Every Tesla vehicle comes standard with full self-driving hardware – enabling the driving experience to be substantially safer than that of a human driver. With their most recent software update, you can now experience our most advanced safety features, including Traffic Aware Cruise Control, Autosteer up to 90mph, Automatic Emergency Braking, and Side-Collision Avoidance.
Automated driving impacts the entire car: its powertrain, brakes, steering, display instruments, navigation, and sensors, as well as connectivity inside and outside the vehicle. The key to success is an in-depth understanding of all vehicle systems. Few automotive suppliers worldwide have as much knowledge in this area as Bosch, in part because the supplier of technology and services manufactures most of the components needed for automated driving listed below:
Connected Horizon: Automated vehicles rely on environmental information – information that goes beyond what sensors can gather. For instance, they need real-time traffic data on congestion and accidents. This can be achieved only by connecting the vehicle to a server, for which Bosch developed its Connected Horizon solution. This system enables a dynamic preview of the upcoming route and corresponding adjustments to driving strategy. Connected Horizon is what allows automated vehicles to think ahead. This is beneficial for the comfort and safety of the driving experience. For instance, connected vehicles are warned in advance of danger spots before a blind bend or hilltop and can ease off the accelerator in preparation.
Electric steering: Fail-safe, electric power steering is a key technology for automated driving. Even in fall-back mode, fail-operational capability allows drivers and automated cars to continue using essential steering functions while maintaining about 50 percent electric steering support in the rare case of a malfunction. This technology will enable automakers to comply with the safety requirements as proposed in the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy documents from the U.S. Department of Transportation and National Traffic Highway Safety Association, for example.
ESP: The electronic stability program also plays a key role when it comes to automated driving. Delegating responsibility for driving to the vehicle places particular demands on safety-critical systems such as the brakes. To retain maximum control over these systems in the event of the failure, redundancy must be built into the system as a safeguard. In this instance, the ESP brake control system and iBooster electromechanical brake booster (see below) can independently brake the vehicle without the driver having to intervene. Bosch offers ESP as a modular concept that offers the right system for all circumstances and requirements.
HMI: Automated driving will change the human-machine interface, and calls for modern concepts for communication between car and driver. The driver must be able to intuitively understand and use the system. With its innovative display instruments, Bosch is already offering promising solutions in this area as well: the TFT instrument cluster, for instance, offers maximum flexibility in processing combined with brilliant clarity. By using head-up displays, Bosch puts information such as speed, navigation prompts, and warnings directly in the driver’s field of view. This information is superimposed on the vehicle’s surroundings in such a way that the two seem to blend seamlessly at a distance of around two meters ahead of the vehicle.
iBooster: With the iBooster, Bosch has developed a vacuum-independent, electromechanical brake booster that meets the requirements for modern braking systems. It can be used in all powertrain concepts and is especially well suited for hybrid and electric vehicles. In the iBooster, the actuation of the brake pedal is recorded by the built-in pedal-travel sensor and transmitted to the control unit. The control unit calculates the triggering signal for the electric motor, which uses a two-stage transmission to convert its torque into the required power assistance. In a standard master cylinder, the power provided by the booster is transformed into hydraulic pressure.
Maps: Without high-resolution, up-to-date maps, there can be no automated driving. The maps provide vehicles with information about changing traffic situations, such as traffic jams or construction, that fall outside the area on-board sensors can monitor. Bosch’s radar and video sensors capture and transmit important real-time traffic data for the creation of high-resolution maps for automated driving.
Lidar sensor: In addition to radar, video, and ultrasonic sensors, Bosch also uses lidar sensors in its automated test vehicles. The various sensor principles complement each other very well and combine data to ensure reliable environment recognition. Automated vehicles use this data to derive their driving strategy. Bosch views lidar sensors as an important addition to its portfolio.
Radar sensor: As one of several sensor principles, radar sensors provide important 360-degree information about their surroundings within a distance of up to 250 meters for automated vehicles. A radar sensor’s main task is to detect objects and to measure their speed and position relative to the movement of the vehicle. Furthermore, Bosch radar sensors send frequency-modulated radar waves measuring between 76 and 77 GHz via a transmitting antenna. These waves are reflected by objects in front of the vehicle. The relative speed and distance of objects are measured using the Doppler effect and the delay generated by the frequency shifts between the emitted and received signal. Comparing the amplitude and phase of the measured radar signals makes it possible to draw a conclusion about the position of the object.
