Automated driving evolution. Bosch and Cariad, a Volkswagen Group subsidiary, are now working together to achieve more safety and less stress for drivers, as well as faster deployment of automated driving functions across all vehicle classes, deciding to create a broad cooperation.
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A partnership in the name of mass automated driving
The companies aspire to make semi-automated and fully automated driving appropriate for mass manufacturing and hence accessible to the general public. The partnership hopes to make functionalities accessible for cars marketed under the Volkswagen Group brands that will enable drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel for a short period of time.
Level 2 hands-free systems for urban, extra-urban, and highway driving, as well as a system that takes over all driving tasks on the freeway, are among these features (SAE Level 3). The first of these features will be implemented in 2023.
The two businesses will collaborate to establish a cutting-edge, standardized software platform for partly and fully autonomous driving.
The goal is to employ this platform in all privately owned vehicle classes offered under Volkswagen Group brands, making it one of the world’s largest fleets. It will also be feasible to incorporate all of the alliance’s component elements into the cars and ecosystems of other manufacturers.
Shared experience in elements of automated driving
Having decades of experience in the production, scalability, and approval of driving systems, and competence in the fields of software, data-driven development and artificial intelligence, the two partners have what it takes to make more autonomous driving a regular sight on our roads.
“For privately owned vehicles, progress to automated driving happens one step at a time. At Bosch, we’ve been working successfully on this for many years now. Together with Cariad, we will now be accelerating the market launch of partially and highly automated driving functions across all vehicle classes, and thus making them available for everyone. This will make driving on the roads safer and more relaxed,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, Bosch board of management member. “We will be able to offer the solutions we create to our other customers as well, and in this way set new standards.”
“Automated driving is key to the future of our industry. With our cooperation, we’ll strengthen Germany’s reputation for innovativeness. Bosch and Cariad will further enhance their expertise in the development of pioneering technologies,” says Dirk Hilgenberg, the Cariad CEO. “This underscores our ambition to deliver the best possible solutions to our customers as soon as possible.”
Over 1 000 experts to work on various modules of the project
Associates from the Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions business and Cariad will collaborate on developing partly and fully autonomous driving capabilities at different sites owned by the two firms, particularly in Stuttgart and Ingolstadt. They will be part of a worldwide network, working in mixed, agile teams.
At peak periods, more than 1.000 professionals from the two firms are scheduled to be working on the project’s different parts, which range from middleware to individual apps. The two firms have already begun looking for new professionals to join the cooperation.
The project’s work will be focused on data-driven software development using data from 360-degree surround sensing. A highly creative development environment for data recording, review, and processing will be designed for this purpose. AI approaches will also be used in the environment.
This is a straightforward concept. The more data from real-world traffic there is, the more stable and natural the design of partly and fully autonomous driving features may be. Additional layers for high-resolution maps for vehicle localization and lateral and longitudinal guiding are examples of this.
These levels will be worked on by the alliance as well. Furthermore, it applies equally to regular driving circumstances as well as “corner cases,” or rare road-traffic accidents that are particularly difficult for a system to handle.
Real-time traffic conditions monitoring
“The best proving ground for the development of automated driving is road traffic. With the help of one of the world’s biggest connected vehicle fleets, we will gain access to a huge database. This will allow us to take automated driving systems to a new level. All our customers will be able to benefit from this,” says Dr. Mathias Pillin, president of Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions.
“Together, we can test automated driving functions on a broader scale in actual vehicles and implement them more quickly. Our engineering work will be done jointly, with Bosch and Cariad as one team. There has never been an alliance like this in the automotive industry,” says Dr. Ingo Stürmer, the alliance’s project director at Cariad.
This also entails continually and in real-time inputting data collected in real-time traffic circumstances into the development process.
Each kilometer driven under real-world traffic circumstances, as well as the data acquired, reviewed, and processed as a consequence, add to the pool of data and provide a stronger foundation for bringing even greater levels of autonomous driving to our roads safely and reliably.
The parties also agreed to look at the potential of setting common development goals and deadlines for fully autonomous driving (SAE Level 4).
The following is the guiding idea underlying this equal partnership: one of the world’s largest automaking companies plus one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers equals a tremendous step forward in the development of autonomous driving.