Sense, Think, Act: ­What automated vehicles need to be capable of

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Infographic automated driving

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Infographic automated driving

In principle, an automated vehicle needs to have the same skills as a human driver – only better. Firstly, it has to be able to perceive and interpret its surroundings (“Sense”). For this, it uses the surround sensors just like humans use their senses. Secondly, it needs to process information received and plan its driving strategy (“Think”). This task is undertaken by the vehicle computer using software and intelligent algorithms. And thirdly, it needs to use its powertrain, steering and braking power to move its wheels in such a way that the planned driving strategy is put into practice (“Act”). To this effect, the wheels of a car are its limbs while the sub-systems for accelerating, steering and braking represent its muscles. Electronic lines are the nerve pathways sending impulses in the form of data to the sub-systems and stimulating action.

With its solutions and expertise in each of these three areas (Sense, Think and Act), Bosch is ideally positioned to gradually revolutionize mobility with automated technology.

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Automated cars perceive and interpret their surroundings

The surround sensors provide all the information used by the automated car for perception of its entire surroundings. In combination with high-resolution digital maps, they also ensure that it always knows its exact position. The sensors also keep a permanent eye on the driver and examine whether he or she is capable of taking control if necessary. Using connected services, the vehicle even knows about road conditions ahead and can adapt its driving behavior accordingly, e.g. in the event of icy conditions. Already today, Bosch has the requisite technologies for perception of the vehicle’s surroundings and has started volume production of many of them in its driver assistance systems.

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Automated vehicles learn and plan ahead

Automated cars decide in real time which driving strategy is the best in order to resolve the current traffic situation and reach their destinations. This task is assumed by the vehicle computer using the interpreted surround sensor data processed by the software. By using artificial intelligence in the software development the vehicle learns to better understand its environment. The software distinguishes between various objects such as pedestrians, cyclists, buildings or other vehicles and familiarizes itself with their respective characteristic behavior. This enables the vehicle to make reliable forecasts and to drive safely and proactively.

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Automated vehicles drive safely to their destinations

The central vehicle computer calculates the values used by the vehicle’s powertrain, braking or steering system to implement individual driving maneuvers such as changing lanes, turning off or driving around bends. What direction needs to be steered in? How much acceleration or braking is necessary? Particularly high demands apply during automated driving for safety-critical systems and components which are designed redundantly for this purpose: If one of the systems is no longer able to fulfill its function, this is assumed by a back-up system. Bosch already avails of redundant system solutions for steering and braking.

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Perfect collaboration – in the car and in development

The complex demands associated with automated driving cannot be managed by a single company. That is why Bosch has concluded strategic partnerships with other companies and initiated numerous pilot and research projects. Such joint commitment covers many areas of automated driving and ranges from the development of innovative camera sensors and connected onboard systems through the generation of detailed , high-resolution digital maps to fully automated driving system for the city.

While some projects are based on technology already available today, such as sensors, others are clearly aligned toward the development of future technologies.

Find out more about the partnerships concluded, the resulting synergies, and how they help to get automated vehicles onto the road safely.

Bosch, Vodafone and Huawei enable smart cars to communicate with each other


Bosch and its partners are testing communication between cars and their surroundings using 5G mobile telephony.

Intelligent mobile telephony can help prevent potentially dangerous driving situations from becoming even more critical. Known as Cellular-V2X (vehicle to everything), the technology makes it possible for a car to communicate with other vehicles and its surroundings through mobile telephony. Since February 2017, Bosch, Vodafone and Huawei have been performing trials of the new, high-performance technology – the first companies in Europe to do so. The A9 freeway in Bavaria is the location for the field tests with the first 5G test modules. Direct communication between vehicles provides information about what is happening in parts of an intersection not visible to the driver, or on the freeway beside or behind the driver’s own car. The new mobile telephony system thus paves the way for automated driving.

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Bosch to acquire stake in map provider HERE

High-definition digital maps are a key requirement for automated driving.

High-definition digital maps are a key requirement for automated driving.

Bosch is acquiring five percent of HERE Technologies, a global provider of digital mapping and location services. This acquisition gives a boost to Bosch’s services business. It also helps HERE take a further step toward its goal of becoming a global provider of data-based real-time location services to customers both inside and outside the automotive industry. Open platforms for all customers will be the focal point of collaboration between Bosch and HERE, both in non-automotive as well as automotive domains, and particularly where increasingly connected and automated mobility is concerned. High-definition maps are a requirement for self-driving cars.

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Bosch works with partner on new camera technology for automated cars

Bosch and Sony collaborate to develop innovative camera sensors.

Bosch and Sony collaborate to develop innovative camera sensors.

Suddenly dazzled, vision restricted: This is something drivers experience regularly when driving on a sunny day when the sun is low in the sky. Briefly driving blind is often also required due to the glare when driving out of a tunnel on a bright day. Changing or poor lighting conditions provide a challenge not only for the human eye, but also for video sensors such as those required for driver assistance systems and automated driving. To make these sensors better, Bosch and Sony Semiconductor Solutions have agreed a cooperation. Together, the two companies aim to develop a highly-innovative camera technology that will enable cars to reliably sense their surroundings even in difficult lighting conditions.

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Bosch launches its automated driving initiative in China

Bosch cooperates with Chinese companies to make automated driving possible in China.

Bosch cooperates with Chinese companies to make automated driving possible in China.

In order to get automated driving off the ground in China, a promising concept is still needed for how to generate high-precision, up-to-the-minute maps. Bosch wants to change this and has signed a collaboration agreement with the Chinese internet group Baidu and the map providers AutoNavi and NavInfo. Together, the four partners are working on a solution that will let them use information collected by Bosch’s radar and video sensors in vehicles to generate and update maps. Automated vehicles will use the data collected by Bosch sensors to determine their own location, which is essential for automated driving. This data will be compatible with the three partners’ map data.

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Bosch and Daimler are working together on a fully-automated, driverless system

Bosch and Daimler bundle their competences to introduce self-driving cars to cities within ten years.

Bosch and Daimler bundle their competences to introduce self-driving cars to cities within ten years.

Bosch and Daimler have agreed to set up a development alliance that aims to make a system for fully-automated and driverless vehicles a reality on city streets by the start of the next decade. The objective is the joint development of software and algorithms for an autonomous driving system. The project will take the comprehensive vehicle expertise of Daimler – the world’s leading premium-class automaker – and combine it with the systems and hardware expertise of Bosch, the world’s biggest automotive supplier. The synergies that arise as a result will be channeled into making this technology ready for production as early as possible.

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