Ultrasonic sensor: Ultrasonic sensors are needed in automated driving, primarily for close-range environment recognition of up to 6 meters and at low speeds, such as during parking. The sensors employ the sonar technique, which bats, for example, also use in navigation. They emit short ultrasound signals that are reflected by obstacles. The echoes are registered by the sensors and analysed by a central control unit.
Video sensor: With a 3D measurement range of over 50 meters, the Bosch stereo video camera provides important optical information about the vehicle’s surroundings. Each of the two highly sensitive image sensors, equipped with colour recognition and complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology, has a resolution of 1280 by 960 megapixels and is capable of processing extreme contrasts. The distance between the optical axes of the two lenses is just 12 centimetres. The stereo video camera captures objects spatially and calculates their distance, plus it identifies clear spaces. The information from the sensor is combined with data from other sensor principles to generate a model of the surroundings for automated vehicles.
Bosch’s new show car shows how quickly the future of driving is becoming a reality
Connected, automated, and personalized: Bosch has a new take on mobility and is turning the car into people’s third living space
New user interfaces ensure more security, more comfort, and fewer distractions when driving
Cars are becoming personal assistants on four wheels
Stuttgart – My home, my workplace, my car: connectivity is turning cars into a third living space alongside people’s own home and their office. Bosch is showing what that actually means, and what it will be like to drive a car in the future, with its new show car. It offers intuitive operation and is always online, connected with its surroundings, and driving itself. “The connectivity of cars with their surroundings and with the internet is a key challenge for future mobility,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. Automated and connected functions in cars not only make each journey safer and more comfortable, they also turn the car into a truly personal assistant. “In this way, we are making connectivity a personal experience and giving people more time for actual living, even while driving their car,” Hoheisel says.
Intelligent display and user interfaces
More individuality and easier operation become apparent as soon as you get into the show car. The driver monitor camera recognizes the driver and adjusts the steering wheel, mirror, and temperature accordingly. In fact, as if by magic, the car also sets the colour scheme of the display and automatically loads appointments, favourite music, the latest podcasts, and the navigation destination that the driver programmed while still at the kitchen table. The camera is always alert during driving, too, especially when the driver’s eyes get a little heavy. It detects fatigue and microsleep at the wheel, both of which are often the cause of serious accidents. It is usually possible to spot the onset of these early on from movements of the eyelids. The system determines the driver’s ability to concentrate, or degree of tiredness, and issues a warning if necessary. This makes driving even safer. What is more, the driver tiredness detection system constantly monitors the driver’s steering behaviour so it can intervene directly in the event of abrupt movements.
The human machine interface (HMI) turns cars into personal assistants on four wheels. This interface between people and vehicles provides drivers with important information when it is needed and is an attentive alert companion in every situation. In the future, thanks to more personalized communication, automated and connected functions will offer intuitive, comfortable, and safe operation, and drivers will be able to set them to meet their personal requirements – whether in a traffic jam, in urban traffic, or on a family outing. To this end, the show car presents gesture control with haptic feedback. It uses ultrasonic sensors that produce a noticeable resistance whenever the driver performs a gesture in precisely the area that the camera records. This makes gesture control even easier to use and less distracting for drivers, since they can change the information on the display, accept phone calls, or call up a new playlist without touching it. An innovative touch display in the show car also makes it safer and more convenient to use fingertip control. The display provides a haptic response by vibrating each time the driver’s fingertips touch it. This means drivers can sense different structures that feel like real buttons on what is in fact a flat surface. That way, they can easily find the desired function on the display, for instance to adjust the volume of the music, without looking away from the road.
Mobility with smart connectivity: Cars are turning into people’s third living space
The show car also demonstrates how cars are turning into people’s third living space thanks to automation and connectivity. According to Bosch’s “Connected car effect 2025” study, automated driving could enable people who drive a lot to make better use of some 100 hours of their time each year. Once the car detects that automated driving is possible and the driver agrees to hand over control, the car takes over – safely and smoothly. Since the show car is an active part of the internet of things, drivers can carry their digital lives over into their car; perhaps sending e-mails to the office colleagues or video chatting with friends. All this is possible in the time automated driving saves. Flexible display concepts really come into their own here. Drivers can simply gesture to seamlessly switch like magic between various displays of e-mails, chats, videos, and automated and connected functions.
