

As part of the announcement, Volvo Cars and Luminar are deepening their collaboration to jointly ensure robust industrialisation and validation of Luminar’s LiDAR technology for series production. Volvo Cars has also signed an agreement to possibly increase its minority stake in Luminar.

Luminar Iris LiDAR for series production

For Silicon Valley-based Luminar, partnering with Volvo Cars represents the company’s first delivery of its technology into series production. This is a key step to achieving the economies of scale that are required to bring the technology to the wider automotive industry.

“Volvo is recognised as the pioneer of automotive safety, having driven standardisation across the industry for the most advanced life-saving technologies,” said Austin Russell, founder and CEO of Luminar. “The next era of safety lies within autonomous driving and once again, Volvo has taken the lead with a major industry milestone. We’ve solved the key cost, performance, and auto-grade challenges to make series production possible, and alongside Volvo are making the technology available to the world.”

Source: Volvo Media

Staying on track despite malfunctions

How driverless shuttles get safely from A to B Project 3F presents its results on automated driving at low speed

  • On course: vehicles can continue driving in spite of altered circumstances along theroute and technical failures in the system
  • On board: people and goods transported on test grounds in Renningen and Aachen
  • As a team: six partners involved in the publicly funded project

Renningen, Germany – Ferrying visitors from tram stop to exhibition center, supplementing public transport routes, moving containers full of packages in a logistics center: all these are possible use cases for driverless shuttles. The main thing is for them to be able to get safely from A to B – safely in both senses: reliably and without danger. This is what Project 3F, “Driverless and fault-tolerant vehicles in the low-speed range,” set out to achieve, with a focus on fail-safe operation. “The aim was to develop solutions to ensure that automated shuttles can move around safely, even if a technical malfunction occurs or obstacles suddenly appear,” says Steffen Knoop, project leader in research and advance engineering at Robert Bosch GmbH.

Specifically, the project team was concerned with making sure that the system does not fail completely in the event of a fault, but rather that the vehicle can continue to drive. With 4.3 million euros in funding from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs, the project featured Bosch as the consortium leader and involved three other companies, a university, and a research institute: StreetScooter GmbH, RA Consulting GmbH, the FZI Research Center for Information Technology, Finepower GmbH, and RWTH Aachen University.

Better safe than sorry: redundant power supply and sensor technology
“Driverless shuttle buses need to meet different requirements than, say, highly automated passenger cars,” explains Bosch project coordinator Thomas Schamm. To operate without (safety) drivers, shuttles must be able to monitor their system autonomously – in other words, perform diagnostic tasks – and cope with any technical faults detected so that they can continue driving. At the same time, they must be able to secure the system in the event of critical faults, for example by bringing themselves to a stop. Project 3F has been working on what the requirements look like in detail, how the systems must be designed on that basis, and how to optimize the way the individual components interact.

One solution is to build in redundancy, in other words to duplicate safety-relevant functions. For example, the researchers developed redundant systems for the power supply so that the electrical powertrain and vehicle electrical system are reliably protected. They also adapted and refined the sensor technology to suit the vehicle design. In order to reliably detect obstacles, they installed several lidar and radar sensors at various points around the vehicle, giving it the ability to observe its surroundings from different positions. By delivering a 360-degree birds-eye view and avoiding blind spots, this creates a kind of 3D protection zone. This setup not only detects obstacles on the road, such as barriers, it also spots things like hanging branches.
Detect, classify, adjust driving behavior.

Another solution is to build in fault tolerance, whereby the failure of a subsystem is at least partly compensated for by other functions. This is a bit like how it is with people: if the lights suddenly go out in a room, we use our other senses and feel our way around instead of becoming paralyzed. The shuttle behaves in a similar way: if it is blind in a certain area, say because leaves are stuck to the sensor or a large object such as a dumpster is completely blocking the view in one direction, it slows down or omits the parts of the route that can no longer be detected.

