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Safety to the power of three: Bosch completes sensor portfolio for automated driving

Tim Wieland

Tim Wieland >

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Long-range lidar complements radar and camera

  • Harald Kroeger: “By filling the sensor gap, Bosch is making automated driving a viable possibility in the first place.”
  • Bosch technology covers all use cases of automated driving.
  • Bosch’s long-range lidar sensor will be first solution suitable for automotive use.
Bosch Camera AI Screen

Stuttgart, Germany /Las Vegas, NV, USA – Good things come in threes – and automated driving is no exception. Before safe automated driving can become a reality, a third sensor principle is needed in addition to camera and radar. Consequently, Bosch is making long-range lidar sensors production-ready – the first lidar (light detection and ranging) system that is suitable for automotive use. This laser-based distance measurement technology is indispensable for driving functions at SAE Levels 3 to 5. The new Bosch sensor will cover both long and close ranges – on highways and in the city. By exploiting economies of scale, Bosch wants to reduce the price for the sophisticated technology and render it suitable for the mass market. “By filling the sensor gap, Bosch is making automated driving a viable possibility in the first place,” says Bosch management board member Harald Kroeger.

This laser-based distance measurement technology is indispensable for driving functions at SAE Levels 3 to 5. The new Bosch sensor will cover both long and close ranges – on highways and in the city. By exploiting economies of scale, Bosch wants to reduce the price for the sophisticated technology and render it suitable for the mass market. “By filling the sensor gap, Bosch is making automated driving a viable possibility in the first place,” says Bosch management board member Harald Kroeger.


Bosch technology is alert to all automated driving situations

Only the parallel deployment of three sensor principles ensures that automated driving will offer maximum safety when it is rolled out. This has been confirmed by Bosch analyses, where developers investigated all use cases of automated driving functions – from highway assist to fully automated driving in cities. For example, if a motorcycle approaches an automated vehicle at high speed at a junction, lidar is needed in addition to camera and radar to ensure the reliable sensing of the two-wheeler. In this instance, radar can struggle to detect the bike’s narrow silhouette and plastic fairings. Moreover, a camera can always be dazzled by harsh light falling on it. As such, there is a need for radar, camera, and lidar, with the three technologies complementing each other perfectly and delivering reliable information in every driving situation.


Lidar is an essential element in automated driving

We can think of laser as a third eye: in lidar systems, the sensor emits laser pulses and captures the laser light that is scattered back. The system then calculates distances based on the measured time it takes for the light to bounce back. Lidar offers very high resolution with a long range and a wide field of vision. As a result, the laser-based distance measurement tool can reliably detect even non-metallic objects at a great distance, such as rocks on the road. This means there is plenty of time to initiate driving maneuvers such as braking or swerving. At the same time, using lidar in vehicles exposes the lidar system’s components, such as the detector and the laser, to many stresses – above all, with regard to temperature resistance and reliability over the vehicle’s entire lifetime. Because Bosch can draw on its sensor expertise and systems know-how in the fields of radar and camera technology when developing the lidar, the company can ensure that all three sensor technologies dovetail with each other. “We want to make automated driving safe, convenient, and fascinating. In this way, we will be making a decisive contribution to the mobility of the future,” says Kroeger. Bosch’s long-range lidar will not only fulfill all safety requirements for automated driving, it will also enable automakers to efficiently integrate the technology into a very wide range of vehicle types in the future.


Artificial intelligence is making assistance systems even safer

Bosch is an innovation leader in sensor technology for driver assistance systems and automated driving. The company has been developing and manufacturing millions of ultrasound, radar, and camera sensors in-house for many years now. In 2019, Bosch sales of driver assistance systems rose by 12 percent to around 2 billion euros. These assistance systems are paving the way for automated driving. Recently, Bosch engineers succeeded in taking the camera technology used in cars to a new level by enhancing it with artificial intelligence. The camera technology detects objects, categorizes them into classes such as vehicles, pedestrians, or bicycles, and measures their movement. In congested urban traffic, the camera can also recognize and classify partially obscured or crossing vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists quickly and reliably. This allows the vehicle to trigger a warning or an emergency braking maneuver as required. Bosch engineers are also continuously refining radar technology. The latest generation of Bosch radar sensors is even better at capturing the vehicle’s surroundings – including in bad weather or poor light conditions. Their greater detection range, wide aperture, and high angular separability are the basis for this improved performance.

Bosch at CES 2020:

  • PRESS CONFERENCE: In Ballrooms B, C, and D, Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas, South Convention Center, Level 2, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. local time on Monday, January 6, 2020.
  • BOOTH: Tuesday to Friday, January 7–10, 2020, in the Central Hall, booth #12401
  • FOLLOW the Bosch CES 2020 highlights on Twitter: #BoschCES
  • PANELS WITH BOSCH EXPERTS: Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. (local time), Event entitled “Growth of Apprenticeships for ‘New Collar’ Jobs” with Charlie Ackerman, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Las Vegas, South Convention Center

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse

Having established a regional presence in 1906 in North America, the Bosch Group employs 34,600 associates in more than 100 locations, as of December 31, 2019. In 20189Bosch generated consolidated sales of $14.4 billion in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. For more information, visit www.bosch.us, www.bosch.ca and www.bosch.com.mx

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