Connected with the smart home, the repair shop, and the whole world
What about planning your evening meal when on the road? Connectivity can help here, too – this time with the smart home. Mykie, the Bosch kitchen assistant, can suggest recipes online in the car. A glance from the car into the connected refrigerator will show whether the necessary ingredients are ready at home. Connectivity between cars and smart homes comes into play even before the journey starts: as soon as drivers enter the car, a display shows them the status of their own home. Has a window still been left open? Is the door locked? It takes just a gesture or a fingertip on the display to automatically lock the doors and monitor the status at home. Moreover, the connected car is also linked to the repair shop. It notifies drivers when an inspection is due, it schedules an appointment at the repair shop upon request, and it can ensure the necessary spare parts are in stock when it gets there. This level of comfort extends to parking: in Bosch’s community-based parking service, cars use the sensors in parking assistants to report available curbside spaces. This information is sent via the cloud to a digital parking map and provided to other vehicles.
When I started driving, cars were generating very little data. They got you from A to B without the addition of gadgets or gizmos. Connected cars as we know them today were certainly not a thing.
Today many vehicles are computers in their own right, connected to the Internet and data is flooding in. In fact, it’s estimated that a single connected car uploads 25GB of data to the cloud per hour.
With a quarter of a billion smart vehicles set to be on the road by 2020, that’s over 6 billion GBs every 60 minutes.
Such vast amounts of data are only going to continue growing in the years to come, putting the automotive industry in a leading position within the Internet of Things (IoT).
But at the same time a growing number of challenges and pressures are becoming apparent – namely the need to process, analyse and store all this new information.
As a result, datacentres are fast becoming the solution to the automotive sector’s rapid data growth, but how exactly are these data halls driving the connected car revolution forward?
From connected cars to autonomous autos
For the past few years, connected cars have been the hype of the sector.
By ‘connected’, we mean vehicles that have access to the internet in some form; cars that are often spotted with sensors that enable machine to machine (M2M) and machine to human (M2H) communication. As already noted, this level of connectivity generates substantial data sets.
The industry is continuing to innovate rapidly, and before connected cars even become commonplace, conversations are shifting to autonomous (or self-driving) vehicles – the futuristic Hollywood vision realised.
Here we’re talking about vehicles that operate without a human driver. While this could well give rise to many transportation efficiencies (reduced driving costs, improved convenience etc.) it will also undoubtedly bring about a more drastic automotive data revolution.
If one connected car today generates 25 GB of data an hour, one autonomous car in the future is likely to generate ten times that information.
On top of all the data a connected car generates, self-driving vehicles will have to be truly intelligent – learning how to their ‘drivers’ like to drive, sensing the physical environment around them, broadcasting location data and interacting with other vehicles and objects to traverse the roads safely.
By producing data on data in this way, autonomous cars will require even quicker analysis and bring entirely new elements of machine learning to the mix.
Which means beyond M2M/M2H communication we must also consider vehicle to vehicle (V2V), vehicle to everything (V2X), vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) vehicle to person (V2P) and vice versa (P2V).
Driving datacentre demand
The resulting complexity and scale of automotive data sets means more and more automotive giants are recognising the need for complex computing to drive their businesses (and vehicles) forward.
HPC – and the datacentre industry as a whole – sits in the driving seat of the intelligent automotive revolution
In turn, this has resulted in an exponential growth in the number of customers from the automotive industry turning to external data centre providers to meet their Big Data and High Performance Computing (HPC) demands.
The need for scalable, secure HPC datacentre solutions is therefore being felt keenly. For many auto-companies, these kind of data hubs are not necessarily those on their doorstep, and IT decision makers are looking to colocation datacentre providers to support their HPC operations, by supplementing compute capacity and improving operational costs.
In order to support the rapid innovation the automotive industry is showing at present, such campuses must present an ‘HPC-ready’ solution – offering the expertise to support the management of information loads as quickly, efficiently and successfully as the automotive experts that have been handling complex vehicle data for decades.
Innovating in Iceland
More often than not, these are remote facilities with the power infrastructure, resiliency levels and computing resources needed to process HPC loads cost-effectively. Moving automotive HPC workloads to campuses with inherent HPC-ready capability gives automotive manufacturers the medium and high power computing density required at significantly lower energy costs.
Ultimately that enables the ability to gain more insight from more data, and moves us closer to the benefits of autonomous driving.