In addition, the project worked to ensure that shuttle buses can also react to altered circumstances along their defined route. The vehicles are programmed to slow down when any moving objects approach or, in case of doubt, to give unknown objects a wide berth. When they identify familiar landmarks such as streetlights, on the other hand, they resume their journey at full speed. If there is any imminent danger, the shuttle will come to a precautionary stop. The objective is for the vehicle to adapt its driving behavior to the circumstances in real time while also continuing on its journey automatically whenever possible, even in the event of system malfunctions or obstacles in its path.

Three times the telemetry, twice the usability
Data on the journey being undertaken and the current technical status can be transmitted from the vehicle and back to it. Information on three different functions is transmitted back and forth: diagnostics, monitoring, and control. So that is three times the telemetry, which is why we’re calling it “teletrimetry.” This lays the foundation for an entire fleet of automated shuttle buses to be remotely monitored, as well as repaired or even controlled, for instance to open the doors. It means the vehicles will get help if they do ever reach their fault-detection and compensation limits, or if they simply require scheduled maintenance.

The solutions developed in the project work not only for driverless shuttle buses. They can also provide robust support for logistics processes. Project members developed an assistance system for driver-vehicle interaction that enables highly accurate positioning of swap body lifting trucks – special vehicles for moving containers in logistics centers. The objective here was to move the vehicles with centimeter precision underneath gantry cranes to enable the swift removal of transport containers. This requires precise localization and a form of automated parking under the gantry. In practice, this automated maneuver enables error-free container collection and positioning.

These developments were tested on several test tracks: at Bosch’s research campus in Renningen, two shuttle buses trialed the transportation of people around a site shared with pedestrians; while at an innovation park near Aachen and in the area around a Deutsche Post/DHL depot, a logistics vehicle was deployed to test the interaction between driver and automated vehicle.
Further information is available online at www.3f-projekt.de (German only)
Supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy following a resolution of the German Bundestag.

In motion: solutions for the mobility of today and tomorrow

Powerful computing for the electronics architecture of the future – vehicle computers: Increasing electrification, automation, and connectivity are placing ever higher demands on vehicles’ electronics architecture. One key to the vehicles of the future lies in the new high-performance vehicle control units. Bosch vehicle computers will increase computing power in vehicles by a factor of 1,000 by the start of the next decade. The company is already producing these kinds of computers for automated driving, the powertrain, and the integration of infotainment systems and driver assistance functions.

Full power – services for electromobility: Bosch’s Battery in the Cloud prolongs the life of batteries in electric cars. Smart software functions analyze the status of the battery based on real-time data from the vehicle and its surroundings. It recognizes stress factors for the battery, such as high-speed charging. On the basis of the data collected, the software then calculates measures to counter cell aging, such as optimized recharging processes that mean less wear and tear for the battery. Convenience Charging, Bosch’s integrated recharging and navigation solution, allows for a precise range forecast, route planning that includes recharging stops, and convenient recharging and payment.

E-mobility for the long haul – fuel-cell system: Mobile fuel cells offer long ranges, short refueling times, and – with hydrogen produced using renewable energy – emissions-free vehicle operation. Bosch plans to commercialize a fuel-cell stack that it has refined together with the Swedish company Powercell. In addition to the stack, which converts hydrogen and oxygen into electrical energy, Bosch is developing all the essential fuel-cell system components to a production-ready stage.

Connected products that save lives – Help Connect: Someone who has had an accident needs help fast – regardless of whether they are at home, on a bicycle, doing sports, in a car, or on a motorcycle. For these and any other emergency situations, Bosch offers a guardian angel in the form of Help Connect. Available as a smartphone app, this connectivity solution transmits lifesaving information to emergency services via Bosch service centers. The solution requires automated accident detection, for instance via the smartphone sensors or the vehicle’s assistance systems. For this purpose, Bosch has added a smart crash algorithm to the acceleration sensors in its MSC motorcycle stability control system. Should the sensors detect an accident, they report the crash to the app, which immediately sets the rescue process in motion. Once it has been registered, the lifesaving solution can be activated at any time, in any place – automatically in connected devices or at the push of a button.

