In line with the ultimate aim of eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries, Lexus will next year launch the “Lexus Safety System +” package, a newly-developed set of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions across a wide range of vehicle speeds. While Lexus vehicles already feature a wide range of safety technologies and systems based on the Integrated Safety Management Concept1, this latest package is aimed at further encouraging the uptake of safety technologies and will therefore be rolled out across all Lexus models in Japan, North America and Europe by the end of 2017.

Brussels, Belgium –  ”Lexus Safety System +” integrates several of Lexus’ existing active safety technologies: the Pre-Crash Safety System (PCS) helps prevent and mitigate collisions; Lane Departure Alert (LDA) helps prevent vehicles from departing from their lanes; and Automatic High Beam (AHB) helps ensure optimal forward visibility during night time driving. As part of a multi-faceted approach to active safety, the ”Lexus Safety System +” package combines millimetre-wave radar with a camera, achieving high reliability and performance.

Lexus Safety System +
”Lexus Safety System +” combines Lane Departure Assist (LDA), Adaptive High Beam (AHB), Pre-Crash Safety System (PCS) with a pedestrian detection function, and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Also included will be the newly introduced Road Sign Assist (RSA).

Pre-Crash Safety System with pedestrian detection function (PCS)
This system uses millimetre-wave radar and a camera to detect pedestrians in addition to vehicles. To help prevent or mitigate collisions, the system activates an audio and visual alert in addition to brake assist, followed by automated braking if the driver does not brake in time. Automated braking operates at relative speeds of between 10 to 80 km/h for potential collisions with pedestrians, and can reduce speed by approximately 30 km/h2. For potential collisions with vehicles, the PCS system operates at relative speeds of between 10 km/h and the vehicle’s top speed, reducing speed by approximately 40 km/h3.

”Lexus Safety System +” PCS Capabilities

Hazards detected

Automated braking

operational range

Automated braking speed reduction



Approx. 10 km/h – top speed

Approx. 40 km/h

Millimetre-wave radar and camera


Approx. 10 km/h – 80 km/h

Approx. 30 km/h

Lane Departure Alert (LDA)
LDA uses a camera to detect white and yellow lane markings. If the vehicle starts to deviate from a lane, LDA alerts the driver with an audio-visual alert and steering wheel vibration. Some vehicles are also equipped with Lane Keep Assist (LKA), which controls power steering to make it easier for the driver to remain within lane markings.

Automatic High Beam (AHB)
AHB helps ensure excellent forward visibility during night time driving. It uses a camera to detect the headlights of oncoming vehicles and the tail lights of vehicles ahead, and then automatically switches between high beams and low beams so as not to dazzle other drivers.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
On highways, ACC uses millimetre-wave radar to detect preceding vehicles and determine their speed. It then adjusts vehicle speed (within a set range) to ensure that there is a safe distance between vehicles. By using a forward-facing camera and millimetre-wave radar to monitor vehicles moving into or out of the lane, Adaptive Cruise Control helps maintain smooth acceleration and deceleration while driving.

Road Sign Assist (RSA)
Especially useful when crossing a country boarder, the system uses a camera placed in front of the vehicle to recognise speed limits and road signs and displays them on the meter display.

1 The concept of integrating all of a vehicle’s individual safety technologies and systems to provide a more advanced level of support to drivers in all driving situations.
2 Results achieved during testing using a vehicle travelling at 30 km/h and a stationary vehicle/pedestrian; system operation depends on driving environment (including road and weather conditions) and vehicle circumstances.
3 Results achieved during testing using a vehicle travelling at 40 km/h and a stationary vehicle; system operation depends on driving environment (including road and weather conditions) and vehicle circumstances.

About Lexus

Launched in 1989, Lexus has become renowned throughout the world for its pursuit of perfection, the outstanding quality and sophisticated high-technology content of its products, and for its unique concept of complete customer service. Further reinforcing the traditional Lexus values of unparalleled build quality, interior luxury and state-of-the-art technology, the L-finesse design philosophy represents a highly significant factor in positioning Lexus as a uniquely desirable global brand. Today, Lexus remains the first – and only – premium automotive manufacturer to offer a comprehensive full-hybrid model range comprising the RX 450h, the GS 450h, the LS 600h and the CT 200h. In Europe, models featuring Lexus Hybrid Drive account for 60% of all Lexus sales. Lexus sold 42,637 vehicles in Europe in 2011, an increase of 40% vs 2010.

