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New technologies are improving road safety
While riding a motorcycle with the wind in your hair provides the ultimate sense of freedom, it is also dangerous. Last year, there were 30,000 motorcycle accidents in Germany alone, 600 of which were fatal. The risk of dying in an accident is 18 times higher for motorcyclists than for drivers of passenger cars. The former group is thus the most at risk of all road users.
Bosch aims to make road traffic safer for motorcyclists and car drivers alike. In cooperation with its partners Autotalks, Cohda Wireless, and Ducati, the company is working on connecting motorcycles and cars so that the vehicles can speak to one another. The new technology makes the data sharing between vehicles possible within a radius of several hundred meters. Via “multi-hopping,” data on vehicle type, speed, position, and direction of travel can be transmitted from vehicle to vehicle. As a result, drivers are aware of an oncoming motorcycle long before it appears in their field of vision. This makes improved predictive driving possible. If the system detects a hazardous situation, it warns motorcyclists and car drivers with an acoustic warning as well as a warning signal in the cockpit.
According to Bosch accident researchers, almost one in three motorcycle accidents could be prevented with this technology. “We are creating a digital protective shield for motorcyclists,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the Bosch board of management.
Another Bosch project enhances the company’s commitment to improving road safety: Bosch recently entered a partnership with Sony Semiconductor Solutions with the aim of developing highly innovative video sensors for modern cars. The new camera technology will enable more precise data gathering on a vehicle’s surroundings, even in difficult lighting conditions, for instance when the sun is low. The technology will enhance both driver assistance and automated driving systems.
More information on the major Bosch components for automated driving can be found in this brief glossary.
Find out more about the Bosch commitment to safer roads under Sustainable Development Goal 3 in the Bosch Sustainability Report 2016.
Automated driving is making heavy-duty trucks more efficient and safer
According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study entitled “The era of digitalized trucking: transforming the logistics value chain”, the trucks of the future could be more eco-friendly and more economical as automation gradually progresses.
Bosch solutions are also contributing to this progress, and thus helping make long-haul commercial traffic more sustainable. “Networked and automated commercial vehicles are the future, and we want to make a major contribution to shaping it,” said Dr. Markus Hayn, member of the Bosch board of management, at the 66th IAA Commercial Vehicles, during his presentation of the VisionX concept. Using a 40-ton truck as an example, the concept describes how the truck of the future could look. It will comprise cutting-edge technology and a hybrid drive, and will be partially automated.
VisionX makes platooning possible, meaning that a truck lines up in a convoy the moment it drives on the highway. The trucks are connected to one another, and can thus synchronize their acceleration, braking, and steering behavior. Moreover, via the Bosch IoT cloud, they can share information with each other on routes, traffic, and detours in real time. This makes it possible to reduce down time to a minimum, and to provide early warning of hazards and roadblocks. This, in turn, enables steady driving and helps avoid sudden braking and subsequent acceleration. At the same time, platooning technology makes it possible for trucks to drive up closer to the vehicles ahead, and this reduces aerodynamic drag. In this way, fuel savings of up to 11 percent will be possible in the future. According to the Bosch VisionX concept study, powertrain electrification is also contributing to making trucking more efficient, as it significantly increases the resource efficiency of long-haul travel.
More information on the VisionX concept study can be found here.
At Auto China 2014, Bosch showed why the future of the car is driverless.
Bosch used the international industry event to present its latest developments in the field of automated driving and give visitors an insight into what the future holds for driving. The first highly automated vehicles could go into series production as early as 2020.
“Automated driving can dramatically reduce the number of accidents and thus greatly improve safety on the roads,” says Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Board of Management at Bosch. According to estimates, around 1.2 million people are killed in traffic accidents every year, most of them caused by driver error. With this in mind, more than 5,000 engineers at Bosch are working to develop automated safety and assistance functions. These include the predictive emergency braking system that prevents rear-end collisions at low speeds. The lane-keeping assist system also improves safety by automatically steering in the opposite direction if the vehicle strays too close to the lane markings.
Automatic driving systems also score highly when it comes to cost-effectiveness. Even today, on-board assistants can already assess current traffic situations, avoid jams or construction sites, and thus help to reduce fuel consumption.
However, such highly automated driving systems are just a stepping stone. Bosch is currently working on optimizing and networking various applications. The aim is to have the first self-steering vehicles on the roads by 2030. All the user will need to do is specify the destination the car is to take him to. This is one technological leap forward that has the potential to save lives.