(Source: Bosch Media)

Safe eyes save lives

Bosch’s new Virtual Visor greatly improves driver safety and comfort

  • Sun glare causes thousands of automotive accidents a year, almost two times more than any other weather-related condition.
  • Virtual Visor features a single, transparent LCD panel, a driver-facing camera with AI facial detection and analysis and tracking software.
  • Dr. Steffen Berns: “Some of the simplest innovations make the greatest impact, and Virtual Visor changes the way drivers see the road.”
  • Bosch at CES®: Virtual Visor named Best of Innovation in CES 2020 Innovation Awards; see it in action at booth #12041 in Central Hall.

Farmington Hills, Michigan – Bosch is rethinking driver safety and comfort, bringing one of the most overlooked interior components into the spotlight, the sun visor. The sun causes twice as many car accidents as any other weather-related condition due to temporary blindness. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports thousands sun glare-related car accidents each year, and another study indicates the risk of a car crash is 16 percent higher during bright sunlight than normal weather. The traditional sun visor is not equipped to adequately address this safety concern. At best, it blocks some of the sun from your eyes but along with it, some of your view is blocked as well.


Bosch is offering a solution with the revolutionary Virtual Visor, a transparent LCD and intuitive camera, which replaces the traditional vehicle sun visor completely. As the first reimagined visor in nearly a century, Bosch’s technology utilizes intelligent algorithms to intuitively block the sun’s glare and not the view of the road ahead.

“For most drivers around the world, the visor component as we know it is not enough to avoid hazardous sun glare – especially at dawn and dusk when the sun can greatly decrease drivers’ vision,” said Dr. Steffen Berns, president of Bosch Car Multimedia. “Some of the simplest innovations make the greatest impact, and Virtual Visor changes the way drivers see the road.”

The Virtual Visor, which was honored as a Best of Innovation in the CES 2020 Innovation Awards, will debut at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. The Virtual Visor was also named as an honoree in the awards competition, which recognizes products across 28 categories. Virtual Visor received the Best of Innovation for the In-Vehicle Entertainment & Safety category, as it received the highest ratings from a panel of judges that includes designers, engineers and members of the tech media.
A sun visor fit for the future

Virtual Visor links an LCD panel with a driver or occupant-monitoring camera to track the sun’s casted shadow on the driver’s face. The system uses artificial intelligence to locate the driver within the image from the driver-facing camera. It also utilizes AI to determine the landmarks on the face ‒ including where the eyes, nose and mouth are located ‒ so that it can identify shadows on the face. The algorithm analyzes the driver’s view, darkening only the section of the display through which light hits the driver’s eyes. The rest of the display remains transparent, no longer obscuring a large section of the driver’s field of vision.
“We discovered early in the development that users adjust their traditional sun visors to always cast a shadow on their own eyes,” said Jason Zink, technical expert for Bosch in North America and one of the co-creators of the Virtual Visor. “This realization was profound in helping simplify the product concept and fuel the design of the technology.”

The creative use of liquid crystal technology to block a specific light source decreases dangerous sun glare, driver discomfort and accident risk; it also increases driver visibility, comfort and safety.
Innovation from the recycling bin

From the original ideation and concept phase to testing and prototyping, Virtual Visor is a bottom-up solution made possible through the innovation culture established at Bosch. Employees are encouraged to apply lean startup methodologies to confirm customer benefits, market potential and feasibility for new ideas, which are then validated by peers and approved for development.

“We’ve built a culture around empowering our associates by putting them in the driver’s seat,” said Mike Mansuetti, president of Bosch in North America. The Virtual Visor was developed by a team in North America as part of Bosch internal innovation activities. “As a leading global technology provider, we understand that innovation can come from any level of an organization, and we want to see that grow.”
A group of three powertrain engineers, led by Zink, developed the idea for Virtual Visor and created prototypes in their free time in order to secure internal funding for the project concept.
“Like many early-stage ideas, we were working with limited capital and resources,” said Zink. “The original prototype, we used to first pitch the concept, was made from an old LCD monitor we recovered from a recycling bin.”

The Virtual Visor team received mentorship from Bosch executives as they sought funding and developed additional versions of the product. Ultimately the product was transitioned into the Bosch Car Multimedia division.

