Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Bosch and Mercedes partner on driverless car technology

Two of the largest car technology companies in the world have formed a partnership which is very likely to accelerate the development of autonomous vehicles. 

Bosch and Daimler – parent company of Mercedes – claim they can launch fully driverless, or “Level 5”, cars as early as 2020.

Global engineering organisation SAE International’s levels 2-5 range from partial to full automation. The full list of can be viewed here.

Rianne Ojeh, a spokesperson for Bosch, told “The aim is to launch a production-ready and reliable driving system for fully-automated and driverless driving. For two years the systems will be used exclusively in Mercedes-Benz vehicles. After that the products can be supplied to third parties.” 

Bosch und Daimler kooperieren beim vollautomatisierten und fahrerlosen Fahren

Bernhard Weidemann, a spokesperson for Daimler, says: “We see the growth of urban areas and the resulting increase in traffic congestion and lack of parking spaces as a problem to be solved just as most municipal planners would.

“Driverless cars have the potential to relieve people of stressful traffic situations, reduce on-street parking areas in cities and minimise traffic accidents – all factors in which we see a business case that society as a whole will benefit from.”

While Daimler and Bosch seem confident of their abilities, some people say completely driverless cars are too much of a technological challenge and may be many decades away.

The main problem is that while individual vehicles can be equipped with the necessary sensors and technologies for full autonomy, most cities and other places do not have the necessary data and communications infrastructure.

However, while the exact date when driverless vehicles eventually take to the road can be debated, autonomous vehicle technology – known in the industry as advanced driver assistance systems – is already integrated into most new cars today.

ADAS includes a growing array of technologies and can help human drivers with a number of manoeuvres in a variety of situations, including:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Glare-free high beam and pixel light
  • Adaptive light control: swivelling curve lights
  • Automatic parking
  • Automotive navigation system with typically GPS and TMC for providing up-to-date traffic information.
  • Automotive night vision
  • Blind spot monitor
  • Collision avoidance system (Precrash system)
  • Crosswind stabilization
  • Cruise control
  • Driver drowsiness detection
  • Driver Monitoring System
  • Electric vehicle warning sounds used in hybrids and plug-in electric vehicles
  • Emergency driver assistant
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Intersection assistant
  • Hill descent control
  • Intelligent speed adaptation or intelligent speed advice (ISA)
  • Lane departure warning system
  • Lane change assistance
  • Night Vision
  • Parking sensor
  • Pedestrian protection system
  • Rain sensor
  • Surround View system
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Turning assistant
  • Vehicular communication systems
  • Wrong-way driving warning

List from Wikipedia

According to Semicast Research, Continental leads the ADAS electronics market, with an estimated market share of 18 per cent, followed by Bosch, with 15 per cent. Other companies it places in the top five are Autoliv, which has 14 per cent, Magna, on 9 per cent, and ZF TRW, 7 per cent.

However, this new partnership between Bosch and Daimler is likely to change things significantly.