Bosch and Daimler are speeding up the development of fully-automated and driverless driving in the city and are decisively setting the course. The partners have chosen California as the pilot location for the first test fleet. In the second half of 2019, Bosch and Daimler will offer customers a shuttle service with automated vehicles on selected routes in a Californian city. Daimler Mobility Services is envisaged as the operator of this test fleet and the app-based mobility service. The pilot project will demonstrate how mobility services such as car sharing, ride-hailing and multi-modal platforms can be intelligently connected to shape the future of mobility. The US technology company Nvidia is the supplier of the artificial intelligence platform as part of their control unit network.
For the joint development of a driving system for fully-automated and driverless vehicles, Bosch and Daimler rely on their automotive expertise accumulated over many decades to bring mature and safe innovations to market and both companies are guided by a shared philosophy.
“The decisive factor is to introduce a safe, dependable and mature system. Safety has the highest priority and is the constant theme of all aspects and development stages on our way to the start of series production. If in doubt, thoroughness comes before speed.” said Dr Michael Hafner, Head of Automated Driving at Daimler AG.
“Developing automated driving to a level ready for production is like a decathlon. It’s not enough to be good in one or two areas. Like us, you must master all disciplines and only then will we succeed in bringing automated driving to the roads and the city safely.” added Dr Stephan Hönle, Senior Vice President Business Unit Automated Driving at Robert Bosch GmbH.
A decisive factor for fully-automated and driverless driving in an urban environment is the reliable recognition of the vehicle’s surroundings with the aid of various sensors. Analysing and interpreting the variety of incoming data and translating them into driving commands within a very short time requires enormous computing power – the fully-automated, driverless vehicle will be a mobile super-computer. This also requires a versatile, redundant systems architecture and the highest level of functional safety. To achieve this level of safety, the necessary computing operations are performed in parallel in different circuits. This means that the system has instant recourse to these parallel computing results when necessary.
For their driving system, Bosch and Daimler thus rely on a control unit network made up of several individual control units. The US technology company Nvidia supplies the platform which can run the Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms generated by Bosch and Daimler for the vehicle’s movement. The network of control units collates the data from all sensors with radar, video, lidar and ultrasound technology, evaluates them within milliseconds and plans the movements of the vehicle.
The control unit network will also be used in the fleet vehicles which Daimler and Bosch will put on the roads of California in the second half of 2019. In addition, both partners will offer customers an automated shuttle service on select routes in a city located in the San Francisco Bay area in Silicon Valley. The test operation will provide information about how fully-automated and driverless vehicles can be integrated into a multi-modal transport network. Many cities face numerous challenges that are increasingly burdening the existing transport system. The test is to show how this new technology might be a solution to these challenges.
The aim is to improve the flow of traffic in cities, enhance safety on the road and provide an important building block for the way traffic will work in the future. The technology will, among other things, boost the attraction of car sharing. In addition, it will allow people to make the best possible use of their time in the vehicle and open new mobility opportunities for people without a driver’s licence, for example.
The vehicle comes to the driver, not the driver to the vehicle. Within a defined city area, users can conveniently order a car-sharing car or a vehicle that drives by without a driver.
The personnel in this collaboration are jointly developing the concepts and algorithms for the fully-automated, driverless drive system. Daimler brings the drive system into the car by providing the necessary development vehicles, test facilities and later the vehicles for the test fleet and Bosch is responsible for the components (sensors, actuators and control units) specified during the development work.