Category Archives: BOSCH

Emergency braking in two blinks of an eye

Emergency braking in two blinks of an eye

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.

 

“Driver assistance systems are always vigilant and, in emergencies, they respond more quickly than people can.”

  Bosch board of management member Dr. Dirk Hoheisel

More protection where most needed

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.

Electronic assistants growing in popularity

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.

Radar offers a constant over-the-shoulder view

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.

No more lost keys

No more lost keys

It’s a scene most of us will be familiar with: in the mad morning rush, the car key is nowhere to be found. And anyone who has ever had both hands full with shopping bags will have wished that an “open sesame” was all it took to open their car door. By turning the smartphone into a car key, Bosch will be putting an end to this irksome hunt for the key. “Perfectly Keyless, our digital vehicle access system, means that drivers will be able to do without traditional car keys. It’s a great example of stress-free connected mobility,” says Harald Kröger, president of the Bosch Automotive Electronics division. As drivers approach their vehicles, their smartphones are identified by the on-board sensors. “Once this identification has happened, the vehicle is unlocked without any need for a physical key. Similarly, no key is needed to start the engine or to lock the car again at the end of a journey,” Kröger says. Vehicle owners can also use an app to give other drivers permission to use their vehicles. In a secure process that is protected against unauthorized access, an additional virtual key will then be sent via the cloud to other smartphones. This will allow the providers of car-sharing services and the operators of vehicle fleets to manage access and keys flexibly.

Perfectly Keyless, our digital vehicle access system, means that drivers will be able to do without traditional car keys. It’s a great example of stress-free connected mobility.”

Harald Kröger, president of the Bosch Automotive Electronics division

A stress-free, keyless journey

Perfectly Keyless is a digital car key. To use it, drivers download an app onto their smartphones, and connect their cars to the app. Once they have done this, the smartphone generates a one-off security key that fits their respective vehicle’s digital lock. Perfectly Keyless uses a wireless connection to the on-board sensors to measure how far away the smartphone is, and to identify the security key. Once the distance between driver and vehicle is less than two meters, the car door is unlocked. Hunting for the car key is no longer necessary. As soon as the vehicle has been unlocked, any predetermined individual settings, such as those for the rear-view mirror and seat position, are activated. And if Perfectly Keyless detects that the smartphone is in the vehicle, a touch of the start-stop button is enough to start the engine. When the driver gets out of the car at the end of the journey, the system continues to keep a virtual eye on the smartphone. Once driver and phone have moved more than two meters away from the car, it is automatically locked securely. The system sends an acknowledgment to the driver’s smartphone.

Individual key management

Car owners can use Perfectly Keyless to make their cars available to others, such as family members and friends. Instead of handing over the key personally, parents can simply use the app to grant their children access to the family car. The system generates a further individual security key, and sends it via the cloud to the smartphone. So that each user’s settings can be personalized, each key is unique. The Perfectly Keyless system also works for entire vehicle fleets. Users can be granted and blocked access digitally, subject to geographical and time limits if so desired. This allows fleet operators such as car hire companies, providers of car-sharing services, and businesses in general to manage their vehicle keys digitally, using an app and the cloud.

Additional questions and answers

For Perfectly Keyless to work, what hardware does my car need to have? 

Automakers will have to install proximity sensors and a control unit as fixed features in their vehicles. These sensors measure how far away the driver’s smartphone is from the car. They also register what direction the driver is approaching from. The control unit administers the digital security key and ensures that smartphone, cloud, and vehicle systems communicate smoothly.

What if a user loses their smartphone?

If the smartphone is lost, and the app with it, the digital key can be deactivated online. This blocks access to the vehicle, both for authorized persons and third parties. A new smartphone can be connected with the vehicle at any time, and a new unique security key generated. In the interim period, the conventional vehicle key will work as usual.

How does Perfectly Keyless differ from the keyless entry systems already in the market?

Today’s keyless entry systems still feature a physical key fitted with a chip, which drivers still have with them in their pocket or handbag. The first app-based digital access systems are now being used by sharing services to cut out the complicated task of keeping track of car keys. To get in or to drive off, users request access by smartphone before each journey. With Perfectly Keyless, simply having a smartphone in one’s pocket is enough. The vehicle access system automatically unlocks the vehicle as soon as the driver and smartphone come close. There is no need for a key, chipcard, or swipe of the smartphone touchscreen.

Which mobile operating systems does Perfectly Keyless work with? 

The systems supports devices using any of the common operating systems.

