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Safe driving with Bosch

Standalone driving is more than just sensors, control units and lots of computing power. It also requires a series of intelligent services without which no vehicle will ever be able to take on autonomous driving.
"Services are at least as important for standalone driving as hardware and software. 
We are working on all three topics simultaneously so that autonomous vehicles can circulate safely and reliably on our roads, "said Dirk Hoheisel, Bosch's board member.
Only when you know your position to the centimeter is that the autonomous vehicles can circulate in safety. Therefore, Bosch offers a unique location system: software, hardware and associated services, which act as a redundant system to accurately determine the position of the vehicle.

Portugal at the forefront for autonomous driving

Portugal is, since 2015, involved in the development of the vehicle positioning and movement sensor.
About 25 engineers from the Center for Technology and Development in Braga were responsible for the development of hardware and the first functional samples for proof of concept.
The team, which is expected to reach about 35, is currently working on the new sensor hardware and software. "This group is part of a large international team that develops a positioning sensor that meets all automotive requirements - be safe, reliable, accurate and cost competitive. The vehicle's motion and positioning sensor will allow the stand-alone car to know where it is, anytime, anywhere, with far greater precision than existing navigation systems, " says HernĂ¢ni Correia, Team Leader for the VMPS project at Portugal.

Hardware: Bosch has developed its own motion and positioning sensor

Bosch has developed a sensor that allows autonomous vehicles to accurately determine their position.
The new sensor includes a high-performance receiver unit for GNSS signals, which autonomous vehicles use to determine their absolute position.
Signals are reliable for today's navigation systems, but not for stand-alone vehicles. Therefore, Bosch uses data from various sources and started the Sapcorda joint venture in 2017.
With the help of a network of ground stations the precise positions are known and the positioning information of GNSS can be corrected. But the GNSS signals are not the only information the vehicle's position and motion sensor receives: thanks to the wheel speed sensors and steering angle sensors, which are similar to the human touch sense, know where the vehicle is headed and at what speed.
In addition, the vehicle's motion and position sensor has integrated inertial sensors - comparable to the inner ear of humans. Just as people move with the help of their touch and balance senses, the sensor can use this data to know the direction of the vehicle.

Software: intelligent algorithms developed by Bosch determine the position of the vehicle

The vehicle positioning and movement sensor gathers the GNSS position signals, correction data and information from the inertial sensors, the wheel speed sensors and the steering angle sensor. However, this information is not sufficient for the exact location of autonomous vehicles.
For accurate positioning, data must be processed by intelligent software. If the satellite link is lost when the vehicle enters a tunnel, the motion and position sensor can continue to determine the position of the vehicle for several seconds.
However, if the GNSS signal is interrupted for a longer period and it is not possible to determine the position of the vehicle, the stand-alone vehicle may call the Bosch service for location information.

Services: Road mapping Bosch is based on proximity sensors

The Bosch Road Signature is a location-based mapping service built using proximity sensors installed in today's and tomorrow's vehicles.
Bosch offers the service in an integrated way and in conjunction with its localization solution based on motion sensors and vehicle positioning.
Video and radar sensors on-board moving vehicles generate a virtual map, detecting features along the way such as lanes, traffic signals and guardrails.
In this sense, proximity sensors have a great advantage, since - unlike the cameras - they can detect road characteristics in the dark or when visibility is reduced.
Its range of detection is also greater. A car communication module sends the road-related data to the cloud, where the information is used to generate a highly accurate map.
In turn, the autonomous vehicles detect the characteristics of the road where they circulate and consult the map to see if the traffic signals or rails of protection that they recognized correspond to those registered in the platform.
This comparison allows the cars to accurately determine their position on the road on a scale of centimeters, which translates into safe, autonomous driving.

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