MRR rear radar sensor


Drivers are taught to assess surrounding traffic before changing lanes by checking their rearview and side mirrors and looking over each shoulder. But even for those who scrupulously follow this sequence of checks, the vehicle’s blind spot – the area alongside and just behind the vehicle – is a constant source of danger and often the cause of serious accidents. Drivers are not able to see into this area using either the rearview or side mirrors, but it is big enough for even a minivan to disappear from view and be missed by a cursory glance over the shoulder before switching lanes. To help minimize this risk, Bosch developed the lane-changing assistant, which receives the information it needs from the new mid-range radar sensor for rear-end applications. “The MMR rear means drivers are effectively looking over their shoulders all the time, because it reliably and accurately recognizes other road users in their vehicle’s blind spot,” says Gerhard Steiger, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division.

Sensors monitor all traffic in the area behind the vehicle

A leading global car manufacturer is currently putting the Bosch system into series production for one of its high-volume mid-sized vehicles. To make changing lanes safer, this European manufacturer has concealed two sensors in the rear bumper – one on the left, one on the right. These two MRR rear sensors monitor the area alongside and behind the car. Powerful control software collates the sensor information to produce a complete picture of all traffic in the area behind the vehicle. Whenever another vehicle approaches at speed from behind or is already present in the blind spot, a signal such as a warning light in the side mirror alerts the driver to the hazard. Should the driver still activate the turn signal with the intention of changing lanes, the lane-changing assistant issues an additional acoustic and/or haptic warning.

The MRR rear system can do much more than just assist with lane-changing, however. These sensors also form part of Bosch’s cross-traffic alert system, which supports drivers reversing out of perpendicular parking spaces when their rear view is obstructed. Able to recognize cars, cyclists, and pedestrians crossing behind the reversing vehicle from the left or right at a distance of up to 50 meters, the system alerts the driver to the imminent danger of collision by issuing a timely audible or visible signal.

Significantly smaller and lighter than a pack of butter

Bosch’s mid-range radar sensor has been a great success. And it is just as effective when facing forward and used to provide information for other driver assistance systems. “Both product versions are based on fourth-generation Bosch radar technology,” Steiger says. The MRR is a bistatic multi-mode radar with four independent receiver channels and digital beam forming (DBF). It operates in the 76-77 GHz frequency band that is standard for automotive radar applications in almost all countries worldwide. Whereas the MMR rear has an aperture angle of up to 150 degrees and a range of up to 90 meters, the forward-facing version looks significantly further: with an aperture angle of up to plus/minus 45 degrees, it can detect objects up to 160 meters away.

Bosch uses the mid-range radar sensor for front-end application to offer solutions such as ACC adaptive cruise control and predictive emergency braking systems, either alone or in parallel. And it so happens that from 2016 onwards, radar- or camera-based predictive emergency braking systems will be a requirement for vehicles hoping to obtain the highest rating in the Euro NCAP test. The Bosch MRR system’s compact design also works in its favor. Significantly smaller and lighter than a 250-gram pack of butter, the radar sensor fits into even the smallest cars. As Gerhard Steiger says: “The Bosch mid-range radar sensor is a customized, cost-effective solution that enables radar sensor technology to be fitted as standard in all vehicle segments.”

(Source: Bosch Media)

ESP mandatory in the EU from November 1, 2014

(Source: Bosch Media)

  • Effective November 1, 2014, ESP will be mandatory for all newly registered passenger cars and light commercial vehicles
  • Since its introduction, ESP has prevented 190,000 accidents and saved more than 6,000 lives across Europe
  • Bosch has manufactured 100 million ESP systems since series production began in 1995
  • While 84 percent of all new vehicles in Europe were equipped with ESP in 2014, the figure for all new vehicles worldwide was only 59 percent

In the European Union, the ESP electronic stability program will soon be a universal standard. Effective November 1, 2014, all newly registered passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of up to 3.5 metric tons must be equipped with the anti-skid system. The regulation will take effect for all other vehicles one year later. “ESP saves lives,” says Gerhard Steiger, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division. An accident research study by Bosch confirms its effectiveness. In 2011, ESP prevented more than 33,000 accidents involving injury and saved more than 1,000 lives in the EU member states (of which there were 25 at the time), even though ESP was only installed in an estimated 40 percent of vehicles. Since being launched in 1995, ESP has prevented 190,000 accidents and saved more than 6,000 lives across Europe.

