Chipping in: Bosch puts
the “smart” in smart
automated cars

Driving the way people do – only better

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Additional information about Automated Driving

Over the next few years, the vision of accident-free driving will gradually become a reality. With the help of Bosch technology, highly and fully automated vehicles will be driving on country roads, highways, and even in complex urban traffic, with no need for action on the part of a human driver. For all that to work, however, automated vehicles still have to learn one thing, something that people have so far been able to do better: anticipation.

That’s why Bosch is working intensively on equipping automated vehicles with the (artificial) intelligence necessary to drive the way people do – only even more safely and efficiently. The technology already offers many benefits today: unlike human drivers, it never gets tired, always has the vehicle’s complete surroundings in view, and can react much more quickly. Combining these strengths with a sophisticated artificial intelligence solution that can learn to anticipate – that is the key to automated mobility of the future. And it is precisely where Bosch’s special expertise comes to the forefront.

according to US studies up to

39 percent fuel savings

are possible as the result of applied defensive driving strategies

up to

one third

less accidents due to increasing automation*

* in Germany, based on Bosch accident research


95 hours more time

highly automated driving can provide annually for frequent drivers in 2025

up to

80 percent

more vehicles can cross a traffic light-controlled intersection in the same amount of time due to improved traffic flow

Understand, decide, act:
What automated cars have to be able to do

Human drivers don’t simply react to the current traffic situation; they interpret it according to past experience and can often predict what is likely to happen next. This allows them to drive more defensively and prepare for possible changes well in advance.

A highly or fully automated vehicle steers, brakes, and accelerates autonomously. It has a grip on every traffic situation that an excellent driver should be able to handle. To do so, it must have three fundamental capabilities: It must always know precisely where it is and be able to detect and grasp the traffic situation. It must decide in real time which driving strategy is required to respond to the situation and reach its destination safely and efficiently. Third, it must be able to reliably implement decisions pertaining to the driving strategy with the help of the powertrain, steering, and braking systems.

Abundant information for artificial intelligence

For an automated vehicle to have a true grasp of its location, it needs high-tech sensors for detecting all its surroundings plus a detailed digital map for determining its position and navigation. The vehicle’s central intelligence, however, is located in the software – a set of adaptive algorithms on the onboard computer. This software

analyzes and interprets the data supplied by the surround sensors. It can determine, for example, if the object near the car detected by the sensors is a pedestrian or cyclist, which direction it is moving in, and at what speed.

Learning from experience

By observing a large number of objects, the system can ultimately determine the characteristic behavior of each and thus make increasingly accurate predictions – similar to how people learn from experience. As the vehicle’s artificial intelligence improves, it can compute for instance the probability that a pedestrian will cross the road, giving it time to activate the brakes. Because it can swiftly grasp the situation and respond extremely quickly, the system offers a clear advantage over human drivers.

“We are making the car smart. It knows in advance
where it has to go and if there are any hazards en route.”

“We are making the car smart. It knows in advance <br/> where it has to go and if there are any hazards en route.”

Dr. Rolf Bulander

Chairman of the business sector Mobility Solutions at Bosch

Keeping their eyes and ears on the vehicle's surroundings

In contrast to human drivers, sensors maintain a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s surroundings at all times and map them with high accuracy. Automated driving requires a variety of surround sensors, such as radar, ultrasonic, and cameras. This combination of various kinds of data, called sensor data fusion, produces a detailed 3D image of the vehicle environment, including all static and moving objects. It is this image that forms the basis for decisions made by the vehicle intelligence. Bosch manufactures the surround sensors needed for automated driving. Many of these are already installed in mass-produced vehicles, where they are in daily use as part of various driver assistance systems.

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A wide variety of sensors capture the vehicle’s entire surroundings.

Precise sense of orientation:
The car always knows exactly where it is


Precise localization is a basic prerequisite for highly and fully automated driving. To determine its location down to mere centimeters, the car employs high-resolution digital maps that contain far more layers of information than those used by today’s GPS devices. These also help in the planning of individual driving maneuvers, such as when deciding to change lanes. Connectivity with the cloud keeps the map data constantly up to date,

so that even dynamic factors such as traffic jams can be incorporated into the driving strategy.

Bosch has teamed up with TomTom to develop a pioneering solution they are calling “radar road signature.” It uses vehicles’ radar sensors to create key parts of high-resolution maps, literally as the vehicles pass by.

Safety and security first:
Effective solutions for comprehensive vehicle protection


When it comes to automated driving, the concept of protection goes beyond consistently avoiding accidents: automated, connected vehicles also have to be protected against external manipulation. What’s more, there must always be a backup in place in case a safety-critical system fails. Bosch already offers effective solutions for both of these situations.

Protection against hacker attacks

Should a hacker attempt to access an automated vehicle’s systems, Bosch is at the ready with a multi-layer security concept that rules out that possibility. This concept has specific protective measures, not only for the individual ECUs, but also the internal network, electrics, and electronics as well as the interfaces to the internet and the cloud. As a result, even if hackers manage to get past one of the security measures, they cannot take over the entire system.

Redundant systems protect against failures

In highly and certainly in fully automated vehicles, the driver no longer needs to monitor the system. That is why Bosch has devised solutions that protect the automated system from failures. Safety-critical systems such as steering and braking are thus controlled independently of one another. That means if one

system fails, there is always another system independent of the first that, in a critical situation, is capable of assuming its function and bringing the vehicle safely to a stop.

HMI: Turning the automated car into
an inviting haven


When the vehicle is in highly or fully automated mode, the driver becomes a passenger and has time free for work, relaxation, or entertainment. This is particularly easy thanks to Bosch’s innovative HMI (human-machine interface) solutions. For example, this alert companion can select music that suits the driver’s mood, provides all the information needed at the right time, adjusts the climate controls, and is otherwise completely tailored to the driver’s individual needs and preferences. In this way, the automated vehicle becomes a third living space that sees to all the driver’s comforts.

Learn more about Bosch’s innovative HMI solutions