A number of automotive leaders have recognised these benefits, and are already reaping the rewards. One such manufacturer is Volkswagen, which recently announced the migration of one megawatt of compute-intensive data applications to Verne Global’s Icelandic campus in order to support on-going vehicle and automotive tech developments.
Likewise, BMW is a well-established forward-thinker in this area, having run portions of its HPC operations – those responsible for the iconic i-series (i3/i8) vehicles, and for conducting simulations and computer-aided design (CAD) – from the same campus since 2012.
These automotive leaders consider Iceland an optimal location for their HPC clusters – not only for the energy and cost efficiencies it delivers, but the opportunity it allows them to shift their focus from time-intensive management of the technical compute requirements of their day-to-day work to what’s really important: continued automotive innovation.
Even so, wherever automotive data is stored, analysed and understood one thing is for sure: HPC – and the datacentre industry as a whole – sits in the driving seat of the intelligent automotive revolution.
It will advance our understanding of auto-tech, smarten our driving behaviours and ultimately carve a path to the coveted driverless and connected car technologies that will radically change the way we travel into the future.
Intelligent machines powered by artificial intelligence (AI) computers that can learn, reason and interact with people and the surrounding world are no longer science fiction. Thanks to a new computing model called deep learning using powerful graphics processing units (GPUs), AI is transforming industries from consumer cloud services to healthcare to factories and cities.
VisionX concept study provides a glimpse into the future of truck driving
Automated driving in platoons will take the strain off drivers, improve economic efficiency, and make driving safer
Hybridization and connectivity help improve the overall cost picture
Stuttgart/Hannover – At the 66th IAA Commercial Vehicles trade fair, Bosch will be presenting a 40-ton smart device in the form of a truck tractor – all part of its VisionX concept study on the future of commercial vehicles. “Connected, electrified, and automated – that’s the future of trucks. And that’s what Bosch has encapsulated in VisionX,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. One of the many technologies envisaged in VisionX is platooning. Besides making life easier for drivers on long journeys, this also represents a significant safety improvement. What’s more, platooning offers a major boost to transport efficiency.
Platooning: automated slipstream driving on the freeway
In the future, multiple assistance systems will combine with automation to make trucks safer and more reliable – almost as if they were on rails. Vehicles will receive all the data they need in real time from the Bosch IoT Cloud, including information on their route, traffic congestion, detours, and the unloading facilities available at their destination. This lets them avoid downtime. What’s more, some aspects of driving will be taken over by the truck itself. For instance, once it reaches the freeway, it joins a platoon – a kind of freight train composed of trucks. In such a platoon, the truck is one of a number of trucks all following a lead vehicle to which they are electronically connected and linked. With the convoy members accelerating, braking, and steering in sync, automated driving reaches a whole new level, increasing safety and taking the strain off drivers. The driver steers the truck until it receives data identifying a suitable convoy. The same applies when the truck leaves the platoon to exit the freeway; at that point, the driver resumes control to complete the journey in manual or partially automated mode.
„Connected and automated trucks are the future, and we are looking to play a major part in their development.“
Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH
Making life easier for drivers, particularly on long-haul routes
“Once the truck joins a convoy on the freeway, drivers can start planning their next route while still remaining in complete control. They can access all key information on the screens in their cab and take the wheel if they need to,” says Heyn. “Connected and automated trucks are the future, and we are looking to play a major part in their development.”
Boosting efficiency through hybrid technology and convoying
Increasing efficiency still further will continue to be a major focus in the future. That’s why the Bosch VisionX concept study takes the diesel engine – which is particularly economical in the world of heavy goods transport – and combines it with electric motors for auxiliary systems such as the hydraulic pump. Trucks of the future will benefit not only from this hybrid technology, but also from the advantages of convoying, which include improved safety thanks to coordinated braking, accelerating, and steering, as well as a significant economic plus. “In a convoy, you can combine the safety gains of automated driving with the efficiency boost that is so crucial to the commercial vehicle sector,” says Heyn. “Slipstream driving enables fuel savings of up to 10 percent. That’s a strong argument in the commercial vehicle industry.”
VisionX as part of the connected logistics chain
“Perfectly connected like a smart device, the truck of the future will become a key component of international logistics processes,” states Heyn. Bosch’s new systems will make drivers’ lives easier in many ways – from accepting shipping documents and loading the truck, to carrying out automated maneuvers once the truck arrives at its destination. By accessing the Bosch IoT Cloud, hauliers and customers will be able to track where the truck and its cargo are located at any point in time. What’s more, drivers will be able to find and reserve parking spaces along the route, making the journey less stressful.