After the seat belt, ESP is the most important vehicle safety system – it is even more important than the airbag. Bosch has manufactured 100 million ESP systems since series production began in 1995. While 84 percent of all new vehicles in Europe were equipped with the anti-skid system in 2014, the figure for all new vehicles worldwide was only 59 percent. “ESP is an unparalleled success story that we hope to replicate outside Europe as well,” says Gerhard Steiger. According to independent studies, up to 80 percent of skidding accidents on the road could be prevented if all vehicles were equipped with the anti-skid system.

ESP – a true all-rounder that offers a lot of added value
Swerving on dry, wet, muddy, or slippery roads often results in severe traffic accidents. Using smart sensors, ESP compares 25 times per second whether the car is actually moving in the direction that the driver is steering it in. If the measured values do not match, the anti-skid system intervenes and first reduces engine torque. If that is not sufficient, it additionally brakes individual wheels, generating the counterforce needed to keep a vehicle on course. ESP is the logical next step in the further development of the ABS antilock braking system created by Bosch in 1978. Today, ESP is much more than a mere anti-skid system. A number of value-added functions now account for most of its performance, including the ability of ESP to prevent a vehicle from rolling backwards during hill starts. It is also able to stabilize swerving trailers and to reduce the rollover risk of sports utility and light commercial vehicles.

ESP is the basis for many driver assistance systems
The electronic stability program also plays a key role when it comes to many driver assistance systems and automated driving, which is why its development is always ongoing. Bosch offers ESP as a modular concept that offers the right system for all circumstances and requirements, which ranges from the affordable ESP light for entry-level cars in emerging markets and special systems for commercial vehicles all the way to ESP hev regenerative braking systems for hybrid and electric vehicles.

With its customized solutions, Bosch supports the worldwide efforts of manufacturers and governments to make active safety systems standard equipment in every vehicle. Other countries have also begun to recognize that ESP is extremely important for road safety. Since September 2011, ESP has been mandated for all vehicles in the United States and Canada with a gross vehicle weight up to 4.5 metric tons. Australia and Israel have also made ESP mandatory. Similar regulations will take effect in Japan, Korea, Russia, and Turkey in the years ahead.

Additional YouTube-Link:
How does ESP work?

Euro 6 made simple

(Information from Bosch Media)

What is Euro 6?

Euro 6 is a European Union regulation that sets emission standards for vehicles. “Euro 6 will make diesel cars as clean as gasoline cars,” says Dr. Rolf Bulander, the member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH responsible for powertrain technology. The main thrust of the new regulation is to set lower limits for vehicle emissions of particulates and nitrogen oxides. As of September 1, 2014, diesel vehicles may emit no more than 80 mg of nitrogen oxides per kilometre (gasoline vehicles: 60 mg per kilometre). This replaces the previous limit of 180 mg per kilometre. Starting January 1, 2015, all new vehicles sold must meet the Euro 6 limits.


What is the point of European emissions legislation?

Since the Euro 1 regulation was introduced in 1993, emissions from road traffic have been drastically reduced. Advanced automotive technology – as provided by Bosch – reduces emissions of substances such as CO2, nitrogen oxides, and particulates. Technical advances in powertrains are also having an effect: since 1990, particulate emissions from diesel engines have been reduced by around 99 percent, while modern diesels emit some 98 percent less nitrogen oxide than comparable vehicles from the early 1990s. As electrification of the powertrain continues to progress, emissions will fall even further.

Will cars now be more expensive?

Prices for models that comply with Euro 6 are generally in the same range as prices for comparable models that meet Euro 5. Sometimes Euro 6 models come with additional features – a different transmission, say, or different tires – that push up the price. Take away the additional cost of these extras, and there is currently no appreciable increase in the price of Euro 6 models.

How does Euro 6 change the technology of diesel vehicles?

Diesel vehicles need a perfectly tuned exhaust-treatment system in order to meet the lower limits set out in Euro 6. For vehicles weighing up to around 1,700 kilograms, a low-cost NOx storage catalytic converter is sufficient. “In heavy vehicles, only an SCR catalytic converter with AdBlue will do,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, president of the Diesel Systems division at Robert Bosch GmbH. This system injects AdBlue, an odourless urea solution, which converts the nitrogen oxides into harmless water vapour and nitrogen. AdBlue is refilled at regular service intervals.