 

Keyless as secure as a fingerprint

It takes less than five seconds for a hacker to compromise a standard keyless vehicle entry system. Among experts,this is known as a relay station attack. A Bosch key app is going to change all that. “Our Perfectly Keyless system revolutionizes keyless entry systems. It is the ‘key’ to preventing digital car theft,” says Harald Kröger, president of the Bosch Automotive Electronics division. The special thing about the solution is that the Bosch technology works with a virtual key stored in the smartphone.Sensors installed in the car recognize the owner’s smartphone as securely as a fingerprint and open the vehicle only for them. Digital key management links the app and the vehicle via the cloud. With Perfectly Keyless, Bosch is thus doing something that no other keyless entry system has done before, namely offering both convenience and security. The new smartphone-based key can be used in cars, entire car-sharing fleets, and commercial vehicles. Bosch believes this system with its built-in security lock has huge market potential worldwide.

Bosch revolutionizes keyless entry

 With conventional keyless entry systems,the car key still needs to be carried in a jacket or suit pocket, for example.To open the door and start the engine, it communicates with the car using a radio signal in the low frequency (LF) or ultra high frequency (UHF) range. In the race against thieves, the automotive industry is constantly refining existing systems. It’s like a marathon. “Now, with Perfectly Keyless, Bosch is launching into a sprint in the development of digital vehicle entry systems.Our motto is revolution, not evolution,” Kröger says. Instead of transmitting data via low or high frequency radio technology, the Bosch system uses the smartphone as virtual key and Bluetooth as the transmission technology. This means that the car key can stay at home. And thanks to its decades of experience in semiconductors, Bosch is in a position to make this connection as secure as a fingerprint. Every smartphone contains tiny microchips to manage communication via Bluetooth, and these play a key role in the Bosch solution.Together with sensors installed in the vehicle and a special control unit, they form a system that opens the door only for the smartphone containing the virtual key that fits in the Perfectly Keyless system’s digital lock. The system blocks signals from other smartphones or from electronic devices that manipulate the radio transmission. In this way, Perfectly Keyless protects against unauthorized access.

A keyless journey

Virtual vehicle keys on smartphones have long been a feature of car-sharing fleets. These vehicles don’t move until their operator authorizes entry via the cloud; only then can a user unlock the vehicle, start it, and lock it again using an app. This conversation between the phone and the vehicle uses near-field communication (NFC), a wireless protocol for sharing data over distances of a few centimeters. For this to work,users must take out their smartphone before each journey and hold it up to a marked area on the vehicle. Only then can the system recognize the user and unlock the doors. With Bosch Perfectly Keyless, the smartphone can also stay in its pocket. This means greater ease of use for drivers, and car sharing users benefit from the added convenience. The Bosch solution also works in trucks and for entire fleets of commercial vehicles. That means no more manual administration of vehicle keys, physical handover, or hassle when a key is lostor stolen. If the smartphone is lost or stolen, and the Perfectly Keyless app with it, the digital key can be simply deactivated online, thus blocking access to the vehicle.

(Source: Bosch Media)

Holographic lighting with 3D effects

Hella has designed holographic lighting with 3D effects for headlamps and taillights. Automakers could use the displays to communicate critical information to other drivers and autonomous vehicles. Image shows a concept static display. (Hella)

https://www.sae.org/news/2018/01/lights-communicate-hellas-autonomous-vehicle-messages

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Bosch unclutters vehicle cockpit

How digital displays and voice-controlled assistants are revolutionizing driving

  • Rediscovering the driving experience with [amazon_textlink asin=’0415725771′ text=’HMI’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’automotivetechno’ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’899a5bca-f52c-11e7-ae02-2fae31a8d149′].
  • Smart command center: the driver controls car functions using voice commands and a touchscreen with haptic feedback.
  • Artificial intelligence in the cockpit: HMI thinks ahead and prioritizes information in real time.
  • A central cockpit computer controls the complete HMI.