The Bosch innovations on show at the IAA 2017

The Bosch innovations on show at the IAA 2017

Bosch is working to create technological solutions for a new era in mobility: free of accidents, stress, and emissions. The supplier of technology and services will be presenting its innovations for the mobility of tomorrow at the 67th International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. You can find Bosch at booth A03 in hall 8.

Highlights at the Bosch booth

Automated valet parking: Driverless parking saves time and reduces stress. At the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart, Bosch has joined forces with Daimler to make automated valet parking a reality. Using a smartphone function, drivers can now automatically park their cars in their assigned spots without having to keep an eye on the maneuver. This driverless parking is made possible by the interplay between in-vehicle technology and intelligent parking-garage infrastructure supplied by Bosch. Automated valet parking is an important milestone on the road to autonomous driving.

Over-the-air software updates: Updating software and apps online is second nature to smartphone users. Now, Bosch is doing the same for cars – with over-the-air updates. Vehicle software can be kept up to date and new features added to the car – overnight, encrypted, and protected from unauthorized access. This allows drivers to try out and then activate features such as automated valet parking, community-based parking, and lane-keeping assistants.

Electric axle (e-axle): The e-axle is a compact, cost-optimized solution for electrical powertrains in battery-electric vehicles and hybrids. In this innovation, the electric motor, power electronics, and transmission are integrated in a compact unit which directly drives the vehicle’s axle. This reduces the complexity of the electrical powertrain and, thanks to the system designed by Bosch, could potentially shorten the time taken to develop electric vehicles. There are various e-axle configurations. Its power output can be scaled between 50 and 300 kilowatts, which means the e-axle can be installed in compact cars, SUVs, and even light commercial vehicles. Its high level of efficiency is the result of two factors. First, the continuous improvement of electric motor and power electronics and, second, the reduction of the number of interfaces and components such as high-voltage cables, plugs, and cooling units. In short, the Bosch e-axle means greater range with the same battery capacity. Bosch has developed a flexible approach to e-axle manufacturing that can be implemented worldwide, thus ensuring a reliable supply everywhere.

Additional highlights at the Bosch booth

Leveraging systems and components expertise for accident-free driving

Automated driving: Automated driving makes roads safer. Increasing automation can lower accident rates even further – by up to one-third in Germany alone. Making automated driving reality calls for profound understanding of all vehicle systems. Bosch has this expertise, and manufactures most of the key components itself – including radar, video, and ultrasonic sensors, braking control systems, electrical power-steering units, display instruments, and connectivity solutions inside and outside the vehicle. From the start of the next decade, there is a possibility that highly automated freeway driving (SAE level 3) will be permitted for cars featuring Bosch technology. In addition, Bosch is working with Daimler to make fully automated driving (SAE level 4) and driverless mobility (SAE level 5) possible in towns and cities. Their objectives include the development and start of production of an autonomous driving system for robocabs starting in the early 2020s.

Braking system: Bosch has developed the second generation of its vacuum-independent, electromechanical brake booster. Like the first-generation unit, the iBooster2 meets all the requirements of a cutting-edge braking system. This second-generation brake booster has been designed to be even more compact, and also generates brake pressure even faster. The iBooster is suitable for all powertrains – in particular in hybrid and electric vehicles. In combination with the ESP electronic stability program, the electromechanical brake booster supplies the braking-system redundancy needed for automated driving. If one of the two components fails, the other can safely decelerate and stop the self-driving car – without the driver having to intervene.

Electric steering: One key technology for automated driving is fail-operational, electric power steering. In the rare event of a malfunction, the Bosch system is capable of retaining 50 percent of the electric steering functionality in conventional and autonomous vehicles. Thanks to this technology, automakers can meet fail-operational requirements – some of which have been stipulated in the United States by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation in its Federal Automated Vehicles Policy.

Friction-coefficient map: Surface grip, or friction coefficient, depends on whether the road surface is dry, wet, or icy. Drivers have to modify their driving style to avoid critical situations. Bosch is developing a cloud-based friction-coefficient map that will allow self-driving vehicles to determine how road surface will develop over the course of a journey. The friction-coefficient map uses the sensors of the ESP electronic stability program to collect information on road-surface characteristics. Aided by data from weather stations and road sensors in the infrastructure, the map calculates current friction coefficients and forecasts upcoming ones. This Bosch service then supplies connected vehicles with friction-coefficient maps via the cloud in real time – in turn enhancing the safety and robustness of automated driving functions.

