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Students develop driverless race cars – with support from Bosch

Formula Student Germany: 300 students in Boxberg

  • Bosch is sponsoring more than 30 student teams
  • New competition class: Formula Student Driverless
  • Bosch Engineering president Bihr: “Formula Student participants are excellently qualified for a career start”.

Stuttgart, Germany – In the Formula Student Germany (FSG) competition, Bosch is helping more than 30 teams develop and design their formula race cars, and to put them into operation. On July 8, the supplier of technology and services will be inviting some 300 students from four countries to its Boxberg proving ground to prepare their vehicles for the competition on the Hockenheimring circuit. The support provided by Bosch mainly takes the form of hardware components, software, and expertise. Above all, the students benefit from the specialist know-how of the engineers they can turn to for advice. “In the Formula Student competition, students can gather valuable experience in project management, engineering, and software,” says Bernhard Bihr, the president of Bosch Engineering, a Bosch Group subsidiary that specializes in engineering services. Bosch has been involved in this race series for ten years now. In FSG, students build their own race cars and compete against each other in the “combustion,” “electric,” and “driverless” classes. Apart from driving tasks, the teams have to present a business plan and a marketing concept to a panel of judges.

New competition class: Formula Student Driverless

In the new Formula Student Driverless competition class, 15 teams will this year be competing against each other in their automated race cars. “In Formula Student Driverless, it’s not enough to redesign the vehicle’s cable harness and install additional technology. Above all, we have to program the algorithms that will allow the race car to navigate the course completely on its own,” says Roman Dörflinger, who is in charge of organization at KA RaceIng e.V., a race team from Karlsruhe, Germany. The students have first of all to understand the principles on which a self-driving car is based. “One challenge for us was to help the vehicle get its bearings on the race track. Following several tests with radar, laser, cameras, and ultrasound, we opted for a combination of video image recognition and laser scanner,” Dörflinger says. “The Bosch experts and their experience were a great help for us in this respect.”

From race track to regular job

In self-driving race cars, Bihr says, software plays the same key role as in modern driver assistance systems: “In the area of connected mobility, software expertise is becoming especially important. Formula Student participants are thus ideally qualified for a successful career start. This is another reason we have been supporting Formula Student for ten years now.” Even now, one in three Bosch engineers is concerned with software.

Helena Ortwein, a technical project coordinator in ESP calibration at Bosch Engineering, organizes the Formula Student event in Boxberg. Before joining Bosch, she was part of the University of Stuttgart’s race team for two years. “Formula Student participants are characterized by passion, staying power, and technical expertise,” Ortwein says. “For those taking part, it’s an ideal platform for getting into contact with potential employers.” Bosch Engineering alone now employs some 90 former FSG participants.

Quality checks with Bosch engineers

At the driving event in Boxberg, teams can test their vehicles under racing conditions, carry out safety checks, and fine-tune their race cars together with Bosch experts. From technical homologation to acceleration and endurance tests, the race cars will go through all the testing stages they have to pass at the competition itself in Hockenheim. As many as 115 teams will take part in the season’s opening contest in Hockenheim from August 8 to 13, 2017. Apart from the race series in Germany, other Formula Student competitions will take place around the world.

Websites and videos

Formula Student @Bosch: http://bit.ly/2tYnvRx

Videos Formula Student: http://bit.ly/2txiEnh

Formula Student Germany: www.formulastudent.de

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2016, its sales came to 43.9 billion euros, or 60 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 390,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2016). The company generated sales of 73.1 billion euros in 2016. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. 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.” 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 nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 120 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 59,000 associates in research and development.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.