Innovation is in the details, too
Although a truck’s fuel consumption plays a key role in the total cost of ownership, other factors also play a major part, such as the losses incurred when trucks stand idle. The Bosch VisionX concept study shows how much scope there is for optimizing this situation in the future, too. For example, predictive maintenance can monitor the technical condition of a truck in real time and inform the freight forwarder of any maintenance work or repairs that are due. This is the best way to plan breaks in a truck’s schedule, thus keeping downtime to a minimum and further boosting transport efficiency.
The car: the driver’s truly personal assistant Bosch car-of-the-future will experience a new kind of interaction between humans and technology. The car dashboard and central console have been transformed into an electronic display. The information shown on this giant display changes depending on the vehicle’s current surroundings. If a pedestrian approaches from the right, a lighting sequence is triggered to alert the driver. Drivers’ preferences as well as appointments in their diary are also taken into account. For example, if an appointment is cancelled, the car of the future will automatically indicate the route to the next appointment in the diary. Drivers will be able to activate the autopilot to free up even more time and make their journey more relaxed.
But tomorrow’s connected cars will also be capable of much more. With a connection to the smart home, they will enable household functions such as heating or security systems to be operated at any time. For example, should a courier attempt to deliver a package with no one at home, all it will take is the tap of a finger on the vehicle’s display to allow the courier to deposit the package inside the house and confirm receipt. Interaction with technology really will be able to take such varied forms, and offer such safety and convenience. Connected infotainment will let drivers navigate not just through the traffic but through their whole day. They will be able to use it to access online services and smartphone apps – and they will be able to control it using gestures and speech, just as if they were talking with a passenger. This will turn the car into the driver’s truly personal assistant.
A touchscreen that feels like it has real buttons In advance of the trade show, Bosch has received a CES 2016 Innovation Award in the In-Vehicle Audio/Video category for a new touchscreen. This device can generate different surface textures, allowing elements to be felt on the display. This haptic feedback makes it easier to operate infotainment applications such as navigation, radio, and smartphone functions. Often drivers will not even need to look at the information on the screen to control it – instead, they can keep their eyes on the road. The screen generates the feel of rough, smooth, and patterned surfaces to indicate different buttons and functions; to make a selection, a button needs to be pressed more firmly. What makes this special is that the touchscreen looks no different from an ordinary display – and yet it gives users the impression that they are pressing real buttons.
No need to fear wrong-way drivers: a guardian angel in the cloud Connectivity makes driver information more up to date than ever before. This is particularly important when it comes to wrong-way drivers. In general, it takes several minutes for radio stations to issue warnings over the airwaves, but a third of wrong-way driving incidents finish after just 500 meters. Bosch is currently developing a new cloud-based wrong-way driver alert that will let drivers know of any danger just ten seconds after it arises. As a pure software module, it can be integrated at low cost into smartphone apps such as Bosch’s myDriveAssist or existing infotainment systems. In order to detect wrong-way driving, the cloud-based function compares actual, anonymized vehicle movement on freeways with the permitted direction of travel. If there is a discrepancy, wrong-way drivers are warned of their error in a matter of seconds. At the same time, nearby cars traveling in the opposite direction are alerted to the danger. Starting in 2016, the new function will be available as a cloud service.
The highway pilot will increase road safety from 2020 Highly automated driving will further increase the safety of road traffic. This development will come to freeways in 2020. According to forecasts made by Bosch accident researchers, increasing automation can significantly reduce accident numbers – by up to a third in Germany alone. At CES 2016, Bosch will be showcasing the systems and sensors necessary for automated journeys in another demo vehicle at the Sands Expo. Visitors will also learn how the highway pilot works, a highly automated system that assumes all the driver’s tasks and responsibilities on freeways. This technology is already being tested on public roads. Bosch is testing automated driving on freeways not only in Germany and the United States but now also in Japan.
In the future, cars will also be able to see around bends and be aware of possible danger spots, thanks to a stream of real-time information from the internet on the location of traffic jams, construction sites, and accidents. This data will serve as an electronic “connected horizon” and give cars an even better picture of what lies ahead – further increasing safety and efficiency.
