Bosch is developing a new safety system set to intervene and help drivers avoid a collision with pedestrians, with the intention of putting it into production models by 2018.
The race for fully autonomous cars continues at a very high pace, with safety being the main priority and focus when new technologies are being invented. The pedestrian protection system is currently under development by Bosch at their R&D Centre at Renningen, in Germany, and is meant to step in if the driver’s reaction is insufficient to prevent a collision. A stereo video camera in conjunction with a computer that estimates all possible pedestrian trajectories is monitoring the road ahead and can act accordingly. If an imminent collision is detected, the system will calculate the best way for evasive actions.
However, for the system to intervene and assist, the one who needs to react first is the driver. If the sensors detect changes in the steering angle, vehicle speed and yaw rate and anticipate that the reaction is not sufficient to prevent impact, the system will provide braking and steering assistance. According to Dr. Thomas Gussner from Bosch’s corporate research and advanced engineering department, provided the driver reacts at least half a second before a potential collision, the assistance system can help avoid it in 60 percent of cases, but also “the system will only trigger if the evasion path of the vehicle is clear and will remain clear”, Dr. Gussner explained. The progress made in image processing systems and medium range radar sensors is a great step towards offering highly automated motorway driving by 2020, the company believes.
By Sorin Petcu