Stuttgart, Germany – Monotonous driving conditions, exhausting journeys, and congestion: many drivers want to be able to do more than stay constantly focused on traffic while they are at the wheel. With increasingly automated driving functions, Bosch is creating the technological foundations that will allow drivers to take their eyes off the road for a short while. This depends crucially on reliable information about the vehicle’s surroundings. Only such information will allow a car to navigate traffic autonomously, safely, and without hassle. Video perception of the vehicle’s surroundings will play an important role in the move from assisted to automated driving and parking. In this context, Bosch not only offers a combined package of hardware and software. Its portfolio now also includes video-perception software as a standalone product. Independently of any hardware, the Bosch software can be used on diverse SoCs (systems on chips). This gives automakers maximum flexibility. At IAA Mobility 2023, Bosch will not only be premiering its standalone video-perception software. It will also be debuting hardware-only camera heads.
Software as the decisive element in automated mobility
Drivers expect their vehicles to be updateable in the same way that their smartphones are. In the future, functions will be downloaded to vehicles like apps, without any need to replace hardware. “The future of mobility is software-defined. We are revamping our driver-assistance portfolio and offering our customers precisely the solution they need,” says Christoph Hartung, president of the Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division, which is also the driving force behind assisted and automated driving at Bosch. In this process, software is becoming the decisive element in the development of automotive electronic systems, and especially of driver assistance systems. Given these changes, Bosch is extending its portfolio for assisted and automated driving and parking. In the future, hardware and software components will also be marketed separately from each other.
“The future of mobility is software-defined. We are revamping our driver-assistance portfolio and offering our customers precisely the solution they need,” says Christoph Hartung, president of the Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division.
Software for video perception
In addition to radar and ultrasonic options, sensors based on video offer a further way of sensing a vehicle’s surroundings in assisted and automated driving. The image data captured by several sensors, such as the new Bosch camera heads, are processed by Bosch software and made available for advanced driver assistance functions relating to driving and parking. This opens up the possibility of functions that can enhance safety. Examples include automatic braking when driving or reversing, convenience functions such as adaptive cruise control, active lane changing, and park assist functions, and automated driving on freeways, extra-urban roads, and city streets. For the detection and classification of objects, the Bosch software relies on AI methods such as deep neural networks. When training these networks, Bosch can draw on databases from around the world, and in this way take account of country-specific and local requirements during development.
From individual component to complete system from a single source
“We can see a trend among customers to no longer opt for the complete package offered by a supplier, but instead to increasingly request individual components that are compatible with rival products. In this context, the call in the industry is for not just hardware to be compatible, but for software to be hardware- and operator-agnostic as well,” says Sven Lanwer, the head of the Driver Experience (ADAS) unit at Bosch.
Bosch has many years of experience in developing complete camera systems for driver assistance, and is also well familiar with the development of application-specific software and with software integration. This combination of hardware and software expertise is one of Bosch’s great strengths. The company will continue to develop new, intelligent sensors with embedded software. Bosch customers will also be able to put together their own individual, modular, and scalable solutions by combining camera heads and the ADAS integration platform, Bosch’s high-performance computer for the ADAS domain.
One-stop shop for hardware and software expertise
Whether sensors, vehicle computers, or software, Bosch develops and manufactures the key components of modern vehicles under one roof. This includes the more than 250 million control units it makes each year, which are also equipped with its own software. But Bosch is also proficient in another field, one that is becoming increasingly important: the integration of software from various sources and from the collaboration of the automotive and IT industries. Bosch also has this integrative expertise.