It’s up to cars, not drivers, to find a parking space Every journey ends with parking. To make this job easier, Bosch is developing a new function called automated valet parking. This solution does more than relieve drivers of the task of finding a vacant space in a parking garage: it enables cars to park themselves. Drivers can simply leave the car at the entrance to the parking garage. Using a smartphone app, they then instruct their car to find a space for itself. When ready to leave, they call the car back to the drop-off point in the same way. Fully automated parking relies on smart infrastructure in parking garages plus the vehicle’s on-board sensor systems – and connectivity for both. Sensors in the pavement provide up-to-date information on where free parking spaces are located, so cars know where to go. Bosch is developing not only the fully automated parking function but also all the necessary components in-house
The car of the future is connected. It uses up-to-the-minute information from the internet to get vehicle occupants to their destination even more safely, efficiently, and conveniently. This integration into the internet of things also unlocks a host of vehicle-related services. “Connectivity is clearly revolutionizing the way we drive,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, the Bosch board of management member responsible for this area. “Bosch delivers the necessary hardware and software, and is developing a range of attractive services.” The company’s strategy is opening up business opportunities as well. This is borne out by existing studies on the internet of things, all of which indicate that there is enormous market potential in the mobility sector. Hoheisel goes on to note that “the number of services in particular will rise considerably.” Thanks to its comprehensive systems expertise and product portfolio, Bosch is already in a solid position to tap that potential. The technology company addresses all levels of the IoT with its sensors, IoT software, and a diverse range of services. And this is true not just of Bosch’s mobility business, but of all the company’s other business sectors as well.
A few weeks ago, Bosch premiered a cloud-based alert that warns drivers within ten seconds if there is a wrong-way driver approaching. The warning system, which is scheduled to go into production in 2016, is a connected lifesaver in the true sense of the word. As early as 2012, Bosch began operating an enhanced eCall service and a mobile information service on behalf of several automakers. The service provides accident assistance and also lends support on all other issues. And finally, several fleet operators are already using a connected fleet management solution that Bosch launched in 2014.
Bosch technology puts the car online
To connect the car with the internet, Bosch pursues two main approaches. First, it makes full use of the driver’s smartphone. Using the integrated mySPIN solution, drivers can link their Android and iOS devices to the vehicle’s infotainment system. Selected apps can then be conveniently operated from the vehicle’s central display. This technology has been featured in Jaguar and Land Rover models since 2014. Use of it in Asia is spreading, driven by contracts with two other automakers in China plus an alliance with the Chinese internet company Tencent.
Bosch’s second approach constitutes equipping the vehicle with connectivity hardware in the form of a connectivity control unit, or CCU. The CCU receives and transmits information using a wireless module equipped with a SIM card. It can also determine the vehicle’s position using GPS if desired. Bosch offers devices specifically adapted to cars, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, off-highway vehicles, and even railway freight cars. Just a few weeks ago, for example, Bosch won a contract to optimize the logistics processes of the Swiss rail freight operator SBB Cargo.
Connected to the vehicle’s electrical system via the OBD interface, the CCU is available both as original equipment and as a retrofit solution. This makes it possible for fleet operators to retrofit their existing vehicles as well. The Bosch subsidiary Mobility Media also markets this solution for private users under the name Drivelog Connect. A smartphone connected to the CCU can display vehicle data, offer tips on fuel-efficient driving, and, in the event of a breakdown, immediately contact a towing service and the garage if required.
A connected car drives more proactively than any person
Information on traffic jams, black ice, and wrong-way drivers is available in the cloud. When combined with infrastructure data from parking garages and charge spots, this provides a broader perspective – the “connected horizon”. As Hoheisel puts it: “In the connected vehicle, the driver can see over the top of the next hill, around the next bend, and beyond.” Because future cars will warn drivers in plenty of time about sudden fog or about a line of cars stopped behind the next bend, driving will be safer. Connectivity also enhances vehicle efficiency. For example, precise data about traffic jams and the road ahead makes it possible to optimize charging management in hybrid and electric vehicles along the selected route. And because the car thinks ahead, the diesel particulate filter can be regenerated just before the car exits the freeway, and not in the subsequent stop-and-go traffic. Connectivity improves convenience as well, as it is a prerequisite for automated driving. It is the only way to provide unhurried braking in advance of construction zones, traffic jams, and accident scenes.
