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More electronics, more functions, more software: the car is turning into a smartphone on wheels. Keeping vehicle software up to date is thus becoming increasingly important. New functions can provide extra convenience, even after the vehicle has been bought. Over-the-air software updates will therefore soon be a standard feature. Today’s vehicles feature as many as 100 control units.
Even compact cars have between 30 and 50. Their software governs nearly every function in the vehicle. In addition, more and more vehicles are now connected – with the internet, other cars, and the infrastructure. This means a greater risk of weak links in vehicle software, as well as of manipulation. In this context, software updates over the cloud offer a solution that keeps cars constantly up to date, and thus also secure. “Cars are driven for 15 years or more. Over-the-air software updates are Bosch’s contribution to keeping vehicle software constantly up to date, without having to visit the repair shop,” Heyn says. In addition, the cloud updates mean that ever more functions can be added, with ever greater scope. If the necessary hardware is already installed, a new software function can be tried out and subsequently downloaded. In this way, lane-keeping or park-assist functions can be added, for example. And it is not just drivers that benefit from over-the-air software updates: in 2015, 15 percent of recalls in the automotive industry in the U.S. had to do with software errors. Four years previously, this figure was only 5 percent, according to a U.S. study based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). “For automakers and their customers alike, such repair-shop visits are a huge waste of time and money, and online updates can significantly reduce this,” Heyn says.
Secure, fast, and simple – that’s how over-the-air software updates work. On the driver’s smartphone or the car’s infotainment system, the online security updates are started and any new functions that need to be downloaded are selected. This information is sent to the cloud, which acts like a kind of app store, holding the updates in readiness and starting the process of downloading software to the vehicle. The data can either be downloaded in the background while the car is moving, or overnight when it is parked in its garage. As soon as the vehicle is in secure condition (once it has parked, for example), the software updates are installed on the appropriate control units, where they are immediately activated.
Security and the smooth interaction of automotive electronics, cloud, and software are decisive for over-the-air updates. Data security is ensured by the latest encryption technologies developed at the Bosch subsidiary Escrypt. A complex security architecture with end-to-end encryption protects the data transmission against unauthorized access. At the car-cloud interfaces, secure protocols and filters act like a firewall to ward off any hacking attempts. To ensure that over-the air software updates are not just secure, but also fast and reliable, Bosch uses fast update technologies such as delta and compression mechanisms. These accelerate the update process and reduce cost, since the data volume for the transmission remains low. One further security measure is to transmit the updates in sequences. If problems occur, the update process can be stopped and adjusted. The technology at the heart of these over-the air updates is the Bosch Automotive Cloud Suite. Its software elements enable all functions needed for over-the-air updates – by drivers, automakers, and even by vehicles themselves.
(Source: Bosch Media)
Another narrow escape: a cyclist appears as if out of nowhere and suddenly crosses the road. Distracted by the search for somewhere to park, the driver is powerless to avert what appears to be an inevitable disaster. Yet Bosch’s new emergency braking system with cyclist detection prevents any serious consequences, automatically bringing the car to a full stop from 40 kph. Everyone makes it through the incident, shaken but unharmed. As soon as the emergency braking system’s radar or video sensor detects an imminent collision, the Bosch iBooster initiates full braking in just 190 milliseconds – less time than it takes to blink twice. “Driver assistance systems are the next step along the path toward accident-free driving,” says Bosch board of management member Dr. Dirk Hoheisel. “These electronic assistants are always vigilant and, in emergencies, they respond more quickly than people can. They provide support just where drivers need it – in busy city traffic.” Emergency braking systems are one of the most useful assistance systems, particularly when it comes to responding to cyclists and pedestrians, the most vulnerable of road users.
In Germany, bicycles are involved in one-fourth of all accidents resulting in personal injury. According to the German Federal Statistics Office, 393 people were killed in such accidents in 2016 alone – roughly 12 percent of the country’s total road fatalities. Some two-thirds of these accidents involve a car. Equipping every car in Germany with an emergency braking system that can detect cyclists would prevent almost half (43 percent) the bicycle/motor vehicle accidents that result in personal injury, or at least mitigate their severity. “An emergency braking assistant may reduce braking distance by the few crucial centimeters that can mean the difference between life and death,” says Gerhard Steiger, president of Bosch’s Chassis Systems Control division. The European New Car Assessment Program, or Euro NCAP, has also recognized the importance of emergency braking systems for road safety. Starting in 2018, the consumer protection association’s star rating system will include emergency braking with cyclist detection. Emergency braking systems with pedestrian detection have been part of the rating system since 2016.