Smarter parking and autonomous parking thanks to connectivity

Finding a parking space: Bosch community-based parking simplifies the search for a suitable space. Using the ultrasonic sensors of their parking assist system, cars identify and measure the gaps between parked cars as they drive past them. This information is transferred in real time to a digital parking-space map, which drivers can use to find the nearest vacant spaces. In cooperation with Mercedes-Benz and other automakers, Bosch is testing this service in cities in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Bosch plans to supplement its community-based parking service with a function that will allow parking fees to be paid digitally.

Gaming app: The Parkineers app is designed to make finding a parking space easier. It is simple for users of this gaming app to share information on parking restrictions, such as resident-only spaces or temporary bans on parking. App users are part of a community: they can make their avatars visible to all, make it clear which areas likely have vacant parking spaces, and digitalize the parking situation in their neighborhood. Parkineers is currently available for iOS and Android users in Germany.

Home Zone park pilot: Stress-free parking in a private garage or an assigned underground parking space: the Home Zone park pilot takes on this recurring maneuver, including the approach (up to 100 meters) to the parking space. All drivers have to do is teach the vehicle the maneuver once in a dummy run, then save it. From then on, their car will park itself independently in the preset parking space, without drivers having to keep an eye on the maneuver. For orientation, the Home Zone park pilot relies on twelve ultrasonic sensors and a stereo video camera, which recognize the objects detected during the dummy run and consequently guide the car safely to its parking space.

More protection for car occupants and cyclists

Occupant protection: Vehicle safety and occupant protection can be further improved by intelligently connecting surround and contact sensors with passive safety systems as well as braking and steering units. If the surround sensors detect a potential collision, the passive safety systems (such as airbags and seat-belt pretensioners) can be deployed more quickly. In addition, the restraining effect of these systems can be tailored precisely to the specific scenario. This helps to mitigate the consequences of an accident.

Cyclist protection: Cyclists and pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users. In the interest of reducing accidents involving cyclists, the radar or video sensor in Bosch’s new automatic emergency-braking system can recognize cyclists – even if they suddenly cut in front of a car. If the system detects an imminent collision, it automatically triggers emergency braking. Ideally, this will mitigate the consequences of an accident – or even prevent it altogether. Starting in 2018, the rating criteria of the consumer-protection organization Euro NCAP will include automatic emergency braking that recognizes cyclists.

Antilock braking system for pedelecs: Bosch is launching the first production-ready antilock braking system for e-bikes – and thus equipping bicycles with automotive technology. The e-bike ABS prevents the front wheel from locking up. This works on all surfaces, which means the e-cyclist can continue steering and stay in control while decelerating to a stop. A further feature prevents the rear wheel from lifting if the rider brakes too hard on a surface with good grip.

New mobility services for stress-free and convenient journeys

Demonstration car for connected mobility services: Bosch’s show car features smart mobility services that will soon make driving less stressful and more convenient. They include community-based parking, preventive vehicle diagnostics, and Perfectly Keyless. The technology at the heart of it all is the Bosch Automotive Cloud Suite. It coordinates the seamless interplay of all mobility services in the cloud.

Perfectly Keyless: Bosch’s Perfectly Keyless turns the smartphone into a car key. Thanks to this new vehicle-access system, drivers can open, start, and lock their vehicle without the bother of searching for keys. The Perfectly Keyless system automatically identifies the unique digital security key on a user’s smartphone. Only when it detects the user is less than two meters away will it unlock the door. Moreover, the vehicle will not start until the access system has located the smartphone inside the vehicle. Car owners can use the app to grant vehicle access to other app users.

Predictive vehicle diagnostics: Nothing is more annoying than when a car breaks down on vacation. During regular drives, predictive diagnosis uses data and information from the cloud to analyze the condition of key components. If the data indicates that components are worn, the driver is notified before a defect occurs and receives a recommendation for the next visit to the repair shop. Predictive diagnostics prevents situations where the car unexpectedly breaks down.

mySPIN smartphone integration: Using a smartphone’s navigation, streaming services, or a calendar even while driving a car or riding a motorcycle? mySPIN, the Bosch integration solution for smartphones, makes all this possible, hands-free. It simply integrates the smartphone and its apps into the vehicle’s infotainment system. It will soon be possible to integrate and display data from the cloud in real time. This data can warn drivers of hazards such as a sudden traffic jam.

Driving app: The new Bosch smartphone driving app offers more convenience and entertainment for drivers whose vehicle is not equipped with a sophisticated infotainment system. The app brings together all the features of an infotainment system, including phone calls, text messaging, navigation, and other assistance innovations. Thanks to integrated voice control, drivers can use the app safely and conveniently.

