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Bosch presents innovative collision warning system for forklifts at LogiMAT

Object recognition with neural networks

  • New collision warning system actively warns forklift drivers with audible and visual signals in dangerous situations
  • Smart analysis methods detect stationary and moving objects
  • More safety for working platforms through innovative ultrasonic sensor technology
Cornelia Dürr

Cornelia Dürr >

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Abstatt – Forklifts and other industrial trucks have become essential work equipment in logistics and warehousing. However, the risks associated with using forklifts are often underestimated. According to data from the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), more than 13,500 accidents resulting in personal injury and involving forklift trucks were reported in 2020 alone. To avoid accidents, the drivers must constantly have the entire area around the forklift in view while driving and maneuvering. Many drivers are under constant stress, which impairs their performance and often leads to driving errors. This is in addition to health problems from constantly turning their heads while driving backwards. A new multicamera-based collision warning system from Bosch helps minimize the risk of accidents and reduce stress for drivers by improving the general view around the entire vehicle and actively warning the driver of impending collisions. “With this system, we are making an important contribution to improving the level of safety when using forklifts and reducing the health-related strains for the drivers,” says Stefan Schenk, who is responsible for the Off-Road operating unit at Robert Bosch GmbH.

Multicamera system with active warning feature

The new assistance system comprises four compact near-range cameras and a control unit that creates an all-around view of the vehicle’s surroundings and displays this to the forklift driver on a monitor. Depending on the driver’s current information requirements, different views can be selected and shown on a display in full-screen format or in a split-screen layout. Additionally, the driver can choose from a variety of viewing modes like overlay of the driving trajectory or virtual camera panning.
The visual assistant presented at LogiMAT 2019 already ensures good all-round view even in blind spots, when the driver’s view is blocked by the load on the fork. With the expansion, the system now additionally warns of stationary or moving objects in the vicinity of the vehicle in dangerous situations with a color marking on the monitor and an audible signal. To achieve this, three characteristic and particularly dangerous driving scenarios were identified and corresponding use cases for the warning feature were derived. When driving in an aisle or past rows of shelves, the forklift driver is shown anyone kneeling, standing, or moving in front of or alongside the vehicle. If the system detects that a junction is approaching, it switches to intersection mode and additionally warns the driver of people or vehicles approaching from the side. A further benefit of the new assistance system is the warning feature that assists the driver when handling storage items. The detection is then aimed at people moving relative to the vehicle at a distance of 4 m.

Object recognition with neural networks

To enable the system to reliably detect impending collisions and only provide warnings for relevant accidents risks, two analysis methods, object detection and object recognition, are combined. With object detection, the system logic decides whether or not an object is relevant to the collision warning on the basis of characteristic movements. With object recognition, the decision is made based on the shape of the object. To do this, the image of the object is automatically compared to stored image patterns. “This is done by what are known as neural networks, a software architecture from the field of artificial intelligence, which are trained to recognize specific visual patterns. Merging the two measurement principles ensures that the three situations with a potentially critical accident risk are fully covered by the collision warning and both stationary and moving objects, for example, are detected,” says Stefan Schenk.

Ultrasonic sensor technology for working platforms

Bosch launched two versions of the 24 V ultrasonic sensor system for near-field monitoring of the working area at the beginning of January. The ultrasonic sensors can be used to secure blind spots, such as a work cage on aerial work platforms. Although both 24 V systems feature identical hardware, there are differences when it comes to the processing of the sensor data and thus the functional scope of the different versions. While the basic system simply measures the distance of a specific obstacle, the high-end solution also features object localization. Bosch designs assistance systems and functions for industrial trucks, but also for other industrial and off-highway applications, such as construction, agricultural, and municipal vehicles, to be tailor-made for their specific applications.

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. It generated sales of 45.3 billion euros in 2021, and thus contributed 58 percent of total sales from operations. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector pursues a vision of mobility that is safe, sustainable, and exciting, and combines the group’s expertise in the domains of personalization, automation, electrification, and connectivity. For its customers, the outcome is integrated mobility solutions. The business sector’s 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 402,600 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2021). The company generated sales of 78.7 billion euros in 2021. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. 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 facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. 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 subsidiary and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. With its more than 400 locations worldwide, the Bosch Group has been carbon neutral since the first quarter of 2020. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 128 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 76,100 associates in research and development, of which more than 38,000 are software engineers.

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

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