Mobility Solutions

Bosch technology is increasing safety in cities Forward collision warning system for light rail vehicles Radar and video sensors on board

  • Electronic systems increase passenger safety while unburdening train drivers
  • Applying automotive sensor expertise to rail vehicles
  • Prototypes being put through their paces in Frankfurt and Hannover
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  • September 18, 2014
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases
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press release

Bosch automation and driver-assistance systems help increase safety – even in heavy inner-city traffic with its wide variety of vehicle types. Bosch Engineering GmbH has come up with a new forward collision warning system for light rail vehicles that combines a radar sensor with a video sensor to detect any cars, buses, nearby rail vehicles, and static obstacles on the tracks. “Using the system to detect potential accidents gives drivers reliable warning of dangerous situations and the best possible support to avoid collisions,” says Bernhard Bihr, president of Bosch Engineering GmbH. “This considerably increases safety for passengers and train drivers.” What is more, the system helps prevent downtimes and avoid accident-related costs. Operators üstra Hannoversche Verkehrsbetriebe AG and VerkehrsGesellschaft Frankfurt am Main began field testing the first trams to be fitted with the system in everyday operations at the start of 2014. Data from the tests help the Bosch Engineering further refine the system in preparation for the start of series production in 2015.

Sensors increase safety
The forward collision warning system consists of a video sensor, a radar sensor, and a high-performance rail control unit and draws on Bosch’s expertise in large-scale automotive series production. This assistance system has been equipped with new, application-specific software to enable light rail vehicles to also benefit from the accident-prevention potential it offers. But why two different kinds of sensor? The multi-purpose camera’s job is to keep an eye on the track ahead. The mid-range radar, with an aperture of up to 70 degrees and a range of up to 160 meters, registers other rail vehicles further down the track as well as the position and speed of cars, trucks, and buses in the vicinity. In addition to mobile obstacles, the radar system detects static objects such as buffer stops. The rail control unit’s high-performance software evaluates the sensor information along with other data – the train’s speed, for instance. If the system detects that an object is coming dangerously close, it gives the driver a visual and an acoustic warning. The new system’s sensors function any time, day or night, and in virtually all weather conditions. In Frankfurt and Hannover, the first trams to be fitted with the system have been in service since January 2014 and are supplying valuable practical data. With series production is scheduled to start in mid-2015, it will then be possible to fit the system to new light rail vehicles and trams or retrofit it to vehicles already in service.

Development partner for the rail industry
Bosch Engineering offers comprehensive systems and components tailored to customers’ needs in the areas of speed sensing, environment sensing, train-driver assistance systems, engine management, and exhaust treatment for rail vehicles. The Bosch subsidiary’s specialists make full use of Bosch’s development expertise and proven large-scale series production technology. For each of the functions, the Abstatt-based engineers develop the design to match specific applications and specific customers, adapt the sensor software accordingly, and offer support during the entire system’s testing and approval phase. Employing radar technology in rail vehicles makes it possible to implement functions such as detection of overhead lines and determination of ground speed. Bosch Engineering also offers rail powertrain development services for engine management and exhaust treatment. These systems and components increase safety and make it possible to reduce operating costs while achieving better performance with low emissions.


Bosch Engineering GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH and is head-quartered in Abstatt, Germany. As a systems development partner to the automotive industry since 1999, the company with its more than 2,000 associates offers development services for powertrains, safety and convenience systems, and electrical and electronic systems – from the original concept to series production. Specialized in electronics and software, it draws on Bosch’s proven large-scale series production technology to develop tailored solutions for a wide variety of applications in passenger cars, commercial vehicles, off-highway and recreational vehicles, and in rail applications, ships, and industry. Bosch Engineering GmbH also coordinates all the Bosch Group’s motorsports activities.

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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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PI8666 - September 18, 2014

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