Retrofit eCall: Starting in 2018, the automatic eCall emergency call system will be standard equipment in all new motor vehicles. Bosch has developed the retrofit eCall solution for vehicles that do not have eCall as a standard feature. Powered by the vehicle’s cigarette lighter, this sensor device uses acceleration sensors and intelligent algorithms to detect whether a vehicle has been involved in an accident. In an emergency, a special smartphone app transmits data to a service center. This allows emergency services to respond even more quickly, thus increasing the chance of saving lives. Available in China, Germany, and the United States, this digital guardian angel has already helped a lot of drivers and passengers who found themselves in precarious situations.

Keep a constant eye on key information thanks to new displays and display systems

The connected show car: Bosch is using its show car to demonstrate how new user interfaces ensure better security, less stress, and fewer distractions when driving. This interface between people and vehicles provides drivers with relevant information as needed, and is an alert companion in every situation. In addition, the show car is always online, and connected to its surroundings as well as the owner’s smart home. This connectivity allows drivers to reserve the nearest e-bike or close the windows at home if it starts to rain – tapping or swiping the screen is all it takes.

Anti-glare instrument cluster: Bosch is launching the world’s first optically bonded instrument cluster featuring full-HD resolution. Its screen reflects more than four times less light, allowing for better resolution from all angles – even in direct sunlight and in the dark. The secret lies in a new manufacturing processes that uses a thin layer of fluid to bond the screen with the glass. Thanks to the high-contrast screen, all information displayed is crystal-clear. This instrument cluster is popular among motorcyclists due to its robustness and enhanced resistance to dust and dirt.

Head units with new technologies: Drivers can use a head unit to manage all information and entertainment in the vehicle. At the IAA 2017, Bosch is presenting head units that – thanks to new processors – are up to five times more powerful and boast up to seven times better graphic performance.

Efficiency in the cockpit: The cockpits of today’s vehicles comprise a whole array of screens, displays, switches, and buttons. Each screen is typically operated by its own control unit. When space becomes scarce in a compact vehicle – or when new vehicle and operating concepts call for all information to be displayed on just one large central screen – it is essential to have maximum functionality and the fewest possible components. This is why Bosch has combined the functions of an instrument cluster with those of an infotainment system, with just one arithmetic logic unit (ALU) controlling all the information from behind the scenes. Owing to this convergence of different display systems, it is becoming easier to provide more functions in the tiniest of spaces. Complexity is also reduced, and there is more freedom to display information on different screens in the cockpit.

Electromobility and combustion engines for better air quality

48-volt drive system for light electric vehicles: Especially for urban mobility, Bosch has developed an integrated 48-volt drive system including motor, control unit, battery, charger, display, and app. Bosch is thus making urban mobility efficient. On top of that, rapid acceleration from a standstill makes for a “wow” factor. Whether two, three, or four wheels, this system is available for all classes of light electric vehicles. As it is made up of off-the-shelf automotive components, manufacturers will have the benefit of production-tested parts and minimal development expense. This gives both established OEMs and new players in the market the opportunity to launch vehicles within 12 to 18 months.

48-volt battery: Along with a boost recuperation machine and a DC-DC converter, the 48-volt battery is the main component in the 48-volt system. This battery stores recovered braking energy, subsequently delivering it to the electric motor and supplying the vehicle’s electrical system. The battery’s low mounting height of just 90 millimeters means there are more placement options – it can go under a seat or the spare-wheel well, for instance. Passive cooling allows for a compact design, helps optimize costs, and, as an additional convenience factor, makes the battery almost silent. Bosch expects the strongest market growth to be in Europe and China. It has already procured a considerable number of production projects in China. The company’s main advantages over its Asian competitors are the calibration engineering it carries out on the spot and its considerable local manufacturing expertise.

Port fuel direct injection: The best of both worlds. With port fuel direct injection, Bosch combines the benefits of gasoline direct injection with those of gasoline port injection. Gasoline port injection’s main strength is low friction losses during part-load operation, while gasoline direct injection exhibits a higher knock limit at nearly full load. Port fuel direct injection blends these two systems to exploit the strengths of each. In practice, the result is better fuel efficiency and lower particulate levels – during both part-load and full-load operation.