In light of rising volumes of road traffic, driver assistance systems offer the full package – and hold the key to increased road safety. They keep cars in their lanes, warn of obstacles in the blind spot when changing lanes, provide support for pulling into and out of parking spots, and help maintain following distance, to name just a few examples. Bosch is constantly honing the technology behind these driver assistance systems: sensors supply increasingly precise images of the car’s surroundings, and their interaction with actuators, such as braking and steering, is steadily becoming faster and more efficient. In this way, driver assistance systems are not only preparing the path toward automated driving, but are already delivering stress-free and relaxed driving. No wonder, then, that the spread of electronic assistants is picking up. A Bosch survey found that half of all new cars (52 percent) in Germany have at least one driver assistance system on board. The trend is toward consolidating multiple assistance functions on one sensor, as demonstrated by car exit warning, a new function developed by Bosch.
Bosch’s rear mid-range radar sensors, which monitor lane changes on the freeway, can also keep city drivers from making a dangerous mistake: after parallel parking at the curb, drivers often get out of their cars right away – without looking over their shoulder. This has led to countless cyclists getting painfully up close and personal with car doors as they are knocked unceremoniously to the pavement. But Bosch’s car exit warning can help. It is active for all car doors and warns the occupants – even several minutes after the ignition has been turned off – before they carelessly get out of the vehicle. Mounted to the left and right of the rear of the car, the Bosch sensors monitor traffic. Within a 20-meter radius, the sensors can detect other road users who are approaching from the rear, or who are already to the side or rear of the car, and promptly warn the driver before they open their door.
(Source: Bosch Media)
In 1927, the Bosch servo brake ensured significantly reduced braking distances
A 1936 Bosch patent serves as basis for modern anti-lock braking systems
Since 2014, copper-free brake pads comply with tough environmental regulations
Without any doubts, brakes were the first and the most important one of all vehicle safety components. Already back in the 1920’s, automotive brakes hardly even coped with the engine performance and the weight of the vehicles of the time. The pneumatic servo brake presented by Bosch in 1927 significantly increased the road safety. Thanks to this invention, the braking distance of contemporary commercial vehicles was reduced by one third. One year later, Bosch presented the brake support, a compact brake assistance system for passenger cars. In 1936, even the basis for modern anti-lock braking systems was laid by Bosch engineers when Bosch filed a patent for a “mechanism to prevent locking of the wheels of a motor vehicle”. But only in 1978, the powerful digital technology allowed the series production of an ABS (anti-lock braking system). By now, Bosch developments such as the ABS, the traction control system TCS launched in 1986, which was actually based on the ABS, and the electronic stability program ESP® launched in 1995 have turned into the most important components for safe braking.
Innovative Bosch developments for all brake components
For 90 years, Bosch engineers set new standards making cars safer by means of technical innovations, inventions and patents for brake systems. By now, anti-lock braking systems have become a standard in automotive engineering. The electronic stability program ESP® is a legal requirement in several countries. Besides these electronic systems, Bosch developments have also improved the safe performance of all other braking components over and over again. In 1983, for example, high-carbon-cast brake discs have significantly improved the braking performance of powerful vehicles. Between 2001 and 2012, several innovations also have had an impact on the development of brake calipers. In 2016, Bosch presented the innovative high-performance brake fluids ENV6 and ENV4 ensuring quick reaction and reliable performance of modern brake systems.
Its all about the mixture: new friction formulations for brake pads
By means of innovative production techniques and new material blends, Bosch has managed to make progress in terms of brake pads over and over again. After all, they are to transmit the brake force in a reliable manner thus safely braking the vehicle. With regard to brake-pad development, road traffic regulations differing a lot from one country to another need to be considered as well as speed limits and environmental regulations. Bosch thus produces a lot of different brake pads to meet specific regional requirements which usually exceed the legal requirements by far. In 2010, for example, the US states Washington and California issued laws aiming on reducing the amount of copper used in brake pads. As a consequence, Bosch engineers developed a copper-free brake-pad mixture which was the first copper-free brake pad on the market eight years before the entry into force of the laws. The patent application was first filed in 2014. Even on the EU market, Bosch already offers copper-free brake pads –although they are not yet legally required.
Source: Bosch Press
The current lab test – called the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) – was designed in the 1980s. Due to evolutions in technology and driving conditions, it has become outdated today. The European Union has therefore developed a new test, called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The EU automobile industry welcomes the shift to WLTP and has been contributing actively to the development of this new test cycle.
Good update here: http://wltpfacts.eu/what-is-wltp-how-will-it-work/
Every Tesla vehicle comes standard with full self-driving hardware – enabling the driving experience to be substantially safer than that of a human driver. With their most recent software update, you can now experience our most advanced safety features, including Traffic Aware Cruise Control, Autosteer up to 90mph, Automatic Emergency Braking, and Side-Collision Avoidance.
