ICT4CART Interview Series: third appointment with BOSCH

  • Meet BOSCH: the company

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 410,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2018). The company generated sales of 78.5 billion euros in 2018. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing.

It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source.

The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 460 subsidiary and regional companies in over 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world.

The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength.

At nearly 130 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 68,700 associates in research and development.

  • BOSCH in ICT4CART: what is your role?

The focus of ICT4CART is on the use of infrastructure and communication technologies to support automated driving.

Bosch participates in defining requirements on how to set up data provided by infrastructure, on how to generate sensor data for example using video or radar and on how to exchange this data.

We will provide a test vehicle and implement automated driving functions for highway applications. The objective of the project is to explore and demonstrate benefits of connectivity with road infrastructure. Example road infrastructure will provide information about weather, road or traffic conditions, which can be utilized in the automated driving mode of the vehicle. The overall goal for Bosch is to improve comfort, availability and safety for automated driving functions.

  • Safety and automated vehicles: can you explain to us how safety changes or shapes the development and implementation of automated driving?

Whether automated and autonomous vehicles are marketable, and generally accepted, strongly depends on their behaviour and safety in real road traffic conditions.

For this reason, these two features are essential during the development and design of all involved systems and components. Due to the scope of functionality of Automated Driving systems, these are significantly more complex and technically sophisticated than the currently available automotive systems. This applies to their behaviour and safety, too. In addition, the expectations of road users and product liability requirements continue to rise.

All this requires a holistic and structured development approach strongly supported by data and model-based simulation.

  • Which are the main challenges related to safety in automated vehicles?

The main challenges derive from the need to ensure safe behaviour of automated and autonomous vehicles. This applies to all traffic situations and various environmental conditions, also taking into account the behaviour of other road users.

Hence, the big challenge is to test and validate the AD-vehicles and systems efficiently.

  • From BOSCH’s perspective, do you think safety plays a role in users’ acceptance of automated driving solutions? How to make this process easier?

Besides tangible benefits, like travel comfort and efficiency, safety plays a key role in users’ acceptance. This includes the safety as perceived by the user.

Large-scale testing and operation on open roads involving users are considered key tools to make progress on the technology, foster cooperation amongst the different actors and facilitate public acceptance. This must go hand in hand with properly informing users, openly debating policy and societal aspects, and transparently triggering the necessary regulatory adaptations. We need a common consensus across industry, legislation and society-at-large regarding a definition of safe automated driving systems.

The top goal of the deployment of AD is to improve road safety, which requires the AD systems themselves to have a rule-consistent, predictable and safe behavior.