Mobility Solutions

Ever more rear-end collisions in Germany Bosch ACC automatically maintains the right distance

  • In 2013 alone, tailgating resulted in more than 45,000 accidents
  • “This trend has to be stopped. Driver assistance systems, especially predictive ACC, can play a key role here”
  • In combination with a forward collision warning system, ACC could reduce the number of freeway incidents requiring sharp braking by 67 percent
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  • September 29, 2014
  • Mobility Solutions
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press release

News of severe rear-end collisions appears in newspapers and online media almost daily. The chain of events leading up to such collisions usually goes like this: high traffic density, insufficient distance to the vehicle ahead, a brief moment of distraction – and then crunch. In the last four years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of traffic casualties caused by a failure to maintain a safe distance. In 2010, according to a report from the German federal statistics office, 42,017 motorists caused collisions by driving too close to the car in front of them; in 2013, this figure was 45,735 – an increase of 9 percent. “This trend has to be stopped. Driver assistance systems, especially ACC, can play a key role here,” says Gerhard Steiger, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division.

Bosch has been working toward the vision of accident- and injury-free driving for many years. Worldwide, more than 5,000 associates are developing new driver assistance and safety systems. The aim is to eliminate traffic accidents completely, or at least to mitigate their consequences. For instance, on freeways or overland routes, rear-end collisions can be avoided with Bosch’s ACC adaptive cruise control. Once activated, the system adjusts the vehicle’s driving speed to the flow of traffic by automatically accelerating and braking. Even in the heaviest traffic, ACC can maintain the pre-set safe distance to the vehicle in front, enabling the driver to better concentrate on the driving situation at hand.

Less need to brake sharply on freeways
Bosch’s standard ACC can be activated from speeds of around 30 kilometers per hour. In its Stop & Go version, ACC is also active below 30 kilometers per hour. In traffic jams, it can slow the car down, or even stop it completely. If the car has automatic transmission, and the traffic hold-up is only brief, ACC Stop & Go can set the vehicle in motion once again. Both versions of adaptive cruise control ensure that the vehicle is driven smoothly, fuel-efficiently, and above all safely. “In combination with forward collision warning system, ACC could reduce the number of freeway incidents requiring sharp braking by 67 percent, and the incidence of tailgating by 73 percent,” says Gerhard Steiger, quoting from the results of a four-year euroFOT field study.

A radar sensor is usually at the core of Bosch ACC. Installed at the front of the vehicle, the sensor permanently monitors the road ahead. If it spots a slower car within its detection range, the system gently reduces speed by releasing the accelerator or actively engaging the brake control system. If the car ahead speeds up or changes lanes, the ACC automatically accelerates to the driver’s desired speed. Until now, adaptive cruise control has mostly featured in high-end vehicles. But now that sensors have been customized to meet the needs of various specific requirements, and thanks to cost-cutting innovations, the cost of such systems is becoming more attractive for customers in all vehicle classes. “Our MRR mid-range radar sensor, which is already used in the VW Golf and Polo, makes functions such as ACC affordable for even compact-class vehicles, and hence for the wider market,” Gerhard Steiger says.

Emergency braking systems that slam on the brakes
The example of the radar sensor also demonstrates Bosch’s ability to fulfill several aims at once, because the sensor that makes ACC and ACC Stop & Go possible can also be used in an automatic emergency braking system. Unlike cruise control, an automatic emergency braking system is capable of triggering a full braking maneuver. Before that happens, however, the system uses visual and acoustic signals to warn the driver and then, if necessary, performs a partial braking maneuver ahead of the potential obstacle. At the same time, it puts the braking system on alert for a full emergency stop. If the driver responds, this means the maximum braking power is available immediately. If the driver doesn’t respond, the emergency braking system takes over and slams on the brakes by itself.
Since the beginning of this year, being fitted with a proactive assistance system with sensors that monitor the vehicle’s surroundings is a minimum requirement for a vehicle to qualify for Euro NCAP’s highest rating of five stars. From 2016, this top rating will also require proactive pedestrian protection. “These changes to the rating scheme support the widespread adoption of these driver assistance systems,” Gerhard Steiger says. “Installing safety technology in as many vehicles as possible brings us closer to our goal of accident- and injury-free driving.”

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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PI8708 - September 29, 2014

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