Power Electronics

Bosch predicts evolution of automotive electronics to networked driver assistance

Automotive electronics will evolve to become networked driver assistance systems, according to the Robert Bosch Corporation, and a step in that direction is to network sensors that already exist.

Predictive safety systems, for example, can use the sensors and electronic control unit from adaptive cruise control (ACC) to recognize emergency braking situations, according to Dave Robinson, president of Bosch’s electrical and electronics division. Rollover and trailer sway mitigation both rely on existing electronic stability control (ESC) sensors.

Robinson said that enabling independent vehicle electronics to interact offers a more comprehensive image of the vehicle's environment, resulting in more reliable information and the potential to react to dangerous driving situations at an early stage.

Bosch recently demonstrated driver assistance technologies including adaptive cruise control (ACC) full speed range, predictive safety systems, lane departure warning systems, and rollover and trailer sway mitigation.

ACC full-speed range relies on a radar sensor to maintain an appropriate distance from a vehicle ahead of the ACC-equipped vehicle. In predictive safety systems, braking pads are placed on brake discs in preparation for emergency braking and the hydraulic brake assistant is set in an “alert” state. A noticeable brake jerk alerts the driver when an emergency situation is imminent, and automatic braking occurs with maximum deceleration to reduce severity in the event of a collision.

Lane departure warning systems rely on a front-end camera to identify a road's boundaries. The system alerts the driver if the vehicle unintentionally strays from the lane. Robinson said video sensors will play an important role in driver assistance systems.

"Forecasts indicate driver assistance systems will likely exceed $1.3 billion worldwide by the end of the decade," said Robinson. "The U.S. will be a significant region for this growth."

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