For years, touchscreens, handwriting recognition, and gesture control have been gradually replacing conventional mechanical buttons and switches in the car – to the detriment of road safety. After all, controlling the navigation system, the on-board computer menu, or the radio is a distraction. At CES 2018, in Las Vegas, Bosch is showcasing smart cockpit technology that lets drivers concentrate on driving. Eyes can be kept where they should be: on the road. “We are uncluttering the cockpit. The more complex the technology in modern vehicles, the simpler and more intuitive control systems need to be,” says Dr. Steffen Berns, the president of Bosch Car Multimedia. Artificial intelligence helps transform the human-machine interface (HMI) into a command center that thinks ahead. “Initial functionalities with artificial intelligence feed valuable information into the HMI about the driver, the vehicle, and the surroundings. That enables proactive adjustment of displays and controls to any given driving situation,” Berns says. Bosch also draws on this information for the development of automated driving. Here too, HMI is the core element that allows optimal interplay between people and vehicles.

„We are uncluttering the cockpit. The more complex the technology in modern vehicles, the simpler and more intuitive control systems need to be.“
Dr. Steffen Berns, the president of Bosch Car Multimedia

Artificial intelligence helps transform the human-machine interface (HMI) into a command center that thinks ahead. “Initial functionalities with artificial intelligence feed valuable information into the HMI about the driver, the vehicle, and the surroundings. That enables proactive adjustment of displays and controls to any given driving situation,” Berns says. Bosch also draws on this information for the development of automated driving. Here too, HMI is the core element that allows optimal interplay between people and vehicles.

Operating HMI, without getting distracted

According to Allianz Center for Technology, 63 percent of drivers in Germany operate their navigation systems while driving, 61 percent switch through radio stations, and 43 percent browse through complicated menus on their on-board computers. Distractions like these are among the most frequent causes of accidents. “Our job is to make HMI a reliable companion in every situation,” Berns says. At the heart of the HMI is a voice-controlled assistant that responds to natural speech and can even understand dialects. Thanks to natural language understanding (NLU), drivers can talk to the assistant Casey as they would with a passenger. Another virtue of Casey is her ability to think ahead. Drawing on artificial intelligence, she can learn to predict likely destinations depending on the time of the day; or if she is asked to switch on the radio, she knows the driver’s preferences, such as listening to the news in the mornings and music in the evenings.

Digital displays make driving safer

We perceive 90 percent of our sensory input through our eyesight. That means that, as drivers, we have to have important information directly in our field of vision at the right time. Digital displays are taking over the cockpit. Today, this means more than simply keeping an eye on speed, rpm, and driving range. Smart algorithms capable of learning filter and prioritize content. If the roads are slippery, drivers immediately get a warning signal directly in their field of vision, while less important information, such as the current radio station, is switched to another display. That helps keep the driver concentrated on the road. When it comes to operating infotainment, air conditioning, and radio, touchscreens and central controllers have a decisive drawback: the driver has to look to enter commands accurately. At a speed of 50 kph, the car will travel 30 meters while the driver’s eyes are taken off the road for two seconds; at 120 kph on the freeway, the distance increases to more than 60 meters – driving blind. “Car displays with haptic feedback are going to catch on. They allow easier operation of all manner of functionalities – for example radio and phone functions – faster, simpler, and, most importantly, safer,” Berns says. The keys displayed on the touchscreen feel just like real buttons. The haptic display thus conveys the feeling that the user is adjusting the volume using a real slide control. As a result, drivers can keep their eyes on the road for longer.

A central cockpit computer controls the HMI

Displays, infotainment, voice control: one consequence of the advanced cockpit technology is the increased demands on processing power, wiring, and the architecture of on-board networks. In current production vehicles, 5, 10, or as many as 15 electronic control units run displays and electronic devices. More processing power is needed to show coordinated information on all displays. In the future, Bosch will run the entire HMI through a cockpit computer and will integrate more functionalities in a single central processor. That will enable the convergence and synchronization of the infotainment system, the instrument cluster, and other displays so that any given information can be orchestrated, managed, and displayed anywhere in the vehicle at any given time. “It gives car drivers and passengers virtually unlimited possibilities for adjusting the air conditioning, controlling the navigation system, or changing radio stations, from anywhere in the vehicle,” Berns says. In addition, reducing the number of control units also frees up valuable installation space, lowers vehicle weight, and shortens the time needed for the development of new vehicles. And, in the future, over-the-air updates will ensure that the cockpit computer and hence the entire HMI is kept up to date with the same simple process used for smartphones.