Will my old vehicle still get the same emissions sticker?

The allocation of emissions stickers in Germany is not affected by the switch to Euro 6. Anyone who currently receives a Euro 4 or Euro 5 emissions sticker allowing access to the city centre will keep the sticker after Euro 6 comes into force on January 1, 2015.

What does Euro 6 change for drivers?

For anyone who already has a car, Euro 6 changes nothing in Germany. They can continue to use their vehicle as before. According to the latest information, vehicle taxes for Euro 5 diesel vehicles will not change in Germany. It will also still be possible to drive in low-emission zones. Buyers of new vehicles, however, should be aware of the switch to Euro 6 if they want to have a model equipped with cutting-edge technology.

Further information is available online at

Assessing the condition of a used vehicle

The price you may agree to pay for a used vehicle is dependent on a number of factors, including mileage, colour and condition of the vehicle, promotions currently on offer and the location. This original list price may assist in determining value but it is more common to use a published price guide. Optional equipment does not necessarily increase the used vehicle valuation.

Figure 1 VW Golf

There are a number of steps that you should take to reach a final opinion and therefore a value on a used vehicle:

  1. Documentation
  2. Mileage
  3. Accident damage
  4. Safety
  5. Test drive
  6. Engine
  7. Locks, windows and general controls

Each of these steps involve getting answers to a number of questions. These are presented over the next few screens.

Figure 2 Checking a car means following a number of steps even if it looks good to start with!


  • Can the seller show you the registration document?
  • Is the seller the registered keeper shown on the registration document? If not, why are they selling it for someone else?
  • Does the registration document have a watermark?
  • Are there any spelling mistakes on the registration document?
  • Do the vehicle identification number, engine number and colour match the documentation?
  • Does the registration/number plate match the documentation?
  • Has the vehicle identification number plate been tampered with?
  • Do vehicle identification numbers etched on glass or lights match the vehicle identification number plate and documentation?
  • Are there any sign of scratches on glass to remove etched-in marks?
  • Does the fuel filler look as if it has been forced or replaced?
  • Does the seller have a current annual test inspection certificate?
  • Is the handbook available? Also check service records.

Figure 3 Documentation


  • Does the mileage, age and appearance of the car look consistent?
  • Are there any signs like worn screws to indicate that the instruments might have been tampered with? (Digital odometers can be tampered with electronically so clues like this won’t exist)
  • Check recorded mileage on service records, test certificates and other documents.
  • Does it look consistent with current mileage/condition and increase steadily year on year?
  • Check annual test status and history online if you have access to this facility.

Figure 4 Mileage

Accident Damage

  • Are there any signs of inconsistent gaps between panels or mismatched colours that could be a sign of extensive repairs?
  • Is the paint finish even across the car?
  • Are there any traces of paint spray on handles, window seals or plastic mouldings?
  • Could the car’s colour have been changed? (Look under carpets and in other hidden areas in particular.)
  • Any unusual looking welding under the bonnet or in the boot?

Figure 5 Look for damage


  • Are the tyres in good condition and are the specifications and dimensions correct? Tyres with less than 3mm of tread will have to be replaced soon.
  • Is the spare wheel or tyre inflator/sealant kit in serviceable condition?
  • Are the jack and other tools present?
  • Do all the seatbelts operate correctly? Check there are no cuts or fraying that could affect the way they work.
  • If airbags are fitted, check that warning lights operate as described in the handbook – normally they will come on with the ignition and then go out?
  • Do all lights and windscreen wipers/washers work correctly?

Figure 6 Check for the correct tyres

Figure 7 Make sure the wheels are not damaged

Test Drive

  • Do all warning lights operate normally? Lights will generally come on to test and then go out – unless there’s a fault.
  • Are the brakes effective or does it take a long time or a lot of effort to stop?
  • Is braking even or does the car pull to one side?
  • Are there any unusual noises when you brake?
  • Is the handbrake effective?
  • Can you feel any steering vibration or does the vehicle pull to one side?
  • If ABS is fitted, does the warning light go out after the engine is started?

