Bosch completes sensor portfolio for automated driving
According to Bosch, 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 and suitable for automotive use. This laser-based distance measurement technology is important 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 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
The parallel deployment of three sensor principles aims to ensure that automated driving will offer maximum safety when it is rolled out. This has reportedly been confirmed by Bosch analysis, 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 and delivering reliable information in every driving situation.
LiDAR is an essential element in automated driving
Bosch describes the 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. Bosch says it can draw on its sensor expertise and systems know-how in the fields of radar and camera technology when developing the LiDAR in order to ensure that all three sensor technologies dovetail with each other.
According to the company, Bosch’s long-range LiDAR will not only fulfill all safety requirements for automated driving, it will also enable automakers to efficiently integrate the technology into a very wide range of vehicle types in the future.
For more information, visit www.bosch.com.