Source: Bosch Media

Wireless electric car charging testing using a Renault Kangoo Z.E.

It’s long been an inspiring futuristic concept: electric cars that can recharge continuously at speed, driving along roadways with built-in inductive charging.

Think a modern-day version of slot cars, but at 1:1 scale.

Now French automaker Renault has demonstrated a prototype of just such a system, briefly recharging one of its electric cars at 60 miles per hour.

The French automaker that builds more electric cars than any other European maker partnered with electronics company Qualcomm to develop what it calls a “dynamic wireless electric-vehicle charging” system.

The prototype demonstrated last week allowed charging at up to 20 kilowatts at speeds up to 100 km/h (62 mph) and higher.

The demonstration cars were a pair of Renault Kangoo ZE electric small delivery vans, shown on a test track in Versailles, near Paris.

Qualcomm and a French firm, Vedecom, installed the charging equipment in the test track.

Renault, meanwhile, modified its electric vans with the system that permitted wireless charging.

The goal of the tests, the companies said, is to assess the “operation and efficiency of energy transfer to the vehicles for a wide range of practical scenarios.”

Among the communications between vehicle and track are those that identify the vehicle and authorize it to begin charging, negotiate over the level of power to be provided, and keep the vehicle aligned on the charging strip at an appropriate speed.

The test is part of a 9-million-euro project known as Fabric, partly funded by the European Union, to evaluate the technology feasibility, business models, and sustainability of wireless on-road charging.

Fabric began in January 2014, and will continue through the end of this year; it’s made up of 25 partners from nine European countries.

Securely updating cars over the air

A new standard – simple and secure

More electronics, more functions, more software: the car is turning into a smartphone on wheels. Keeping vehicle software up to date is thus becoming increasingly important. New functions can provide extra convenience, even after the vehicle has been bought. Over-the-air software updates will therefore soon be a standard feature. Today’s vehicles feature as many as 100 control units.

Even compact cars have between 30 and 50. Their software governs nearly every function in the vehicle. In addition, more and more vehicles are now connected – with the internet, other cars, and the infrastructure. This means a greater risk of weak links in vehicle software, as well as of manipulation. In this context, software updates over the cloud offer a solution that keeps cars constantly up to date, and thus also secure. “Cars are driven for 15 years or more. Over-the-air software updates are Bosch’s contribution to keeping vehicle software constantly up to date, without having to visit the repair shop,” Heyn says. In addition, the cloud updates mean that ever more functions can be added, with ever greater scope. If the necessary hardware is already installed, a new software function can be tried out and subsequently downloaded. In this way, lane-keeping or park-assist functions can be added, for example. And it is not just drivers that benefit from over-the-air software updates: in 2015, 15 percent of recalls in the automotive industry in the U.S. had to do with software errors. Four years previously, this figure was only 5 percent, according to a U.S. study based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). “For automakers and their customers alike, such repair-shop visits are a huge waste of time and money, and online updates can significantly reduce this,” Heyn says.

Updates directly from the cloud

Secure, fast, and simple – that’s how over-the-air software updates work. On the driver’s smartphone or the car’s infotainment system, the online security updates are started and any new functions that need to be downloaded are selected. This information is sent to the cloud, which acts like a kind of app store, holding the updates in readiness and starting the process of downloading software to the vehicle. The data can either be downloaded in the background while the car is moving, or overnight when it is parked in its garage. As soon as the vehicle is in  secure condition (once it has parked, for example), the software updates are installed on the appropriate control units, where they are immediately activated.

