Bosch, one of the world’s largest private industrial conglomerates, is testing its own self-driving vehicle as it joins rival supplier Continental and others in the race to bring autonomous driving functions to the road.
Volkmar Denner, a physicist who took the reins at Bosch last year, has already taken several trips in the self-driving test vehicle and wants the German supplier to claim a big piece of the market.
“Driver assistance functions will require many more electronics and sensors in the car. Suppliers are better able [than carmakers] to build the necessary economics of scale,” he explains. “We are working at full speed to bring these highly exciting [automated] functions to the market in coming years.”
However, in spite of the current hype around self-driving cars, Denner believes the technology will be introduced into mass-produced vehicles step-by-step, at first in low speeds and in predictable environments. Automated parking and motorway traffic jam assist will be among the first automated functions that become widely available, he says.
Although Nissan recently pledged to build a self-driving series production vehicle by 2020, Mr. Denner argues that fully automated driving in unpredictable and complex urban environments will not be possible until after 2020. This is partly due to the unclear regulatory and liability implications and because a huge amount of testing and validation will be required.
Via Financial Times