Mobility Solutions

Preventing microsleep Bosch Driver Drowsiness Detection Now also featured in the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

  • Fatigue is one of the main causes of serious accidents
  • Characteristic steering movements indicate fatigue
  • Driver drowsiness detection now a standard feature in Volkswagen’s Passat Alltrack
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  • March 29, 2012
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases

press release

Fatigue and microsleep at the wheel are often the cause of serious accidents. However, the initial signs of fatigue can be detected before a critical situation arises. Bosch Driver Drowsiness Detection can do this by monitoring steering movements and advising drivers to take a break in time. The required information is provided either by the car’s electric power steering system, or by the steering angle sensor which is part of the car’s ESP® anti-skid system. The feature can therefore be installed cost-effectively and helps further increase road safety. Bosch Driver Drowsiness Detection can be used in passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, and can also be integrated into various control units in vehicles. It was first introduced as a standard feature in 2010, in the new Volkswagen Passat. The latest model with the function is the new Passat Alltrack.

The influence of fatigue on accidents has been demonstrated in a number of studies. In 2010, the American Automobile Association (AAA) published an analysis based on the accident data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States. The assess­ment showed that overtired drivers were at the wheel in 17 percent of all fatal accidents in the US.

Fading concentration and fatigue compromise the driver’s steering behavior and response time. Fine motor skills deteriorate, and steering behavior becomes less precise. The driver corrects small steering mistakes more often. The new driver drowsiness detection function is based on an algorithm which begins recording the driver’s steering behavior the moment the trip begins. It then recognizes changes over the course of long trips, and thus also the driver’s level of fatigue. Typical signs of waning concentration are phases during which the driver is barely steering, combined with slight, yet quick and abrupt steering movements to keep the car on track. Based on the frequency of these movements and other parameters, among them the length of a trip, use of turn signals, and the time of day, the function calculates the driver’s level of fatigue. If that level exceeds a certain value, an icon such as a coffee cup flashes on the instrument panel to warn drivers that they need a rest. The Bosch Driver Drowsiness Detection function addresses an important aspect of the driver’s condition, and can thus contribute to improving road safety.

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2015, its sales came to 41.7 billion euros, or 59 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector combines the group’s expertise in three mobility domains – automation, electrification, and connectivity – and offers its customers integrated mobility solutions. Its main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. 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.”

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PI7310 - March 29, 2012

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