Automated driving impacts the entire car: its powertrain, brakes, steering, display instruments, navigation, and sensors, as well as connectivity inside and outside the vehicle. The key to success is an in-depth understanding of all vehicle systems. Few automotive suppliers worldwide have as much knowledge in this area as Bosch, in part because the supplier of technology and services manufactures most of the components needed for automated driving listed below:
Connected Horizon: Automated vehicles rely on environmental information – information that goes beyond what sensors can gather. For instance, they need real-time traffic data on congestion and accidents. This can be achieved only by connecting the vehicle to a server, for which Bosch developed its Connected Horizon solution. This system enables a dynamic preview of the upcoming route and corresponding adjustments to driving strategy. Connected Horizon is what allows automated vehicles to think ahead. This is beneficial for the comfort and safety of the driving experience. For instance, connected vehicles are warned in advance of danger spots before a blind bend or hilltop and can ease off the accelerator in preparation.
Electric steering: Fail-safe, electric power steering is a key technology for automated driving. Even in fall-back mode, fail-operational capability allows drivers and automated cars to continue using essential steering functions while maintaining about 50 percent electric steering support in the rare case of a malfunction. This technology will enable automakers to comply with the safety requirements as proposed in the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy documents from the U.S. Department of Transportation and National Traffic Highway Safety Association, for example.
ESP: The electronic stability program also plays a key role when it comes to automated driving. Delegating responsibility for driving to the vehicle places particular demands on safety-critical systems such as the brakes. To retain maximum control over these systems in the event of the failure, redundancy must be built into the system as a safeguard. In this instance, the ESP brake control system and iBooster electromechanical brake booster (see below) can independently brake the vehicle without the driver having to intervene. Bosch offers ESP as a modular concept that offers the right system for all circumstances and requirements.
HMI: Automated driving will change the human-machine interface, and calls for modern concepts for communication between car and driver. The driver must be able to intuitively understand and use the system. With its innovative display instruments, Bosch is already offering promising solutions in this area as well: the TFT instrument cluster, for instance, offers maximum flexibility in processing combined with brilliant clarity. By using head-up displays, Bosch puts information such as speed, navigation prompts, and warnings directly in the driver’s field of view. This information is superimposed on the vehicle’s surroundings in such a way that the two seem to blend seamlessly at a distance of around two meters ahead of the vehicle.
iBooster: With the iBooster, Bosch has developed a vacuum-independent, electromechanical brake booster that meets the requirements for modern braking systems. It can be used in all powertrain concepts and is especially well suited for hybrid and electric vehicles. In the iBooster, the actuation of the brake pedal is recorded by the built-in pedal-travel sensor and transmitted to the control unit. The control unit calculates the triggering signal for the electric motor, which uses a two-stage transmission to convert its torque into the required power assistance. In a standard master cylinder, the power provided by the booster is transformed into hydraulic pressure.
Maps: Without high-resolution, up-to-date maps, there can be no automated driving. The maps provide vehicles with information about changing traffic situations, such as traffic jams or construction, that fall outside the area on-board sensors can monitor. Bosch’s radar and video sensors capture and transmit important real-time traffic data for the creation of high-resolution maps for automated driving.
Lidar sensor: In addition to radar, video, and ultrasonic sensors, Bosch also uses lidar sensors in its automated test vehicles. The various sensor principles complement each other very well and combine data to ensure reliable environment recognition. Automated vehicles use this data to derive their driving strategy. Bosch views lidar sensors as an important addition to its portfolio.
Radar sensor: As one of several sensor principles, radar sensors provide important 360-degree information about their surroundings within a distance of up to 250 meters for automated vehicles. A radar sensor’s main task is to detect objects and to measure their speed and position relative to the movement of the vehicle. Furthermore, Bosch radar sensors send frequency-modulated radar waves measuring between 76 and 77 GHz via a transmitting antenna. These waves are reflected by objects in front of the vehicle. The relative speed and distance of objects are measured using the Doppler effect and the delay generated by the frequency shifts between the emitted and received signal. Comparing the amplitude and phase of the measured radar signals makes it possible to draw a conclusion about the position of the object.
Ultrasonic sensor: Ultrasonic sensors are needed in automated driving, primarily for close-range environment recognition of up to 6 meters and at low speeds, such as during parking. The sensors employ the sonar technique, which bats, for example, also use in navigation. They emit short ultrasound signals that are reflected by obstacles. The echoes are registered by the sensors and analysed by a central control unit.
Video sensor: With a 3D measurement range of over 50 meters, the Bosch stereo video camera provides important optical information about the vehicle’s surroundings. Each of the two highly sensitive image sensors, equipped with colour recognition and complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology, has a resolution of 1280 by 960 megapixels and is capable of processing extreme contrasts. The distance between the optical axes of the two lenses is just 12 centimetres. The stereo video camera captures objects spatially and calculates their distance, plus it identifies clear spaces. The information from the sensor is combined with data from other sensor principles to generate a model of the surroundings for automated vehicles.