Needle-closing control for diesel engines: The new needle-closing control (NCC) technology can precisely measure and control the duration of fuel injection in real driving conditions – accurate to just a few millionths of a second. To achieve this, a sensor is integrated into a solenoid-valve injector and paired with a cutting-edge, intelligent control software application. This establishes a feedback control loop that ensures significantly more precise injection throughout the injector’s service life. Complex injection configurations thus become possible, in turn helping to further reduce vehicle noise, fuel consumption, and emissions in real driving conditions. NCC also opens up new possibilities for online diagnosis of the injection system in the future.

Vehicle control unit (VCU): Modern vehicles have as many as 100 standalone control units. A vehicle control unit, or VCU, can substantially reduce the number of such units. This frees up valuable installation space, reduces vehicle weight, and simplifies communication among control units. Acting as a central computer for the powertrain, the VCU in an electric vehicle coordinates powertrain components such as the inverter and transmission as well as systems that manage the battery and motor. A VCU can even handle specific functions if it is used as a domain computer. Functions might include operational and gear-shift strategies, torque coordination, high-voltage and 48-volt coordination, recharging control, diagnosis, monitoring, thermal management, and much more.

Bosch Start Stop Video 2017

Bosch Start Stop Video 2017

Bosch, Geo++, Mitsubishi Electric and u-blox to establish joint venture Sapcorda Services

Bosch, Geo++, Mitsubishi Electric and u-blox today announced the creation of Sapcorda Services GmbH, a joint venture that will bring high precision GNSS positioning services to mass market applications. The four parties recognized that existing solutions for GNSS positioning services do not meet the needs of emerging high precision GNSS mass markets. As a result, they decided to join forces to facilitate the establishment of a worldwide available and affordable solution for System Integrators, OEMs and receiver manufacturers. Each partner brings its unique expertise to the joint venture Sapcorda Services.

Sapcorda will offer globally available GNSS positioning services via internet and satellite broadcast and will enable accurate GNSS positioning at centimeter level. The services are designed to serve high volume automotive, industrial and consumer markets. The real-time correction data service will be delivered in a public, open format and is not bound to receiver hardware or systems. More information will be made available later this year.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our partners in this joint venture. Together, we want to create a GNSS positioning service that fully supports the requirements for positioning sensors in the automotive sector. Only with built-in safety and the highest levels of precision will we be able to make automated driving reality,” says Jumana Al-Sibai, member of the executive management of the Chassis Systems Control division of the Robert Bosch GmbH.

“Geo++ anticipates defining the future of high precision positioning services with our partners at Bosch, Mitsubishi Electric and u-blox. The combination of the partners´ longstanding leadership in automotive and mass market solutions with Sapcorda’s commitment to push open formats will pave the way for a raft of next generation GNSS applications.” says Gerhard Wübbena founder & president of Geo++.

“Mitsubishi Electric aims to create a border-less global market for high precision positioning systems where receivers will be able to enjoy real-time correction data services potentially interoperable with the Japanese government´s “Centimeter Level Augmentation Service (CLAS)” via the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System. We believe that this venture will accelerate adoption of automated driving and safe driving support.” says Masamitsu Okamura, Executive Officer in charge of Electronic Systems at Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.

“We believe this initiative with Bosch, Geo++ and Mitsubishi Electric to create Sapcorda Services will bring a truly disruptive GNSS service offering to the market. Key characteristics such as security, safety and mass-scalability, coupled with an attractive business model and an open approach – serving all interested GNSS receiver manufacturers alike – will be a game-changer across a large number of established and emerging applications” says Daniel Ammann, Executive VP and co-founder at u-blox.

Getting the Best from your Diagnostic Equipment

Bosch outlines some simple ways to get the best value from your diagnostic equipment.

We all know new features in vehicles are making repairs more complicated, from parking cameras and keyless entry, to broader changes designed to respond to tighter emissions regulations and greater connectivity, all requiring greater levels of expertise. Some vehicles now have more than 100 different Engine Control Units (ECUs) to look after different systems in the car, posing a problem for technicians trying to find and fix faults. Diagnostic equipment can save valuable time, pinpointing faults rather than technicians wasting time diagnosing by substitution. A diagnostic device can also provide proof to the customer that the problem, which brought the vehicle into the workshop, is now solved.

Diagnostic health check

For those who have invested in equipment, it may seem like obvious advice to get the most from it, but some technicians are still not fully aware of the commercial benefits presented by diagnostic equipment. The System Overview, provided by ESI[tronic] 2.0, provides a list of all ECU systems that are communicating in the vehicle, acting as a complete vehicle diagnostic check. This report can be downloaded and given to a customer, demonstrating either what the fault was, or the health of the vehicle once it has been fixed. A diagnostic check may also flag other service requirements which can be dealt with before they become a problem for the vehicle owner, saving time in the long run.

