Bosch is ready to make lower cost sensors production ready for automated drive vehicles and that a new long-range lidar (light detection and ranging) sensor will be the first solution 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.