First ride: The Bosch car of the future drives autonomously

BMW i8 as a plug-in hybrid with an 3.0 liter engine

62nd Motor Press Colloquium - New Technologies for the Car of the Future

The Bosch brand generally stands for innovations in many areas of the automotive industry. Whether drive technology, electrification and internet in the car, whether autonomous driving or driving safety systems. Bosch wants to make diesel and petrol engines even more efficient with the ever-increasing electromobility. In the company's opinion, automated driving can reduce the number of accidents by up to a third. Connected driving is leading to a growing service business. To this end, Bosch is testing in several field tests and on its own premises at Boxberg - Windischbuch.

Bosch test site on the Boxberg
Bosch test site on the Boxberg

Combined with electromobility, the combustion engine becomes even more efficient. In the next five years, Bosch would like to use engine measures to reduce diesel consumption by up to ten percent and that of gasoline-powered vehicles by almost 20 percent. The developments and tests are running, among others, with the Porsche 918 Spyder, the Panamera S E-Hybrid and the Cayenne S E-Hybrid. The objective of the "Spyder" was to bring performance and efficiency in a unique combination. For this purpose, the entire car was designed around the hybrid drive. Bosch contributed the electric motor, which offers 210 Nm on the front axle and 375 Nm on the rear axle from the start. In cooperation with the Porsche internal combustion engine, a total system output of 652 kW (887 hp) and a maximum torque of up to 1280 Nm push the vehicle forward. Driving pleasure: 2,6 seconds from zero to 100 km / h. Efficiency: 3,1 liters consumption per 100 kilometers. That is still below that of most of today's small cars.

Total system performance 652 kW (887 PS) and a maximum torque of up to 1280 Nm
Total system performance 652 kW (887 PS) and a maximum torque of up to 1280 Nm

With the rather large-volume vehicles such as the Panamera and the Cayenne, consumption could be reduced to the level of a small car. The developers reduced the consumption of both vehicles through the plug-in hybrid technology of the Bosch IMG-300 electric motor, which provides additional electrical propulsion. The Cayenne S E-Hybrid (306 kW / 416 PS) with an average consumption of 3,4 l / 100 km and the Panamera (also 306 kW / 416 PS) with an average consumption of 3,1 l / 100 km did their test laps. The torque of the electric motor from 310 Nm (70 kW / 95 PS) also ensures additional power.

Bosch's clear philosophy regarding automated driving is called “Vision Zero,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel (Managing Director of Robert Bosch GmbH). The goal for Bosch is to reduce the number of people injured and killed in accidents to zero. However, the path to automated driving only leads through the numerous driver assistance systems already on the market. Bosch delivered over 50 millions of environmental sensors for these systems for the first time last year, and sales of radar and video sensors have been steadily increasing compared to the past few years. This year, the company will bring further systems into series production. From traffic jam and evasion assistants to remote-controlled parking. The latter will make it possible to park the vehicle in front of the parking garage and have it networked to a free parking space in the building. If you want to pick it up, the car will then automatically drive to the parking space in front of the building. Future vision. Even earlier, namely in the year 2020, the highway pilot should become a reality, which should enable automatic driving on the highway. This would create the transition from partially to highly automated driving, predicted Dr. Hoheisel. The driver would become a passenger. In this way, both comfort and safety can be increased. To move forward here, people at Bosch 2.000 are working on the further development of driver assistance systems worldwide. Know-how was also acquired by purchasing ZF steering systems (now Robert Bosch Automotive Steering). The test drives run both with Tesla vehicles in the USA and on the Boxberg with the new Tesla S and a BMW vehicle. The vehicle conversion for a vehicle required 50 new Bosch components, 1.300 meter cables and 1.400 working hours.

Tesla S as a test vehicle for autonomous driving
Tesla S as a test vehicle for autonomous driving

The Internet is an essential prerequisite for the development of mobility. The so-called real-time information already provides data on the traffic situation, on accidents and construction sites or the end of a traffic jam behind a curve. If you are “online” with your car, you can find, book and pay for free charging stations in an electric car, for example. At Bosch, “networking” is seen as another building block or key to the success of electrified and automated driving. Preventive maintenance appointments and tips for less consumption can also be derived from the transmission of data from the control units. Fleet management of leasing companies and insurance companies are supported by these services. The Bosch mobility portal "Drivelog" also offers drivers such a service directly. A smartphone and a plug are required to read out the control unit data. The Stuttgart-based company wants to network around 200.000 vehicles for its services by the end of the year.

But not only vehicles should be networked with each other. Prototypes are already underway to implement networking between the car and the smart home. Idea for this: the heating system at home receives instructions via the navigation device to preheat the apartment in good time before arrival. The circle would close here, because Bosch wants to offer technology for life, both for the home and for the car, says Dr. Rolf Bulander (Managing Director of Robert Bosch GmbH and Chairman of the Mobility Solutions division).

Maserati with a Diesel Common Rail System
Maserati with a Diesel Common Rail System

At the end...

All of these technologies inspire and make the driver's heart beat faster. However, before the final implementation of these innovations, both the legislator and the customer themselves. It must be clarified in advance who the "read" data of the control unit belongs to and to whom it can be passed on. For the implementation of autonomous driving, there are changes to the “Vienna Conventions” that state that the driver must always be in control of the vehicle. A convention that has lasted since 1968.

Photos in the article: Stefan Beckmann Cover photo: Stefan Beckmann
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