Published on January 8th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Bosch showcasing autonomous car at CES2015
It would seem that autonomous vehicles is becoming a quick trend for CES 2015. With Audi and Mercedes already quick to put their autonomous vehicles on the world stage, we next see Bosch with their own interpretation of the self-driven car. Bosch is mostly known for spark plugs and power tools, but it is heavily invested in the development and production of safety systems for passenger cars.
Bosch manufactures a wide range of radar, video ultrasonic sensors; these are pieced together with a central control unit in order to provide a visual reference for the car in question. The sensors feed information much like our eyes do, but in all directions. The system decides where to go and how quickly or how slowly the car should execute directional changes by assessing the environment around it. Current targeted application is for low speed traffic maneuvering and traffic jams, or for parking.
In Germany alone, up to 72 percent of all rear-end collisions resulting in casualties could be avoided if all cars were fitted with the Bosch predictive emergency braking system. Drivers can also reach their destinations safely and with minimum stress using the Bosch traffic jam assistant. At speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour, the assistant brakes automatically in heavy traffic, accelerates, and keeps the car in its lane.
The introduction of electric power steering systems (and by extension, steer by wire) allows a system to take control of the steering wheel as well- something previously impossible with hydraulic power steering units. But more important than steering systems are braking systems- and Bosch delivers on this front as well. Their proprietary iBooster brake system is designed to work independently of ESP systems, and is up to 3 times quicker and far more progressive in nature. If the system predicts a dangerous situation, the iBooster will kick in to bring the car to a timely stop.
Bosch is to debut the system on a Jeep Cherokee for CES, but they are said to first develop packages for select continental cars during the initial roll-out phase. The ability to retrofit these systems may be very popular amongst consumers- especially those caught in long commutes that require minimal human input, but still need a system to handle low speed manuevering.
To be fair, this isn’t all-new technology. The last variants of the Volvo S80 were equipped with radar based cruise control, City Safety, and Blind Spot Indicator Systems. These worked together to create a close to autonomous driving experience, with the driver needing only to control the steering system. The Volvo could effectively brake and maintain distance to traffic ahead on a whim, while stability control systems would keep the car in line. Bosch’s systems effectively fill in the blanks and tie the components together to a meaningful conclusion.