As a new safety measure in cars, Bosch has introduced a new emergency braking system that works with a stereo video camera so that action can be initiated even if the driver’s response is not as quick.

Text: Leon Martin Ray

Many a time, and this is especially true in India where driving is rather maniacal and the rules pretty lax, it becomes a necessity to brake in emergency just because some other driver has made a gaffe and not abides the proper driving etiquette. At such times,  the driver’s reflexes should react to brake in time. But now, this safety aspect is taken care of by Bosch, which has developed an emergency braking system using just a video sensor. It is simple: when the camera recognises another vehicle ahead in the lane as an obstruction, the emergency braking system prepares for action. If the driver does not react, then the system initiates maximum braking.

Bosch developed a stereo video camera with an emergency braking system functions based on camera data. Land Rover offers the stereo video camera together with the Bosch emergency braking system as standard in its new ‘Discovery Sport’.

Bosch developed a
stereo video camera
with an emergency
braking system functions
based on camera
data. Land Rover offers
the stereo video camera
together with the Bosch
emergency braking
system as standard in its
new ‘Discovery Sport’.

“Emergency braking systems are among the most effective assistance systems in the car. In Germany alone, up to 72% of all rear-end collisions resulting in personal injury could be avoided if all vehicles were equipped with this set-up. Now Bosch has developed a stereo video camera with which an emergency braking system can function based solely on camera data. Normally, this would require a radar sensor or a combination of radar and video sensors. The Bosch stereo video camera is a single-sensor solution that makes various assistance functions affordable for all vehicle classes,” elaborated Dr Dirk Hoheisel, Member, Bosch Board of Management.

Land Rover offers the stereo video camera together with the Bosch emergency braking system as a standard in its new ‘Discovery Sport’. This system was developed in intensive and close collaboration between Bosch and Land Rover. The Discovery Sport proved how effective the function is in a Euro NCAP test where it was rated as good in the AEB city and AEB interurban categories. Overall, the Discovery Sport passed the test with five stars and achieved one of the best results in the ‘safety assist’ category for 2014. To earn a top score from Euro NCAP in 2016 and beyond, cars must be equipped with predictive pedestrian protection. This can also be based on the stereo video camera.

Bosch developed the entire stereo video camera in-house from start to finish and sets new technical standards.

Bosch developed the
entire stereo video camera
in-house from start
to finish and sets new
technical standards.

Besides the emergency braking system, the new Land Rover Discovery Sport offers other driver assistance functions, some of which are also based on the Bosch stereo video camera. One such function is road sign recognition, which keeps the driver informed about the current speed limit. Another is a lane departure warning system. This vibrates the steering wheel of the Discovery Sport to warn drivers before they unintentionally drift out of lane. “The Bosch stereo video camera sets new technical standards. With its light-sensitive lenses and video sensors, the camera covers a 50-degree horizontal field of vision and can take measurements in 3D at a distance of over 50 meters. Thanks to these spatial measurements, the video signal alone provides enough data to calculate, for example, the distance to vehicles ahead,” Dr Hoheisel explained.

Dr Hoheisel added, “The Bosch stereo video camera and its 3D imaging capability are also an important building block for automated driving. Its pair of highly sensitive video sensors is equipped with colour recognition and CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) technology. They have a resolution of 1280/960 pixels and can also process high-contrast images. The camera’s high-performance computer makes it possible to integrate other measuring programs and functions and respond flexibly to market requirements.”
One of the biggest advantages offered by the Bosch stereo video camera is its compact design. The distance between the optical axes of the lenses is just 12 centimeters, making this the smallest system of its kind currently available in the field of automotive applications. What’s more, the Bosch developers have integrated the control unit for image processing and function the control directly in the camera housing. That means vehicle manufacturers can integrate the camera into the rearview mirror especially easily, impeding the field of vision only slightly.

“We are pleased to say that Bosch developed the entire stereo video camera in-house from start to finish,” said Dr Hoheisel. As a result, all components, from hardware to image processing with respect to functions are designed to work together seamlessly. The Bosch camera also meets the stringent ASIL B safety requirement according to ISO 26262, which is relevant for safety-related emergency braking. In addition, automotive manufacturers can flexibly adapt the range of camera functions as they intend.
Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. According to preliminary figures, its 2014 sales cumulated to Euro 33.3 billion, or 68% of total group sales. This makes Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. Mobility solutions largely operates in the following areas: injection technology for internal combustion engines, alternative powertrain concepts, efficient and networked powertrain peripherals, systems for active and passive driving safety, assistance and comfort functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as car-to-car and Car2X communication, and concepts, technology, and service for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch takes credit for important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

For Bosch, the safety device holds good potential in India. Guenter Weber, Regional President, Automotive Aftermarket, Bosch, had commented at the ACMA Automechanika show that “India’s auto aftermarket business is poised for a great future and we want to position ourselves as the partner of choice for the industry’s need for parts, bytes and services. As the Indian automotive market grows and regulations move towards global standards, the Indian consumer will increasingly demand for the best in safety, fuel efficiency and sustainable technology that is prevalent in the industry. As a global player, we offer a basket of modern technologies, services and innovation to the Indian consumer across all vehicle segments. Bosch has introduced several global products in India, such as the electronic stability program (ESP), anti-lock braking system (ABS) and traction control system (TCS). As the Indian market matures, we will be bringing in more global products targeted  the Indian consumer.”

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