Automotive technology

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
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.

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  • September 18, 2014
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Bosch evaluation of driver assistance systems Nearly one in four new cars recognize driver drowsiness

  • In Germany, 72 percent of all rear-end collisions that result in personal injury could be avoided
  • Euro NCAP's new rating scheme is pushing the adoption of driver assistance systems
  • Bosch expects to sell more than two million radar and video sensors in 2014
Driver assistance systems can save lives. Sometimes it's enough for the car to sound a warning signal and display a coffee cup in the dashboard to remind the driver to take a break after driving a long stretch. Nearly 680,000 – almost one-quarter – of the 2.95 million new cars registered in Germany last year can do just that: warn a tired driver before he or she causes an accident. This makes driver drowsiness detection the driver assistance function most frequently installed in new cars. That was the finding of an evaluation Bosch conducted of features in the most important vehicle models in each segment. The evaluation was based on new car registration statistics for 2013.

The “invisible passenger” continues to become more and more important.
“Driver assistance systems are an essential step on the way to 'vision zero,' the goal of eradicating road fatalities,” says Gerhard Steiger, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division. This goal is also reflected in Euro NCAP's new rating scheme, which is pushing the adoption of predictive emergency braking systems and lane-keeping assistants. And it is having an effect on the production numbers for the sensors that are essential to the assistance systems: “Bosch expects to sell over two million radar and video sensors in 2014, more than twice as many as last year,” says Steiger. The six assistance systems used most often in new cars are listed below in order of increasing frequency:

ACC and ACC Stop & Go – in 4 percent of all new cars
Relaxed driving despite heavy traffic: adaptive cruise control (ACC) usually works with a radar sensor and maintains a preset safety distance to the car ahead, even in heavy traffic. By automatically accelerating and braking, the system adjusts the speed to the flow of traffic while ensuring a smooth and fuel-efficient ride. In the Stop & Go version, ACC slows a car down in a traffic jam, even stopping it completely. If the car has an automatic transmission, ACC Stop & Go restarts the engine once traffic gets moving again after a short pause. Ultimately, the driver is relieved of tiring driving tasks and remains alert for longer. Of the new cars registered in Germany in 2013, 4 percent have ACC or ACC Stop & Go. By offering more cost-effective sensors, such as the mid-range radar sensor, Bosch is increasing market penetration and making driver assistance systems such as ACC and ACC Stop & Go affordable, even for small and compact cars.

Road-sign recognition – in 4 percent of all new cars
From speed limits to no-passing zones – 4 percent of all new cars in 2013 feature road-sign recognition, which makes it easier for drivers to navigate the “road-sign jungle.” A video camera reads traffic signs and presents relevant information as symbols in the dashboard. As well as its system designed for in-vehicle installation, Bosch has also developed a free road-sign recognition solution for smartphone users. The “myDriveAssist” app, available from the App Store and Google Play, uses the smartphone's internal camera to recognize road signs.

Lane assistance – in 10 percent of all new cars
Lane assistants are installed in 10 percent of all new cars registered in 2013. These assistants comprise three systems. The lane-departure warning system prevents accidents by warning the driver, for example by vibrating the steering wheel, when he or she unintentionally leaves the lane. The lane-keeping assistant goes a step further: when the car gets too close to the edge of the lane, the system steers gently but firmly in the opposite direction. By contrast, the lane-changing assistant monitors the area alongside and diagonally to the rear of the vehicle. A warning lamp on the side mirror warns the driver whenever another car is approaching at speed from behind or if one is already present in the blind spot. According to Germany's GIDAS accident database, lane-keeping assistants can prevent up to 28 percent of accidents caused by cars leaving the lane unintentionally.

Automatic emergency braking – in 11 percent of all new cars
Rear-end collisions are among the worst accidents on the road, especially if pedestrians or cyclists are involved. An automatic emergency braking system can avoid them or at least mitigate the consequences. When the system identifies a possible obstacle, the assistant prepares the braking system for an emergency stop, or automatically triggers one if the driver fails to react. This kind of predictive pedestrian protection will be required starting in 2016 to qualify for Euro NCAP's highest rating of five stars. The benefits of the system have already been recognized: up to 72 percent of all rear-end collisions in Germany that result in personal injury could be avoided if all vehicles had an automatic emergency braking system. In 2013, 11 percent of all new cars had one installed.

Intelligent headlight control – in 20 percent of all new cars
The objective of equipping a vehicle with intelligent headlight controls is to see and be seen better. When driving at night or in a tunnel, the assistant automatically turns the low-beam headlights on or off as required. If the headlight control sees no cars in front or oncoming traffic, it also automatically switches on the high beams (provided the vehicle isn't in a built-up area). There's more: intelligent headlight controls can also constantly adjust the headlights to the course of the road or continuously switch between low and high beams. As a result, the system ensures the best possible illumination without blinding other road users. Of all the new cars registered in 2013, 20 percent have intelligent headlight control.

Drowsiness detection – in 23 percent of all new cars
Microsleep, diminishing concentration, and fatigue while at the wheel are highly dangerous and cause many accidents. However, the initial signs can be detected early on: tired, distracted drivers steer less precisely and have to make small corrections more often. Bosch's driver drowsiness detection system constantly analyzes the driver's steering behavior using a steering angle sensor or the electrical power steering to spot patterns typical of fatigue. The system also registers any abrupt, small steering motions. Supplemented by further parameters (such as length of time already driven and time of day), the system can identify the warning signs of fatigue. It then sends an auditory or visual signal telling the driver to take a break before he or she begins to nod off. A drowsiness detection system can be found in 23 percent of new cars registered in 2013.

As one of the automotive industry's biggest suppliers, Bosch covers the entire product range of driver assistance systems. In developing the ABS and ESP systems, the company laid the foundation early on for traffic with fewer and fewer accidents. ESP also serves as a basic technology on the path to automated driving. Cars are using sensors to gradually learn how to “see” and perceive their environment. Bosch has been supplying the necessary radar and video sensors for many years. Finally, powerful computers ensure that the assistance systems react rapidly and can think as well as a good driver can.
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  • September 16, 2014
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Facts about waterborne transport Non-polluting cruises with natural gas and diesel, economical yachts with common-rail high-pressure fuel injection, a global service network

Market: More than 100,000 large ships ply the world's oceans. Of these, roughly 45,000 are freighters transporting goods around the world. There are some 8,000 cruise ships, as well as many ferries and tugboats.

Turning point: Until quite recently, the acquisition cost of a ship was roughly three times as high as the cost of fuel over its service life. Now, however, this ratio has been turned on its head, and a ship's fuel consumption now plays the most significant role. In addition, fuel prices are very volatile.

Legislation: In coastal waters and on rivers, vessels will have to comply with strict emissions standards in the future. In many cases, this is only possible with additional exhaust-gas treatment. The North Sea, Baltic Sea, and U.S. coastal waters are examples of such “emission control areas” (ECA). On the high seas, by contrast, the main concern is to cover distances as economically as possible.

Portfolio: Bosch offers solutions that make ship technology efficient and low in emissions. The focus here is on low-emission waterborne transport. Its portfolio ranges from common-rail systems for yachts, container ships, and cruise ships to low-emission, economical engines running on diesel and natural gas.

Service: Bosch offers not only components but also a global service network that can quickly make spare parts for ships available. This reduces turnaround times, and consequently also the costs related to downtime.

From yachts to freight: Bosch technology by type of ship
Yachts: For engines with an output of between 500 and 2,000 kW, injection components from the truck sphere are used. This means that Bosch can draw on the entire systems competence of its automotive business. A 2,200 bar Bosch common-rail system can help yacht-owners achieve fuel savings of more than 5 percent compared to its predecessor (common-rail system with 1,600 to 1,800 bar). For the 300-kilometer crossing from Genoa to St. Tropez, for example, this would mean a saving of roughly 200 liters of diesel.

Inland shipping (1): In Germany, the focus here in especially on freight transport. Up to 240 million metric tons of goods are transported on inland waterways in Germany every year. This is equivalent to roughly 14 million truck loads.

Inland shipping (2): For small freighters and large yachts, Bosch supplies its MCRS modular common-rail system, which delivers injection pressures of up to 2,200 bar. This system not only fulfils current emissions regulations, but is also well equipped for future requirements. It is used in diesel engines delivering up to 4,400 kW per power-generating unit. Bosch also supplies injection pumps and injectors for “dual-fuel” engines in which diesel injection is used to ignite natural gas in the combustion chamber. It is not only low consumption that makes this kind of powertrain attractive. When running on natural gas, emissions are very low. Nitrogen oxide emissions are reduced by 85 percent and particulate emissions by nearly 100 percent.

