Mobility Solutions

Bosch surveys car buyers in three EU countries Top priority given to safety Wide awareness of the latest driver assistance systems

  • A clear majority of buyers of cars in the mid-range and below are interested in driver assistance functions
  • Emergency braking systems and blind spot assistants are seen as the most important assistance functions
  • Automated driving has also found favor among most German, French, and Italian car buyers
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  • February 01, 2013
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases

press release

When it comes to safety, German, Italian, and French drivers agree: most value the help provided by driver assistance systems, particularly as support in hazardous situations. Functions that monitor the blind spot or prevent accidents by means of emergency braking prove most popular. These were the findings of a representative driver survey carried out at the end of 2012 by Bosch in the three countries. For Gerhard Steiger, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division, there is no doubt that: "Assistance systems boost safety and comfort in the car. They enable you to get to your destination safer and more comfortably." Bosch was the world's first company to develop safety systems such as ABS and the ESP® electronic stability program and bring them to series maturity. Today the technology and services company also supplies innovative driver assistance systems such as predictive emergency braking and adaptive cruise control to customers worldwide.

Most buyers extremely interested and well informed
How aware are drivers of the latest driver assistance systems, how do they experience everyday motoring, and how do they think electronics assist them? This was what Bosch asked drivers that had bought a mid-range or smaller car in 2012 or the previous three years. In other words, the respondents typically owned cars in which assistance systems are available as options at best. Nonetheless, the buyers proved to be well informed. A clear majority are interested in technology that provides assistance and information, particularly in relation to safety, but also as regards comfort in stressful stop-and-go traffic.

Most of those surveyed enjoy driving and see themselves as experienced drivers whose attention is not easily distracted. And yet the answers revealed that many of them had encountered critical situations in the previous twelve months: 70 percent recalled having to use emergency braking, 47 percent admitted to almost failing to spot a vehicle approaching from behind when changing lanes, and 34 percent were unsure on at least one occasion whether the right response was to brake or take evasive action. Functions that provide additional safety are therefore in greatest demand. When respondents were asked which electronic aids are of most interest, the blind spot assist came out on top at 84 percent. Closely behind, in second and third place, were emergency braking systems that help prevent accidents involving pedestrians and rear-end collisions.

European drivers are, however, also well informed about how state-of-the-art technology can make everyday driving a more enjoyable experience. Whether they tend to drive on congested highways or in hectic urban traffic, intelligent cruise control allows drivers to get to their destination with less stress. Consequently, an ACC adaptive cruise control system, which reduces the driver's workload in strenuous stop-and-go traffic, comes next on their wish list, directly after the safety functions.

Supply and demand driving technology uptake
The survey of drivers in three European core countries also reveals that car buyers are not averse to further progress. They are open to technical innovations. And they are also willing to embrace automated driving, the survey shows. Half those surveyed already believe that vehicles driven entirely by electronic control will be technically feasible. 60 percent welcome this kind of relief for the driver – providing it can be switched off at any time. Bosch is working also on these functions. In 2014, for example, it will launch a traffic jam assistant that can brake, accelerate, and steer completely automatically in highways traffic jams. Designed for speeds up to 50 kilometers per hour, the degree of automation will grow continuously in the years ahead.

The results would also seem to confirm a key Bosch assumption: as driver assistance systems become refined, they will also establish themselves quickly in the high-volume market for smaller vehicles. "Given the demand and the increasing availability of affordable and reliable technology, manufacturers will seize the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition," Steiger says. The consumer protection organization EuroNCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) is also adding weight to the importance of driver assistance systems. In order to receive the top five-star rating from 2014, the majority of new models will have to be fitted with driver assistance systems. Bosch supports this trend by continuously developing and enhancing its systems and sensors. In addition to the already available radar and video sensors in its portfolio, Bosch plans to launch a low-cost mid-range radar in early 2013, followed by a stereo video camera in 2014. The latter will make it possible to provide all NCAP-relevant functions in a single sensor unit.

Detailed information on the driver survey can be downloaded here.

Videos
Bosch driver assistance: (YouTube)
Bosch predictive emergency braking system: (YouTube)
Bosch automated driving: (YouTube)

Click here to find further information.

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.”

Further information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

PI7966 - February 01, 2013

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