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Automated driving: Bosch carries out tests on German roads

  • Bosch test vehicle brings highly automated driving to the Autobahn
  • TÜV Süd confirms that comprehensive safety concept is sound
  • Tests in real traffic conditions accelerate the development of functions

Bosch is testing automated driving on German roads. The stated aim is to use everyday driving situations to put these self-steering and self-driving cars to the test and to improve them. In an independent report that praises the safety concept Bosch worked up for the test drives, the German certification organization TÜV Süd is absolutely certain that “nothing now stands in the way of testing these experimental vehicles on public roads.” Wolf-Henning Scheider, the member of the Bosch board of management responsible for this area, underlines the significance of this independent assessment: “We are absolutely committed to the principle of dual control.”

The first stage of development is concerned with automated driving on the Autobahn. With no crossing traffic, no oncoming traffic, and no pedestrians, freeways present the fewest challenges to automated systems. The test car’s maneuvers are dictated by a lane keeping assistant, an adaptive cruise control system, and a lane changing assistant, with the necessary information about the car’s surroundings being collected by Bosch radar and video sensors. Findings from these tests are paving the way for driving functions that are ever more automated, such as a traffic jam pilot that fully automatically assumes control of the car at low speeds. On the way to achieving this goal, the tests are already providing valuable experience that is feeding in to improvements in emergency braking or evasion systems. “The results of these tests are helping to make driving even safer and more relaxed,” Scheider says.

Even though the technology is already in a position to deal with almost any traffic situation that might conceivably be encountered on a freeway, the drivers at the wheel of these test vehicles are nonetheless specially trained. Only associates who have internalized the safety concept and completed a special driving course are allowed to take part in the test drives. One thing they must be able to do is react quickly in potentially critical situations.

A good 5,000 engineers work at Bosch to develop ever more powerful safety and assistance systems which form the foundation for automated driving. The project team responsible is now working to safely integrate these future functions with a car’s sensors, control units, and actuators to form a unified system. They are working toward this aim in two places: in Palo Alto, California, engineers are driving the development of functions, while systems integration is being done in Abstatt, near Stuttgart in Germany.

Additional YouTube link:
Bosch automated driving: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D0ZN2tPihQ

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