Security on all levels

Security and the smooth interaction of automotive electronics, cloud, and software are decisive for over-the-air updates. Data security is ensured by the latest encryption technologies developed at the Bosch subsidiary Escrypt. A complex security architecture with end-to-end encryption protects the data transmission against unauthorized access. At the car-cloud interfaces, secure protocols and filters act like a firewall to ward off any hacking attempts. To ensure that over-the air software updates are not just secure, but also fast and reliable, Bosch uses fast update technologies such as delta and compression mechanisms. These accelerate the update process and reduce cost, since the data volume for the transmission remains low. One further security measure is to transmit the updates in sequences. If problems occur, the update process can be stopped and adjusted. The technology at the heart of these over-the air updates is the Bosch Automotive Cloud Suite. Its software elements enable all functions needed for over-the-air updates – by drivers, automakers, and even by vehicles themselves.

(Source: Bosch Media)

 

Cycle recognition and emergency braking

Introduction

 

Another narrow escape: a cyclist appears as if out of nowhere and suddenly crosses the road. Distracted by the search for somewhere to park, the driver is powerless to avert what appears to be an inevitable disaster. Yet Bosch’s new emergency braking system with cyclist detection prevents any serious consequences, automatically bringing the car to a full stop from 40 kph. Everyone makes it through the incident, shaken but unharmed. As soon as the emergency braking system’s radar or video sensor detects an imminent collision, the Bosch iBooster initiates full braking in just 190 milliseconds – less time than it takes to blink twice. “Driver assistance systems are the next step along the path toward accident-free driving,” says Bosch board of management member Dr. Dirk Hoheisel. “These electronic assistants are always vigilant and, in emergencies, they respond more quickly than people can. They provide support just where drivers need it – in busy city traffic.” Emergency braking systems are one of the most useful assistance systems, particularly when it comes to responding to cyclists and pedestrians, the most vulnerable of road users.

 

More protection where most needed

In Germany, bicycles are involved in one-fourth of all accidents resulting in personal injury. According to the German Federal Statistics Office, 393 people were killed in such accidents in 2016 alone – roughly 12 percent of the country’s total road fatalities. Some two-thirds of these accidents involve a car. Equipping every car in Germany with an emergency braking system that can detect cyclists would prevent almost half (43 percent) the bicycle/motor vehicle accidents that result in personal injury, or at least mitigate their severity. “An emergency braking assistant may reduce braking distance by the few crucial centimeters that can mean the difference between life and death,” says Gerhard Steiger, president of Bosch’s Chassis Systems Control division. The European New Car Assessment Program, or Euro NCAP, has also recognized the importance of emergency braking systems for road safety. Starting in 2018, the consumer protection association’s star rating system will include emergency braking with cyclist detection. Emergency braking systems with pedestrian detection have been part of the rating system since 2016.

Electronic assistants growing in popularity

In light of rising volumes of road traffic, driver assistance systems offer the full package – and hold the key to increased road safety. They keep cars in their lanes, warn of obstacles in the blind spot when changing lanes, provide support for pulling into and out of parking spots, and help maintain following distance, to name just a few examples. Bosch is constantly honing the technology behind these driver assistance systems: sensors supply increasingly precise images of the car’s surroundings, and their interaction with actuators, such as braking and steering, is steadily becoming faster and more efficient. In this way, driver assistance systems are not only preparing the path toward automated driving, but are already delivering stress-free and relaxed driving. No wonder, then, that the spread of electronic assistants is picking up. A Bosch survey found that half of all new cars (52 percent) in Germany have at least one driver assistance system on board. The trend is toward consolidating multiple assistance functions on one sensor, as demonstrated by car exit warning, a new function developed by Bosch.

Radar offers a constant over-the-shoulder view

Bosch’s rear mid-range radar sensors, which monitor lane changes on the freeway, can also keep city drivers from making a dangerous mistake: after parallel parking at the curb, drivers often get out of their cars right away – without looking over their shoulder. This has led to countless cyclists getting painfully up close and personal with car doors as they are knocked unceremoniously to the pavement. But Bosch’s car exit warning can help. It is active for all car doors and warns the occupants – even several minutes after the ignition has been turned off – before they carelessly get out of the vehicle. Mounted to the left and right of the rear of the car, the Bosch sensors monitor traffic. Within a 20-meter radius, the sensors can detect other road users who are approaching from the rear, or who are already to the side or rear of the car, and promptly warn the driver before they open their door.

 

(Source: Bosch Media)