Source: Bosch Media, Bosch Pictures
Bosch’s new show car shows how quickly the future of driving is becoming a reality
Stuttgart – My home, my workplace, my car: connectivity is turning cars into a third living space alongside people’s own home and their office. Bosch is showing what that actually means, and what it will be like to drive a car in the future, with its new show car. It offers intuitive operation and is always online, connected with its surroundings, and driving itself. “The connectivity of cars with their surroundings and with the internet is a key challenge for future mobility,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. Automated and connected functions in cars not only make each journey safer and more comfortable, they also turn the car into a truly personal assistant. “In this way, we are making connectivity a personal experience and giving people more time for actual living, even while driving their car,” Hoheisel says.
Intelligent display and user interfaces
More individuality and easier operation become apparent as soon as you get into the show car. The driver monitor camera recognizes the driver and adjusts the steering wheel, mirror, and temperature accordingly. In fact, as if by magic, the car also sets the colour scheme of the display and automatically loads appointments, favourite music, the latest podcasts, and the navigation destination that the driver programmed while still at the kitchen table. The camera is always alert during driving, too, especially when the driver’s eyes get a little heavy. It detects fatigue and microsleep at the wheel, both of which are often the cause of serious accidents. It is usually possible to spot the onset of these early on from movements of the eyelids. The system determines the driver’s ability to concentrate, or degree of tiredness, and issues a warning if necessary. This makes driving even safer. What is more, the driver tiredness detection system constantly monitors the driver’s steering behaviour so it can intervene directly in the event of abrupt movements.
The human machine interface (HMI) turns cars into personal assistants on four wheels. This interface between people and vehicles provides drivers with important information when it is needed and is an attentive alert companion in every situation. In the future, thanks to more personalized communication, automated and connected functions will offer intuitive, comfortable, and safe operation, and drivers will be able to set them to meet their personal requirements – whether in a traffic jam, in urban traffic, or on a family outing. To this end, the show car presents gesture control with haptic feedback. It uses ultrasonic sensors that produce a noticeable resistance whenever the driver performs a gesture in precisely the area that the camera records. This makes gesture control even easier to use and less distracting for drivers, since they can change the information on the display, accept phone calls, or call up a new playlist without touching it. An innovative touch display in the show car also makes it safer and more convenient to use fingertip control. The display provides a haptic response by vibrating each time the driver’s fingertips touch it. This means drivers can sense different structures that feel like real buttons on what is in fact a flat surface. That way, they can easily find the desired function on the display, for instance to adjust the volume of the music, without looking away from the road.
Mobility with smart connectivity: Cars are turning into people’s third living space
The show car also demonstrates how cars are turning into people’s third living space thanks to automation and connectivity. According to Bosch’s “Connected car effect 2025” study, automated driving could enable people who drive a lot to make better use of some 100 hours of their time each year. Once the car detects that automated driving is possible and the driver agrees to hand over control, the car takes over – safely and smoothly. Since the show car is an active part of the internet of things, drivers can carry their digital lives over into their car; perhaps sending e-mails to the office colleagues or video chatting with friends. All this is possible in the time automated driving saves. Flexible display concepts really come into their own here. Drivers can simply gesture to seamlessly switch like magic between various displays of e-mails, chats, videos, and automated and connected functions.
Connected with the smart home, the repair shop, and the whole world
What about planning your evening meal when on the road? Connectivity can help here, too – this time with the smart home. Mykie, the Bosch kitchen assistant, can suggest recipes online in the car. A glance from the car into the connected refrigerator will show whether the necessary ingredients are ready at home. Connectivity between cars and smart homes comes into play even before the journey starts: as soon as drivers enter the car, a display shows them the status of their own home. Has a window still been left open? Is the door locked? It takes just a gesture or a fingertip on the display to automatically lock the doors and monitor the status at home. Moreover, the connected car is also linked to the repair shop. It notifies drivers when an inspection is due, it schedules an appointment at the repair shop upon request, and it can ensure the necessary spare parts are in stock when it gets there. This level of comfort extends to parking: in Bosch’s community-based parking service, cars use the sensors in parking assistants to report available curbside spaces. This information is sent via the cloud to a digital parking map and provided to other vehicles.
Source: Bosch Media
As the use of EVs increases, will the generation systems and the power distribution grid keep up:
Interesting information and a short video here:
It is easy to be carried away with the news about manufacturers cheating emission tests. And anyway, is it such a big surprise really?
None-the-less, car manufacturers have been taking huge steps to improve emissions.
Check out this site for some interesting information: