Long-Range Radar,Video Sensing to Improve Vehicle Safety

NOVI, MI /PRNewswire/ -- Two of the most promising safety technologies—forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning—referenced by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as key to reducing vehicle-related accidents and deaths are among the topics of discussion this week at the Telematics Detroit 2008 conference.

On Wednesday, May 21, Dr. Dieter Hoetzer, product manager, automotive radar and camera products, Robert Bosch LLC, presented a technical overview of Bosch's driver assistance and crash avoidance technologies, specifically radar and video sensing, during Telematics Detroit 2008 at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, MI.

Frontal crashes account for nearly 2.3 million crashes a year in the United States, resulting in approximately 7100 deaths. Drivers swerving out of their lanes cause 483,000 collisions and sideswipes each year, leading to 10,300 fatalities. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the most promising technologies in reducing vehicle-related accidents and deaths are forward-collision warning (FCW) and lane-departure warning (LDW).

"Bosch is an innovator in technologies that will help save lives with the added benefit of driver comfort and security," said Hoetzer, "Our long-range radar and video sensing technologies networked with other sensors and products that already exist within the vehicle will help the industry reduce fatal accidents."

Hoetzer explains that by using existing sensors, Bosch's chassis systems control division is able to provide the latest innovations in safety technologies. In the near future, mounted multi-purpose cameras will enable affordable driver assistance systems, such as lane departure warning, which relies on a front-end camera to identify the road's boundaries and ensure the driver stays within the lane. If the vehicle unintentionally strays from the lane, the system alerts the driver.

Another example of advanced safety technology is predictive safety systems, which utilizes the long-range radar sensor with an integrated electronic control unity (ECU) to recognize critical situations in front of the car as well as the active safety system, electronic stability control (ESC), which provides appropriate brake force. As a first step, the brake system is pre-conditioned, to provide drivers fastest response times. If the driver fails to take action, this is followed by a flashing symbol in the instrument cluster, an acoustical signal and finally a short brake jolt. This "acute" warning still give drivers time to avoid a potential accident. Finally, when a collision is unavoidable, automatic braking occurs to reduce the severity of the accident. In order to determine a full autonomous emergency brake situation reliably, a combined radar/video or rasar/radar system may be required.

In addition to saving lives and providing drivers added comfort and convenience, Hoetzer said, advanced safety technologies can be developed to customer specifications to help differentiate a given brand.

About the Bosch Group
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 272,000 associates generated sales of 46.1 billion euros ($63.2 billion) in fiscal 2007. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 300 subsidiary and regional companies in over 50 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spends more than three billion euros each year for research and development, and in 2006 applied for over 3,000 patents worldwide. The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as "Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering."

In North America, the Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive original equipment and aftermarket products, industrial automation and mobile products, power tools and accessories, security technology, thermo-technology, packaging equipment and household appliances. Bosch employs approximately 25,000 associates in more than 80 locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with reported sales of $9.5 billion in fiscal 2007.