Bosch Completes Sensor Set for Automated Driving


Source: Bosch. The entire post can be read by clicking on this sentence.

STUTTGART, Germany/LAS VEGAS, – Good things come in threes – and automated driving is no exception. Before safe automated driving can become a reality, a third sensor principle is needed in addition to camera and radar. Consequently, Bosch is making long-range lidar sensors production-ready – the first lidar (light detection and ranging) system that is suitable for automotive use.

This laser-based distance measurement technology is indispensable for driving functions at SAE Levels 3 to 5. The new Bosch sensor will cover both long and close ranges – on highways and in the city. By exploiting economies of scale, Bosch wants to reduce the price for the sophisticated technology and render it suitable for the mass market.

“By filling the sensor gap, Bosch is making automated driving a viable possibility in the first place,” said Bosch management board member Harald Kroeger.

Bosch technology is alert to all automated driving situations

Only the parallel deployment of three sensor principles ensures that automated driving will offer maximum safety when it is rolled out. This has been confirmed by Bosch analyses, where developers investigated all use cases of automated driving functions – from highway assist to fully automated driving in cities.

For example, if a motorcycle approaches an automated vehicle at high speed at a junction, lidar is needed in addition to camera and radar to ensure the reliable sensing of the two-wheeler. In this instance, radar can struggle to detect the bike’s narrow silhouette and plastic fairings.

Moreover, a camera can always be dazzled by harsh light falling on it. As such, there is a need for radar, camera, and lidar, with the three technologies complementing each other perfectly and delivering reliable information in every driving situation.

Lidar is an essential element in automated driving

We can think of laser as a third eye: in lidar systems, the sensor emits laser pulses and captures the laser light that is scattered back. The system then calculates distances based on the measured time it takes for the light to bounce back. Lidar offers very high resolution with a long range and a wide field of vision.

As a result, the laser-based distance measurement tool can reliably detect even non-metallic objects at a great distance, such as rocks on the road. This means there is plenty of time to initiate driving maneuvers such as braking or swerving.

At the same time, using lidar in vehicles exposes the lidar system’s components, such as the detector and the laser, to many stresses – above all, with regard to temperature resistance and reliability over the vehicle’s entire lifetime.

Because Bosch can draw on its sensor expertise and systems know-how in the fields of radar and camera technology when developing the lidar, the company can ensure that all three sensor technologies dovetail with each other.

About Author

Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Senior Editor for The BRAKE Report. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.