Independent garages and technicians

The new generation of KTS gives workshops access to OEM solutions without the need to be a franchised dealer. PassThru enables a KTS unit to install and update a car’s internal software – typically the realm of a dealer. A garage no longer needs to purchase several OEM PassThru hardware solutions to cover the range of cars that they are likely to work on, putting valuable OEM data into the hands of independent garages and workshops.

“A diagnostic check may also flag other service requirements which can be dealt with before they become a problem for the vehicle owner, saving time in the long run.”

The right information at your fingertips

ESI[tronic] software ensures that information and processes are available and tailored to a specific vehicle type. The system then provides detailed information on vehicles, including menu tabs for ‘Vehicle Info’, ‘Diagnosis’, ‘Troubleshooting’, ‘Maintenance’, ‘Circuit Diagrams’ (depending on the subscription level) and ‘Equipment’ (parts). These guide the user through all the relevant functions and data that Bosch has for that vehicle, allowing a smooth, personalised diagnostic process. Service related and technical information guides you through the diagnostic procedure. However, if the wrong vehicle is selected by mistake and the diagnostic ECU system is not fully identified, then some diagnostic functions may not work properly.

Knowing the vehicle type, drive type, make, model series and engine code can help identify the correct RB code – a unique ‘Robert Bosch’ reference stored within the system to identify vehicles. However, if the device is already plugged into the vehicle, it can identify the VIN details and therefore the vehicle type. The VIN on some vehicles doesn’t contain model-specific information, so the system may require further vehicle specific information to find the RB key and the vehicle-specific guidance.

Keeping KTS up-to-date

One of the best ways to get the most from diagnostic equipment is to keep it up-to-date. Bosch provides routine software updates which need to be uploaded onto the system by a technician or operator. Online updates for ESI[tronic] 2.0 provide new priority systems coverage and enhancements. As well as the online updates, DVDs are sent out by the company, providing further updates to the system. These also need to be loaded onto the system and provide a different type of update to the online options.

On hand to help you out

With new vehicle technology enhancements and vehicles being fitted with advanced electronic systems, Bosch strives to continually improve the KTS tool and the diagnostic functions and technical information within the ESI[tronic] 2.0 software platform.

The Bosch Automotive team employs more than 350 ESI[tronic] software development engineers around the world, working on new diagnostic systems coverage and enhancements for the 180 vehicle brands that are covered by ESI[tronic] 2.0.

The UK-based technical support helpline for technicians using Bosch equipment has two dedicated teams that provide help with hardware or software installation queries and technical vehicle problems that technicians may face. In many cases, a quick call to the technical hotline can give the required solution, but if this doesn’t resolve the issue, then raising it on the manufacturer’s online portal may be the best route to receive the right answers. The portal is a direct link to Bosch’s ESI[tronic] service team who look into the suggestions and requests, and investigate any outstanding errors or faults found with the tool. An ESI ticket must be raised whilst connected to the vehicle, which can then be submitted using the ESI[tronic] system.

The next step

Those purchasing a KTS are offered a free training course within the first three months of purchase, covering the operation of the KTS and ESI[tronic]. Putting the serial number of the product onto the booking form entitles the user to the free session, and will include the basics of operation, as well as how to get the best out of the equipment.

For those looking for a more in depth knowledge of diagnostics, the Bosch Diagnostics Technician Programme is designed to give a thorough and comprehensive grounding in diagnosing faults across a range of systems. Hosted either at the Bosch Service Training Centre or regional venues based around the country, a series of sessions is available for technicians to learn about the latest systems and technologies.

Making cars an oasis of calm

Bosch solicits drivers’ opinions on automated driving

  • Almost two-thirds of drivers would primarily use self-driving cars for long distances.
  • Automated driving technology provides a greater incentive to buy a new car.
  • Drivers would rather be more relaxed behind the wheel and spend their time talking to passengers.

 “Don’t tailgate.” “Don’t drive so fast.” Or: “You could have easily made that light.” Drivers often have to hear sentences like these from their passengers. But soon that could be a thing of the past. Automated driving turns drivers into passengers – and cars into drivers. In the future, cars will independently pilot themselves at the touch of a button whenever drivers want. In doing so, they will obey traffic laws and speed limits, which will make driving safer. Many respondents want a self-driving car to relieve them of their stressful driving duties. Drivers are particularly interested in handing control over to the car during parking or in traffic jams, according to a recent survey on behalf of Bosch in six countries (Brazil, China, Germany, France, Japan, and the U.S.). The majority of the drivers surveyed would use the time during which the car drives itself to look out the window, enjoy the scenery (63 percent), and talk to passengers (61 percent).

