Bosch to ramp up sensor production for autonomous driving
Company focusing on long-range lidar technology to complement radars and cameras
Bosch is preparing to make long-range lidar sensors production-ready in a push to muscle into the autonomous and semi-autonomous driving space and complement current sensor technology.
Their laser-based distance measurement technology is designed for driving functions at SAE Levels 3 to 5. The new Bosch sensor will cover both long and close ranges – on highways and in the city. By exploiting economies of scale, Bosch wants to reduce the price for the sophisticated technology and render it suitable for the mass market.
“By filling the sensor gap, Bosch is making automated driving a viable possibility in the first place,” says Bosch management board member Harald Kroeger.“By filling the sensor gap, Bosch is making automated driving a viable possibility in the first place.”
How lidar works
In lidar systems, the sensor emits laser pulses and captures the laser light that is scattered back. The system then calculates distances based on the measured time it takes for the light to bounce back. Lidar offers very high resolution with a long range and a wide field of vision. As a result, the laser-based distance measurement tool can reliably detect even non-metallic objects at a great distance, such as rocks on the road.
Adding to sensor suite
Bosch says that this will complement current systems and address their blind spots. For example, if a motorcycle approaches an automated vehicle at high speed at a junction, lidar can work with camera and radar to ensure the reliable sensing of the two-wheeler. In this instance, radar can struggle to detect the bike’s narrow silhouette and plastic fairings, and a camera can always be dazzled by harsh light falling on it.
“We want to make automated driving safe, convenient, and fascinating. In this way, we will be making a decisive contribution to the mobility of the future,” says Kroeger. Bosch’s long-range lidar will not only fulfill all safety requirements for automated driving, it will also enable automakers to efficiently integrate the technology into a very wide range of vehicle types in the future.
“We want to make automated driving safe, convenient, and fascinating. In this way, we will be making a decisive contribution to the mobility of the future.”
Bosch already makes camera and radar technology for autonomous driving, as well as artificial intelligence systems to support them.
In 2019, Bosch sales of driver assistance systems rose by 12 percent to around 2 billion euros.