Figure 8 Headlights

Figure 9 Rear lights


  • Can you hear any abnormal noises when the engine is started from cold?
  • Does the oil warning light go out as soon as the engine starts?
  • Are there any signs of excessive visible exhaust emissions?
    • White water vapour from the exhaust is normal while the engine is cold
    • Blue smoke isn’t normal – it indicates that oil is burning
    • Faint blue smoke from diesels is OK but black smoke is serious
  • Does the clutch operate normally? A noise when you press the pedal or a high biting point could mean that repairs will be required soon.
  • Is the catalytic converter in good condition? Look for a recent emissions test, either alone or as part of an annual test. This will confirm that emissions are within the limits applied to modern cars.
  • Is there sludge on the underside of the oil filler cap? This could indicate poor servicing or predominantly short journey use.
  • Is the oil level correct? Too low shows neglect; too high could be a clue that the engine is using oil but it could just have been over filled in error.
  • Has the cam belt been replaced according to the service schedule?

Figure 10 Engine bay

Figure 11 Oil filler

Figure 12 General check for leaks

Figure 13 Battery

Locks, windows and general controls

  • Do all the locks, including central locking and remote control, work properly?
  • Do all windows, including the sunroof if fitted, open and close normally?
  • Can you see any signs of forced entry, damaged or different locks, suggesting they’ve been replaced?
  • Are all the correct keys available? Check the handbook to see which keys were provided when the car was new. Modern keys are expensive to replace, particularly the coloured ‘master’ key provided by some manufacturers to programme new spare keys to the car.
  • Are locking wheel nuts fitted? Check that the special adapter required is included with the tool kit. Make sure it fits too.
  • Do all the minor controls operate correctly – heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, radio/CD/USB, navigation etc.?

Figure 14 All controls should work

Summary The key to assessing the condition and value of a used vehicle is being thorough and consistent. Work your way through all the steps outlined previously and use a current price guide – but remember that the price guide is just that – a guide! The final value you agree can also be determined by other factors, for example, the value of the new car a customer may be buying from you. Watch this video and see if you can list all the points the technician is checking.

Using jump leads


It is important to check the vehicle handbook before using jump leads. It will include general advice on jump starting but some also include model specific procedures. If this is the case you must follow the manufacturer’s procedure NOT the steps described here.

Figure 3 Jump leads


Jump starting a vehicle is a safe procedure if some simple safety rules are followed (in fact these rules are appropriate for most work in the engine area):

  • Keep metal objects a way; this includes rings, watch straps, tools, etc. Touching a battery post can cause a spark, possibly exploding the battery and releasing acid.
  • Don’t attempt to jump start a battery that is leaking or looks damaged because it could explode.
  • Avoid smoking or naked flames. Batteries give off flammable gases (hydrogen and oxygen) so an explosion could result.
  • Keep your hands well away and avoid loose fitting clothing such as scarves or neckties. When the engine is running these items become trapped in pulleys or belts and serious injury can result.
  • Don’t use damaged jump leads. Broken conductors or damaged clamps can overheat and may cause a fire.

Step by step

Before connecting any leads make sure the vehicles are the same voltage and that they’re parked with their handbrakes on and ignition off. The vehicles must not touch as this can cause a short circuit.

Figure 2 Do not let the vehicle bodies touch


  1. Connect the positive terminal of the donor vehicle’s good battery to the positive terminal of the flat battery using the red lead.
  2. Connect the negative terminal of the good battery to a suitable earthing point on the engine or chassis of the other vehicle using the black lead. This earthing point must be away from the battery and fuel system.
  3. Now wait three or four minutes for the voltages to equalise before starting either engine.
  4. Start the engine of the donor car and allow it to run for a few minutes.
  5. With the donor car engine still running, start the engine of the other car and leave both running at a fast idle for ten minutes.
  6. Do not remove the jump leads while the engines are running. This can cause serious damage to the electronics on either car.
  7. If the jump leads get hot switch off both engines and allow the leads to cool to avoid a possible fire.
  8. Turn off the ignition on both cars and then disconnect the red (positive) lead being careful not to touch the clips against the other lead or the car bodywork. Now disconnect the black lead.
  9. Start the car that had the dead battery using its own battery power.

Note: If the car will not start this could indicate a more serious problem with the starting, charging or ignition system that will need further investigating.