More comfort and less stress behind the wheel 

In just a few years’ time, self-driving cars will be a normal sight on roads. Respondents’ main hope is that automated driving will mean more comfort and significantly less stress behind the wheel. The car of the future – which will completely relieve drivers of the need to steer, operate the gas pedal, and brake – is primarily seen as something useful for long distances (67 percent) and leisure travel (61 percent). The majority of those surveyed expect a significant increase in terms of convenience (68 percent) and safety (60 percent) in many everyday situations such as searching for parking in cities. The survey also reveals an interesting ranking of the most desirable automated driving functions: parking was named particularly frequently (65 percent), as were the automated search for parking in downtown areas (60 percent) and stress-free navigation of traffic jams (59 percent).

Using the time as a passenger to relax 

Relax, sit back, look out the window, and enjoy the scenery: this is how the majority of drivers picture the alternative to constant concentration behind the wheel. Of those surveyed, 63 percent said they would like to relax while their car is in self-driving mode. Having more time for conversations and for passengers thanks to automated driving was equally important to respondents. The options offered by automated driving make cars more attractive for many consumers. More than half of the participants (54 percent) in Bosch’s user survey agreed with this statement. Especially for male respondents, new technologies are an important selling point, with 52 percent of the men surveyed saying that self-driving technology would increase their interest in buying a new vehicle. In principle, the younger the driver, the greater their interest in buying a car with automated driving functions.

Survey design and methodology 

For the survey on automated driving, Bosch asked roughly 6,000 licensed drivers in six countries: Brazil, China, Germany, France, Japan, and the U.S. Per country, 1,000 people aged 16 and up took part in the survey. Participants were selected on the basis of criteria defined by Bosch and Lightspeed Research.

Augmented Reality applications allow new working methods for modern and connected workshops

Augmented Reality (AR) applications connect both real and virtual worlds as if it was the most normal thing in the world thus expanding reality by displaying useful and time-saving complementary information. Bosch supports everyday work of mechatronics by means of Augmented Reality solutions easing, for instance, complicated cases of repair. Pointing the device camera onto the vehicle, required additional information can be integrated into the real image using a tablet computer or smart glasses.

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Bosch has already developed an AR application for the vehicle reception, i.e. for the first direct contact with the customer. It provides a quick overview of the customer vehicle’s technical condition. In a neatly arranged manner, the mechatronic’s tablet computer or smart glasses show error codes and other irregularities. This allows him to quickly talk over the results with the customer. In cases of repair, the next step can be guided repair instructions displayed right onto the tablet or smart glasses. As a result, the user receives the required information right where and right when he needs it.

Jürgen Lumera, Augmented Reality expert at Bosch, is convinced that this technology will prevail in automotive workshops: “Augmented Reality provides workshop employees with kind of an x-ray view into the vehicle. Displaying complementary information is the key to an increasingly complex technological world. Providing access to required and up-to-date information whenever needed deepens the product understanding and saves time. For the customers, this results in increased repair quality – for workshops, it quickens the workflow.”

Development platform eases the creation of AR applications

In order to integrate the large diversity of versions and products in modern automotive technology into AR applications at low costs, Bosch developed the Common Augmented Reality Platform (CAP). It accesses the existing database and collects the matching data for the intended Augmented Reality application. Besides information and explanations as texts, videos, pictures, safety notes with audio content, 3D data, circuit diagrams, technical drawings and markers can be integrated as well. The system works in a cross-platform manner and independently from specific tracking or rendering techniques. It can thus be used for all business areas.

Bosch and Baidu sign strategic cooperation framework agreement on joint development of smart mobility in China

Bosch and Baidu are further strengthening their cooperation: on June 1, witnessed by Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the two companies signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement on smart mobility in China. Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, and Lu Qi, Group President, Vice Chairman of the board of directors and Chief Operating Officer at Baidu, attended the ceremony and signed the agreement.

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“China is the biggest automotive market in the world, and also among the leading countries worldwide in the development of the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).”

Bosch board of management member Dr. Dirk Hoheisel

“China is the biggest automotive market in the world, and also among the leading countries worldwide in the development of the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). We are pleased to have the opportunity to cooperate strategically with Baidu in this way. Combining the know-how of a high-tech internet corporation with our expertise as the world’s biggest automotive supplier, the alliance will promote the development of smart mobility in China,” Hoheisel said.