Predictive diagnostics cut service times
Along with driving data and information on the vehicle’s surroundings, the connected car also captures data on the operation of individual components. Running this data through sophisticated algorithms permits preventive diagnostics. For example, the data collected from an injection nozzle can be put through distributed algorithms in the cloud and in the vehicle in order to predict the part’s remaining service life. The driver or fleet operator can be notified immediately and an appointment made with the workshop in good time. In this way, it is often possible to avoid expensive repair and down times, especially for large commercial vehicles.
Yet connectivity doesn’t stop at the entrance to the repair shop. Mechanics can use transmitted vehicle data to price spare parts and labor much more quickly. In the future, their repairs will benefit from Bosch augmented reality solutions, which use a tablet computer to provide a sort of X-ray vision. When a mechanic takes the tablet and holds it under the hood, for example, the tablet’s camera image is overlaid with comprehensive additional information and repair instructions for precisely the area being displayed. The mechanic can manipulate the overlaid objects via the touchscreen and call up additional information. This makes poring through service handbooks a thing of the past. A Bosch server provides all the detailed data online.
Bosch and TomTom partner on innovative mapping technology for automated driving
High-precision maps are essential for highly automated driving
Bosch is using TomTom maps in its automated test vehicles
Freeways and freeway-like roads in Germany to be digitized for automated driving by the end of 2015
Maps for highly automated driving have to be accurate to decimeter precision
Collaboration will result in innovative vehicle positioning concepts
The development of automated driving is a puzzle with many pieces. Together with the Dutch map and traffic provider TomTom, Bosch is getting closer to the complete picture. The two companies have agreed to collaborate in the area of maps for highly automated driving. Under this agreement, TomTom is designing the necessary maps, while Bosch, on the basis of its systems engineering work, is defining the specifications these maps have to meet. Even now, the maps are already being used in the automated vehicles Bosch is testing on certain public roads in Germany (A81) and in the United States (I280). Commenting on the importance of this venture, the Bosch board of management member Dr. Dirk Hoheisel says: “Only with high precision maps will automated driving on freeways be possible from 2020.” And Jan Maarten de Vries, Vice President Automotive at TomTom, adds: “By the end of 2015, we want to have new high-precision maps for automated driving for all freeways and freeway-like roads in Germany.” Road coverage will subsequently be extended to the rest of Europe and North America.
Multiple map layers, significantly increased accuracy Maps for highly automated driving and the maps used in current navigation systems differ primarily in two respects. First, accuracy is significantly higher – down to decimeter precision. Second, the map material for highly automated driving consists of multiple layers. The traditional base navigation layer is used to calculate routes from A to B, including the sequence of roads to be driven. The localization layer uses a novel positioning concept providing highly accurate map data, which the automated vehicle uses to accurately calculate its position within a lane. To do this, the vehicle compares its sensed environment with the corresponding information in the localization layer. In this way, the vehicle can accurately define its position relative to the road and its surroundings. On top of the localization layer, the planning layer contains not only attributes such as lane divider types, traffic signs, speed limits, etc., but also 3D information about road geometry, including curves and slopes. With the help of this very detailed lane information, the automated vehicle can decide things such as when and how to change lane.
In highly automated driving, safety and comfort depend crucially on map material that is up to date. For example, up-to-the-minute speed-limit information has to be available instantly. Only then can vehicles select the best proactive driving strategy. In this regard, Bosch and TomTom rely on several elements and services to keep the map data up to date: the TomTom mapping fleet will continue to be regularly on the road, accurately mapping new roads and routes. And to register recent changes on the roads, such as changed lane configurations or new traffic signs, TomTom and Bosch plan to use feedback from fleets of vehicles equipped with the necessary sensors. Information about changed road conditions captured this way will be transferred to a server, verified, and entered in the digital map database. The updated map will then be fed back to the highly automated driving vehicle, enabling it to see effectively beyond its sensors.
Extension of existing, successful partnership For Bosch and TomTom, this collaboration in the area of maps for highly automated driving is an extension of an already existing, successful partnership. For Bosch’s connected horizon, TomTom also provides dynamic map information via their real-time service backend – albeit without any localization layer. In this way, the connected horizon makes it possible to predict the route ahead and adapt driving strategy accordingly. This solution was demonstrated for the first time in 2014, at the IAA Commercial Vehicles trade show in Hanover. The system recognizes potential black spots behind hills, or the start of a traffic jam, at an early stage, and automatically reduces the speed of the vehicle well in good time. This considerably reduces the risk of rear-end collisions. In addition, smoother driving behavior means more comfort for the driver and improved fuel efficiency for the vehicle.