Inland shipping (3): For ships with engines as powerful as 5,000 kW – tugboats working in ports, for example, or regional ferries – Bosch offers a comprehensive range of exhaust-gas treatment systems from a single source. Bosch Emission Systems GmbH offers turnkey products: in addition to manufacturing components, the company in particular also handles their integration.

Cruises (1): For years now, cruise holidays have been enjoying double-digit growth rates. North America is by far the largest market. It not only has the world's largest cruise ports, but is also the seat of the world's leading cruise lines. As well as ocean-going cruises, cruise holidays on the North Sea and the Baltic are very popular, as are river cruises. Low-emission engines are especially important in this context. Bosch offers solutions designed for engines delivering between 5,000 and 10,000 kW.

Cruises (2): Bosch has injection components for cruise ships' dual-fuel engines. By combining natural gas and diesel, these engines can reduce particulate emissions to practically zero.

Freighters (1): Freighters are used to transport some 90 percent of goods traded globally. With nearly 4,000 ships, Germany has the world's third largest merchant fleet.

Freighters (2): Engines designed or retrofitted for dual-fuel operation and featuring Bosch injection components allow freighters to be run on inexpensive heavy fuel oil, natural gas, or marine diesel.

Freighters (3): Bosch also supplies injection systems for secondary engines delivering between 5,000 and 25,000 kW – engines that either support the two-stroke diesel engine or secure the ship's electricity supply. Most two-stroke diesel engines generate between 25,000 and 70,000 kW. In this regard, Bosch offers its customers not just components, but also services. For example, the company's experts help to precisely integrate the components into the overall powertrain, which varies from ship to ship.
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  • September 05, 2014
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Euro 6 made simple Bosch explains: What changes does Euro 6 entail for drivers? From car prices to emissions stickers

Video-Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL5gZrBwKCI

What is Euro 6?
Euro 6 is a European Union regulation that sets emission standards for vehicles. “Euro 6 will make diesel cars as clean as gasoline cars,” says Dr. Rolf Bulander, the member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH responsible for powertrain technology. The main thrust of the new regulation is to set lower limits for vehicle emissions of particulates and nitrogen oxides. As of September 1, 2014, diesel vehicles may emit no more than 80 mg of nitrogen oxides per kilometer (gasoline vehicles: 60 mg per kilometer). This replaces the previous limit of 180 mg per kilometer. Starting September 1, 2015, all new vehicles sold must meet the Euro 6 limits.

Video download: Euro 6 made simple

What is the point of European emissions legislation?
Since the Euro 1 regulation was introduced in 1993, emissions from road traffic have been drastically reduced. Advanced automotive technology – as provided by Bosch – reduces emissions of substances such as CO2, nitrogen oxides, and particulates. Technical advances in powertrains are also having an effect: since 1990, particulate emissions from diesel engines have been reduced by around 99 percent, while modern diesels emit some 98 percent less nitrogen oxide than comparable vehicles from the early 1990s. As electrification of the powertrain continues to progress, emissions will fall even further.

Will cars now be more expensive?
Prices for models that comply with Euro 6 are generally in the same range as prices for comparable models that meet Euro 5. Sometimes Euro 6 models come with additional features – a different transmission, say, or different tires – that push up the price. Take away the additional cost of these extras, and there is currently no appreciable increase in the price of Euro 6 models.

How does Euro 6 change the technology of diesel vehicles?
Diesel vehicles need a perfectly tuned exhaust-treatment system in order to meet the lower limits set out in Euro 6. For vehicles weighing up to around 1,700 kilograms, a low-cost NOx storage catalytic converter is sufficient. “In heavy vehicles, only an SCR catalytic converter with AdBlue will do,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, president of the Diesel Systems division at Robert Bosch GmbH. This system injects AdBlue, an odorless urea solution, which converts the nitrogen oxides into harmless water vapor and nitrogen. AdBlue is refilled at regular service intervals.

Will my old vehicle still get the same emissions sticker?
The allocation of emissions stickers in Germany is not affected by the switch to Euro 6. Anyone who currently receives a Euro 4 or Euro 5 emissions sticker allowing access to the city center will keep the sticker after Euro 6 comes into force on January 1, 2015.

What does Euro 6 change for drivers?
For anyone who already has a car, Euro 6 changes nothing in Germany. They can continue to use their vehicle as before. According to the latest information, vehicle taxes for Euro 5 diesel vehicles will not change in Germany. It will also still be possible to drive in low-emission zones. Buyers of new vehicles, however, should be aware of the switch to Euro 6 if they want to have a model equipped with cutting-edge technology.
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  • August 25, 2014
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