As a cooperation partner, Bosch will be involved in Baidu’s “Apollo” project, which aims to provide open, comprehensive, and reliable software for the development of automated vehicles. Among other things, Bosch will contribute its sensors and the “Bosch Road Signature” for vehicle localization. Moreover, Bosch and Baidu will provide their technical expertise to support the drafting of legislation relating to automated driving in China.

In April 2017, Bosch established partnerships with leading Chinese map providers, including Baidu, to cooperate on HD maps for automated driving, and to jointly introduce the “Bosch Road Signature” as an accurate localization service in China. This service will combine high-definition maps with Bosch’s advanced camera and radar sensors to ensure the stable positioning and localization of automated cars even in adverse weather conditions.

Baidu, the largest Chinese search engine and internet service provider, has built up expertise in many core technologies relating to automated driving, such as environmental perception, behavior prediction, trajectory planning, smart connectivity, HMI, accurate localization, and HD maps. Baidu has been involved in R&D related to automated driving technology since 2013. “Developing autonomous driving and intelligent cars is a vast collaborative endeavor that requires tremendous efforts from all participants to advance the industry. AI technology is Baidu’s core competency, and Bosch is a leading technology and service provider. Through working together, the two companies will upgrade the intelligent systems of the automobile industry and create an entire new ecosystem for intelligent and autonomous driving cars,” stated Qi Lu.

Bosch has been working on the development of automated driving since 2011. Today, some 3,000 Bosch engineers are working on automated driving worldwide. With driver assistance systems, the company generated sales of more than a billion euros for the first time in 2016, as well as winning orders worth 3.5 billion euros. In China, Bosch is committed to the stepwise realization of automated driving, and is working with many OEMs on driver assistance, braking, and steering systems. Following Germany, the U.S., and Japan, Bosch is now also testing automated driving in China. For partially automated driving on Chinese freeways, Bosch and Baidu have set up a test vehicle on the basis of a Jeep Cherokee. The test vehicle is equipped with numerous Bosch components. These include, among other things, five mid-range radar sensors and a multi-purpose camera for environment recognition, as well as an ESP braking control system and electronic power steering.

Eyes for automated driving cars: Bosch works with partner on new camera technology

Cooperation with Sony Semiconductor Solutions agreed

  • Cooperation between Bosch and Sony Semiconductor Solutions will allow more accurate sensing of the surroundings using video sensors, even in difficult lighting conditions.
  • Know-how in image sensing technology and automotive technology will be incorporated into the innovative new video sensors for driver assistance systems and automated driving.

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Suddenly dazzled, vision restricted: This is something drivers experience regularly when driving on a sunny day when the sun is low in the sky. Briefly driving blind is often also required due to the glare when driving out of a tunnel on a bright day. Changing or poor lighting conditions provide a challenge not only for the human eye, but also for video sensors such as those required for driver assistance systems and automated driving. To make these sensors better, Bosch and Sony Semiconductor Solutions have agreed a cooperation. Together, the two companies aim to develop a highly innovative camera technology that will enable cars to reliably sense their surroundings even in difficult lighting conditions. “Bosch and Sony Semiconductor Solutions are bringing together the technological know-how of the market leader for image sensors and the automotive know-how of the world’s biggest supplier,” says Gerhard Steiger, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division.

“Bosch and Sony Semiconductor Solutions are bringing together the technological know-how of the market leader for image sensors and the automotive know-how of the world’s biggest supplier.”

Gerhard Steiger, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division

Better vision in difficult lighting conditions

Along with radar and ultrasonic sensors, video sensors are the sensory organs of modern cars. To create driver assistance systems, such as automatic emergency braking for pedestrians, lane keeping support systems, and road sign recognition, cameras are becoming increasingly integral to modern vehicle models. The advantage of video sensors is that they can detect objects and the images produced have a huge information density. For many years, Bosch has been producing video sensors in mono and stereo technology to provide a 360 degree all-round view, and is one of the leading suppliers in this sector of the automotive industry. In the future, video sensors will be a crucial component of the sensor concept for automated driving. This requires cameras that operate reliably when there is a sudden change of lighting conditions from dark to light and vice versa. In addition, they must be able to instantaneously differentiate when there are drastic differences in brightness within a shot. “Automated driving cars will only be safe on the road if they can accurately sense their surroundings at all times,” says Steiger.