Figure 3 Jump leads correctly connected to the battery

Bosch brings the internet into the car

Twenty years ago, the internet revolutionized computing. Over the next few years, it will revolutionize the car. Bosch is making cars an active part of the internet – and bringing drivers a range of benefits. “A connected car is always going to be a better car,” says Wolf-Henning Scheider, the member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH with responsibility for the Automotive Group. By networking vehicles, Bosch is improving the comfort, safety, and efficiency of tomorrow’s mobility. At the same time, Bosch is bringing the fascination of the digital world onto the streets of the physical world. In this, the company is pursuing three strategic objectives. First, Bosch is making the internet an intuitive in-car experience. Second, Bosch is connecting cars to the internet and creating driver assistance functions with added value. And finally, Bosch is networking cars with traffic infrastructure. “Connectivity is about more than just being able to surf the net on the open road,” says Scheider. Bosch is hard at work on all the necessary technologies and has already brought a selection of solutions to series production. In the future, we will see completely new functions emerge. For instance, in-car augmented reality will connect the virtual world with the physical world. The windshield will become the car’s main display area, bringing all vehicle information as well as data on the surroundings into the driver’s field of vision.

Objective 1: Making the internet part of the car

Connectivity is well on the way to becoming a megatrend in the automotive industry, as digitalization changes the lives of more and more people. And cars themselves will be a factor in how digitalization spreads. This is why Bosch engineers are working on solutions that are both intuitive and sophisticated. One of them is MySpin, a system that integrates iPhones and Android smartphones fully into the vehicle, with the phone’s display appearing on the vehicle’s main display. This makes using apps in the vehicle much easier, safer, and more convenient.

Bosch is also bringing the internet into the car without the help of cell phones. Today’s navigation systems can, for instance, find you a French or Italian restaurant. Future Bosch services will save drivers of electric vehicles the trouble of looking for charge spots by guiding them directly to the nearest available one, as well as letting drivers reserve the nearest parking space and guiding them to it.

Bosch is even connecting the powertrain to the internet. Bosch’s eHorizon system lays the groundwork by bringing together decades of systems competence in powertrains with innovative software programming. “We are bringing the mechatronic world and the digital world together,” says Scheider. Bosch has been offering eHorizon for commercial vehicles since 2012 as a way to smooth journeys out and reduce the amount of unnecessary acceleration and deceleration. For example, when this navigation software sees that the current two-kilometer downhill stretch of road leads to a built-up area, it can tell the vehicle to enter its most fuel-efficient mode or to charge the battery. This helps drivers save up to 15 percent of fuel. In the future, navigation data will be complemented by up-to-the-minute traffic data from the internet, so that vehicles can coast to a halt before they reach a traffic jam. This kind of connected navigation, where vehicles make use of data from the internet, is the future not only for trucks but also for passenger cars.

Objective 2: Making the car part of the internet

But the data highway in cars is no one-way street. Vehicles will not only use information from the internet, they will also provide information to their environment. That’s why Bosch is making vehicles part of the internet. “In connecting vehicles to the cloud, we see data protection as a fundamental requirement. The benefits have to far outweigh the potential risks,” says Scheider. To this end, Bosch subsidiary escrypt is developing security solutions that are tailored specifically to cars, such as standalone encryption.

Vehicles will in the future become sensors in their own right, gathering information about their surroundings and exchanging them with each other or with a server. Known as floating car data, this information is required both for highly dynamic maps and to improve vehicle safety. Whereas the driver sees no more than a bend ahead, the navigation system is already aware that just beyond it is a patch of ice or the tail end of a traffic jam. This means cars or trucks can be stopped from causing a pile-up or plowing into a line of standing traffic; the system can either warn the driver or automatically initiate a braking maneuver. “Connectivity is a building block in automation – and vice versa,” says Scheider.

There are already some applications in which vehicles communicate with the outside world. One example is the eCall, which will be mandatory in the European Union from 2015. When accidents occur, vehicles will automatically call the emergency services, with the call activated by the same sensors that trigger the airbag. This can reduce the time it takes for emergency crews to reach the scene by 50 percent in rural areas and by 40 percent in urban areas. Bosch’s role goes far beyond the technology itself. The company serves as the interface between the accident on the one hand and the emergency services on the other. Bosch associates deal with the emergency calls in an operations center to ensure that information for the emergency services is quick and precise.

