Mobility Solutions

Automotive technology milestones: Bosch TravelPilot production began 25 years ago First series production navigation system in Europe

  • Fast route calculation and reliable car navigation in road traffic
  • From destination finding to dynamic route guidance and mobile navigation to navigation as a sensor
  • Today, Bosch navigation can optimize a vehicle’s aggregate energy consumption
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  • July 28, 2014
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases

press release

Hildesheim. For more than 25 years, navigation systems have been guiding car users in Germany safely from A to B, and now they are even capable of optimizing the vehicle’s energy consumption. Depending on the topography of the route, eco-navigation can achieve average fuel savings of around nine percent. Accordingly, CO2 emissions can also be reduced significantly.

In 1989 Bosch began series production of the TravelPilot IDS (Identification of Digitized Streets), the first autonomous destination-finding and navigation system for use on European roads. With a map displayed on a 4.5-inch monitor, it kept the driver informed about the vehicle’s current position within the road network and employed simple arrow symbols to indicate the direction to the destination as well as available road links leading to the chosen destination.

Electronic road map for car drivers
Twenty-five years ago, the TravelPilot IDS utilized dead reckoning navigation to get a precise position fix within the digitized road network. The system used information from specially installed wheel sensors to work out which route sections the car had driven along, and it detected changes in direction by means of an electronic compass with a magnetic gyroscope. This dead reckoning method was additionally supported by the data included in the road maps. The road layouts of major German cities and the interconnecting road network were stored on a compact disc.

Bosch initially introduced the TravelPilot IDS in Germany in 1989. To increase the precision with which the vehicle’s position could be determined, the system was upgraded in 1993 with a receiver for the Global Positioning System (GPS). During the early years, the Bosch navigation systems were utilized in many areas, though mainly for professional use. At the time, the Los Angeles Fire Department, for instance, equipped more than 400 of its vehicles with the Bosch navigation system to get them to their destination quickly and safely.

Spoken and visual driving recommendations
In the mid-nineties, navigation systems were then already capable of providing drivers with directions by means of easy-to-understand voice output and directional symbols. Enhanced software applications developed by Bosch engineers that offered drivers specific information about tourist, cultural and gastronomic destinations and about parking facilities, filling stations and repair workshops were a source of fresh impetus in the field of car navigation technology at the time.

In 1998, Bosch development engineers made navigation dynamic. The systems could then for the first time process traffic reports from the Traffic Message Channel (TMC), which allowed them to react to traffic problems in good time, thus boosting the convenience and safety of car driving still further. With this application, Bosch became the first manufacturer to demonstrate the now-often-cited benefits of connecting cars to the outside world.

Portable navigation devices offer straightforward plug and play
The generation of devices emerging during the first decade of the new millennium was strongly characterized by the newly developed market segment of Portable Navigation Devices (PND). These compact units could be installed in any vehicle quickly and easily and featured convenient touch-screen operation. Bosch’s mobile generation already offered early driver assistance functions, like graphical and acoustic speed-limit warnings.

Convenient route planning in connected infotainment systems
Vehicle navigation has meanwhile typically become a component of connected infotainment systems offering a wide variety of options.
The latest map-based navigation systems from Bosch now provide two- and three-dimensional views, an economic route option for saving fuel, lane guidance, a curve warning assistant, and connectivity to apps that support navigation functions. In addition to this, drivers can also conveniently plan their route on their desktop PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone and send the destination address to the system in their car directly from home.

Navigation as a sensor – the electronic horizon
Bosch navigation also provides an "electronic horizon", that is to say, the systems look far ahead and supply information about the course of the route being driven, such as details about bends, road gradients, and driving lanes. This allows Bosch navigation systems to recommend routes that are particularly energy-efficient – thus encouraging fuel-efficient motoring – and, in the case of electric vehicles, enables them to calculate the remaining range with considerably greater accuracy.

Navigation data optimizes aggregate energy consumption
In the spring of 2014, Bosch developed a system for hybrid vehicles described as "an innovative technology for reducing CO2 emissions". The system uses navigation data to adjust the vehicle’s battery charge state. The technology that the EU Commission furthermore recognizes as an "eco-innovation" provides a benefit that can be used as a credit to offset the passenger car fleet consumption of the respective automobile manufacturer.

Using topographical navigation data such as uphill and downhill gradients and bend radii, the Bosch system can determine which sections of the route are suitable for recovering braking energy. Long before the vehicle reaches these sections, the system adjusts the level of battery charge based on the navigation data so that optimum recuperation will be possible. "With the intelligent link between extended navigation data and special powertrain control algorithms, we ensure that both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced significantly," says Manfred Baden, President of the Bosch Car Multimedia division.

Navigation systems can thus nowadays not only provide convenient and safe route guidance from A to B – as they already could 25 years ago – but are also capable of optimizing the vehicle’s aggregate energy consumption.

Videos:
Electronic horizon: how it works (connectivity of navigation)
Historical film about TravelPilot IDS

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.

PI8553 - July 28, 2014

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