According to the United Nations, worldwide nearly 1.3 million lives are lost in traffic accidents each year and this number could rise to nearly 1.9 million in the next 10 years. Furthermore, estimates show that nearly 90 percent of all crashes are caused by driver error, making advanced safety systems an important focus for automakers and governing agencies. Bosch offers active and passive safety technologies, as well as driver assistance functions that can help reduce the number of accidents and save lives.
Bosch’s driver assistance systems help drivers avoid accidents by using intelligent sensors to detect critical situations. Following are several key driver assistance technologies.
- Predictive Emergency Braking System (PEBS) – Bosch’s PEBS is based on the networking of a radar sensor with Electronic Stability Control (ESC). It can assist in reducing rear-end crashes through its three-stage approach, thus offering drivers advanced warning for improved braking reaction time in critical situations, and assistance in avoiding crashes or reducing the risk of injury in crashes that are unavoidable.
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) – This system reduces driver stress by automatically controlling the vehicle’s speed and maintaining a predefined minimum distance to the preceding vehicle using a radar sensor. Standard ACC can be activated from speeds of around 20 mph and up and supports the driver primarily on the freeways and long hauls. ACC Stop and Go controls the speed and distance to the preceding vehicle down to vehicle standstill, supporting the driver in heavy traffic situations.
- Mid-Range Radar Sensor (MRR) – The new Bosch MRR sensor supports functions such as ACC and PEBS. Working the same way as the existing long-range radar sensor (LRR3) in the 77 GHz frequency band, it records the distance and position of obstacles with precision and at far less cost. This sensor also can be used in the rear of the vehicle to support functions such as blind spot detection, cross traffic alert and lane change assist.
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW) – Bosch’s LDW uses a video camera to detect lane markings ahead of the vehicle and monitor the vehicle’s position in its lane. When the function detects that the vehicle is about to unintentionally leave the lane, it warns the driver through a visual, audible and/or haptic signal (i.e., steering wheel vibration). The function does not issue a warning when the driver activates the turn signal to change lanes intentionally.
- Lane Keeping Support – This system can actively help the driver remain in the marked lane by using a video camera to detect if the vehicle is getting too close to the side of the lane and then taking action to correct the vehicle’s position. When connected with electric power steering, the system will provide a gentle, but noticeable steering torque to prompt the driver to keep the vehicle in the lane. For vehicles without electric power steering, lane keeping support is achieved by applying braking torque to individual wheels. The driver remains responsible for control of the vehicle and can override the system at any time. When the driver activates the turn signal to intentionally change lanes, the function does not intervene.
- Driver Drowsiness Detection – Driver Drowsiness Detection identifies when a driver is at risk of falling asleep and sends a warning to remind the driver of the danger of driving while tired, thus assisting in averting a potential crash. The system operates by analyzing the driver’s steering behavior using data collected from a steering angle sensor or electric power steering system. It identifies “deadbands,” or phases where the driver does not steer for a brief period and then makes an abrupt steering correction. The system combines the frequency and strength of these reactions with other data, such as vehicle speed and time of day, to calculate a tiredness index. If this index exceeds a specific value, an audible, visual (i.e., flashing coffee cup) or other alert mechanism can warn the driver that they are tiring and at risk of falling asleep at the wheel.