Quite apart from improving safety, this approach to collecting vehicle data will also help to save money – especially for companies and fleet operators. With Leaseplan, Bosch is networking vehicles to allow completely new forms of fleet analysis. The company is also driving forward solutions for preventive maintenance. For instance, engine data from diggers or wheeled loaders can be sent to a database, analyzed, and compared with a constantly growing archive of data from similar vehicles under similar stresses. This allows Bosch to predict whether, and more importantly when, an important component will reach its wear limit – so that the component can be replaced in good time. Taking the example of the digger, this would avoid downtime and save lots of money: every hour that this kind of machinery is out of action costs its operator up to 2,000 euros. In the future, this type of functionality could also feature in passenger cars. One application could be a wear indicator for engine parts. This would let drivers replace a damaged part before they suddenly end up stranded at the side of the road.

Objective 3: Making the car part of the internet of things

Connecting the car to the internet is something that goes far beyond even these applications. “Automotive connectivity marks the start of a new era – until now, cars were isolated from their surroundings, but now the two will interact,” says Scheider. An entire metropolis, infrastructure included, could be networked to guarantee optimum mobility. Anyone wanting to travel from downtown to the outskirts could use a train in central districts and then switch to a car-sharing scheme later in the journey. Bosch platforms with service brokering allow public transportation companies, electric car hire companies, and e-bike rental companies to work together to offer an integrated mobility service.

Bosch software platforms already manage the infrastructure for major electromobility trials. One example is Hubject, the roaming system for charge spots, which allows customers to charge their electric car at charge spots belonging to various companies and pay conveniently via their normal electricity bill. But Bosch is also active beyond electromobility. Truck Secure Parking, for instance, is an online booking service for truck parking spaces along freeways. All the spaces feature video surveillance and are networked with a Bosch call center, which guarantees safety for drivers and freight.

Bosch is even working on how to put a whole city onto the internet of things. Bosch digital networking technology has been in operation in Monaco since mid-November 2013. This was the first step in putting into action a cooperation agreement signed by the Principality of Monaco and Bosch in July 2012. The project offers a glimpse of a future in which mobility is the primary focus of the connected city. There is no shortage of suitable applications – directing drivers to the nearest charge spot, booking and paying for parking spaces, switching to e-bikes as traffic dictates – and these developments can been found in all the world’s megacities.

This is why Bosch considers automotive connectivity to be a global market. Customers and car companies around the world are getting to grips with how to network the car. Automated, connected vehicles can for instance improve traffic flow by 80 percent, or guarantee safe, comfortable mobility for older people. What’s more, studies suggest that the number of road traffic fatalities could be reduced by up to 90 percent as vehicles become progressively more automated. In its efforts to connect cars to the internet, Bosch is in close dialogue not just with global automakers but also with innovative companies in other sectors – in Europe, North America, and Asia.

Source: Bosch Press

Eight steps to a more economical car

(Source: Bosch Media)

February marks the start of car buying season – and cost-effective drive systems are an ever more prominent factor in their choices. Modern powertrain technology can cut fuel bills by several hundred euros. Examples include Bosch’s expanded start/ stop function and adaptive cruise control (ACC), which by keeping speeds as constant as possible makes journeys more economical. “Many Bosch innovations help drivers to save fuel – and money – with every mile they drive,” says Stefan Seiberth, president of the Gasoline Systems division of Robert Bosch GmbH. But fuel-efficient functions need not always cost a lot; some technologies – among them the start/stop system – are now standard equipment in many models, while others are popular extras. Let us take the example of automatic transmission: for a long time it was a rule of thumb that automatic transmission increases fuel consumption in real traffic conditions by around a litre per hundred kilometres. But this is not true of Bosch continuously variable transmission (CVT), which actually saves fuel by constantly optimizing engine speed. Here we take a more detailed look at each of the stepping stones to fuel efficiency:

Direct injection – reduces consumption by at least twelve percent
Modern common-rail diesel systems have relied on direct injection for many years. In 2000, this technology revolutionized the image of diesel cars, making them not only economical but also fun to drive. These days, every second new car sold is a diesel. Gasoline direct injection, meanwhile, works with downsizing and turbocharging to reduce fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions by around twelve percent. At the same time, gasoline cars with direct injection are more powerful and hence also more fun to drive.

Continuously variable transmission – reduces consumption by up to seven percent
Driving up a winding mountain road can be a tiresome task. None of the gears seems to be right. Automatic transmissions make this task much easier, taking over the task of shifting and gear selection. Advanced versions already offer up to nine gears for more efficient mobility. Continuously variable transmissions (CVT) even work without any fixed shifting point. The result is a smooth drive at constant traction and engine speed. CVT especially comes into its own in urban stop-and-go traffic. It can reduce fuel consumption by as much as seven percent, since the engine is constantly kept at its most efficient operating point.

