Automated vehicles would urgently need information about road conditions. Bosch has developed a system that gives automated vehicles seat-of-the-pants feel. It means the contact between the seat of their pants and their driving seat allows passengers to feel the state of the road surface.
For this the company collaborated with Foreca, a provider of weather information, with two decades of experience in predicting road weather conditions.
The companies expect that by combining the expertise of both the companies will lead to a new era of road-condition forecasting and will boost driving safety and smoothness.
Up to the highly automated SAE level 4, the decision as to whether a car can assume the task of driving depends on factors such as road type, speed range, and environmental conditions. In future automated vehicles, this decision will also be based on the predictive road-condition services provided by the company which will give them plenty of time to adapt its driving style, instead of having to hand over the driving task to the driver at the first sign of impaired road conditions, however minor.
The Bosch services package is to be rolled out worldwide in 2020, initially on the basis of weather data. As more and more connected cars appear on the roads, the service will be augmented by vehicle data.
As a sufficient number of connected vehicles take to the roads, the company will supplement its predictive road-condition services with vehicle data generated by the CAN bus, the vehicle’s central data network, such as the temperatures measured inside and outside the vehicle, and whether the windshield wipers are in use.
The company also plans to evaluate at the regular intervals interventions by the ESP anti-skid system. Using mathematical methods, engineers can measure the friction coefficient of the road surface at each individual wheel, as well as the status of each wheel.
The data will also find its way into the Bosch cloud via the respective automaker’s back-end server. All these data combined and intelligently evaluated will result in a package of smart Bosch services.