Buildings, hedges, or a truck – these objects can quickly obscure drivers’ view, especially at intersections. If a road user is driving carelessly, it is often a matter of milliseconds that decide whether there is a collision or not. However, vehicle connectivity can greatly reduce the number of resulting accidents by promptly providing information that is outside the driver’s and the vehicle’s field of vision. Together with Nokia and Deutsche Telekom, Bosch is developing local cloud solutions for the automotive industry and working on the complete integration of vehicles via the cellular network all the way through to the Bosch IoT Cloud. The companies are employing Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), a cellular network technology that uses a local cloud to aggregate and process latency-critical information and distribute it to drivers. Unlike most clouds, this local cloud is situated directly at a mobile base station near the roadside and not on the internet.
Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH said: “Local clouds are ideally suited to fast vehicle-to-vehicle communication for hazard warnings and for cooperative and coordinated driving maneuvers,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, the responsible board of management member at Robert Bosch GmbH, emphatically. “We at Nokia believe that connected cars and autonomous driving will be a key part of a connected society. We are excited to work with Bosch and Deutsche Telekom to make this a reality using Mobile Edge Computing technology and thereby improving road safety.” adds Adolfo Masini, Head of IoT Connectivity, Nokia.
By 2020, the companies want to jointly drive forward the expansion of cellular technology and corresponding connected driving functions as part of the introduction of the 5G network, with the particular aim of enabling higher levels of automated driving. To this end, vehicles must be capable of communicating both with each other and via a server – in either a central or a local cloud, depending on requirements. The development partnership between Bosch, Nokia, and Deutsche Telekom involved a project team implementing driver assistance functions such as the intersection assistant and the electronic brake light and using them to validate communication via a local cloud in the Bosch proving ground in Boxberg as against a central cloud. For the intersection assistant to work, vehicles must regularly send their location and movement data to the server. This data is compared with that of nearby vehicles in light of the rules governing right of way. If there is danger of an accident occurring, a warning message is displayed in the vehicle that does not have the right of way. Outside of cities in particular, where vehicles travel at higher speeds, there is a definite speed advantage if data takes the short route via the local cloud. Compared to solutions that exchange information via a central cloud, local cloud approaches are at least three times faster, and they have much lower variances in the case of vehicle-to-vehicle latencies under 20 milliseconds. In some situations, this can make the difference as to whether the information reaches the car on time and the driver or the safety function can react quickly enough.