Start/ stop – fuel is no longer used at a red light, reducing consumption by at least five percent
Already, every second new vehicle produced in western Europe is equipped with a start/ stop system. In many models – from low-cost compact cars to high-performance premium sedans – this function comes as standard at no extra charge. In the new European driving cycle (NEDC), start/ stop systems reduce fuel consumption, and thus CO2 emissions, by up to five percent. In the NEDC urban cycle, the saving is as much as eight percent. On congested city streets, especially at peak times, the real savings potential is even higher.

Alternative powertrains – CNG cars can pay off from 7,000 km upwards
Compressed natural gas (CNG) powertrains are now a real alternative even in series-produced vehicles. In Germany, they pay off in passenger cars as soon as annual mileage exceeds 7,000 kilometres. This is also because CNG is as much as 50 percent less expensive than gasoline. Compared with a conventional gasoline engine, generating the same power causes 25 percent less CO2 to be emitted. This is due to the chemical properties of this fuel source. The Bosch system can start in CNG mode even when it is cold, which means that customers can practically always drive on more cheaply priced natural gas. Other systems have to use expensive gasoline to warm up in the starting phase.

Electrification – reduces consumption by up to 60 percent
With the strong-hybrid systems currently made by Bosch, drivers can reduce their fuel consumption in the NEDC by 15 to 25 percent. These days, many automakers offer this kind of hybrid vehicle with just a moderate mark-up; in fact sometimes a hybrid costs the same amount as a comparable diesel car. This means hybrids can pay off even in the midsize “Golf” class. Plug-in hybrids currently cost substantially more. But these can reduce energy costs by up to 90 percent, provided users always remember to charge up at the socket. These hybrids are especially suitable in the midsize segment, as electric SUVs, and as sports cars.

Coasting function – stopping the engine while driving reduces consumption by ten percent
Bosch start/ stop coasting lets even vehicles with an internal-combustion engine travel long distances without generating emissions or noise and with little resistance. This innovative technology stops the engine while driving, which means it consumes no fuel. The low-cost coasting function saves up to ten percent of fuel in real driving conditions. The engine is stopped without the driver noticing whenever the vehicle is able to keep its speed up simply by coasting – for instance on a gentle downhill slope. As soon as the driver depresses the accelerator or the brake, the engine starts up again.

Predictive navigation – deliberate coasting on the approach to built-up areas
Bosch predictive navigation ties map data in with the vehicle’s powertrain, allowing drivers to save up to 15 percent of fuel. The engine management system uses the route preview both in its dynamic calculations of how much power the powertrain needs and in its predictive control of the internal-combustion engine or electric motor. For example, when the navigation software sees that the current two-kilometre downhill stretch of road leads to a built-up area, it can tell the vehicle to enter fuel-efficient coasting mode or to generate more power for the electric drive.

Adaptive cruise control – driving at a constant speed reduces consumption by up to five percent
Adaptive cruise control (ACC) makes drivers’ lives easier by keeping to the specified speed, taking account of vehicles in front, and maintaining a safe distance from them. Radar sensors monitor traffic and adjust the speed accordingly. ACC is now available as an extra even in many compact cars.

By maintaining a constant speed and ensuring the engine always operates at the most efficient speed for every situation, the system is able to save up to five percent of fuel in real driving conditions.

The potential fuel savings outlined above relate in each case to the system described. A total saving of over 100 percent is physically impossible.

Gasoline direct injection

End of 2013

As it is almost the end of 2013 and then end of a long term at school/college for many students and teachers, I thought I would do something a bit different!

What we need is a piece of music that summarizes our feelings at this time of year – and helps us to relax. So, choose one of the following songs or lines from a song that sums up your year in education/training – and let me know why.

Alternatively, suggest a track of your own – there is a prize for the best one!

  • Another one bites the dust (Queen)
  • My way – “I did it…” (Frank Sinatra)
  • One piece at a time – “With the help of an adaptor kit” (Johnny Cash)
  • Sixteen tons – “Another year over and deeper in debt” (Tennessee Ernie Ford)
  • Oops I did it again (Britney Spears)
  • Bat out of Hell (Meatloaf)
  • Yesterday – “All my troubles seemed so far away” (The Beatles)
  • Another brick in the wall – “We don’t need no education” (Pink Floyd)

Tom Denton, December 2013