5 Bosch technologies contributing to reduction of UK road casualties by 38%
- Road traffic accident casualties fell by 121,000 over the last 20 years
- Bosch pioneered driver assistance technologies such as electronic stability programme (ESP) and autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Motorcycle assistance systems helping to dramatically reduce fatalities
Despite the number of vehicles on UK roads having increased by 15% since 1994, the number of casualties caused by road traffic accidents on UK roads has fallen by 38% over the same period (315,000 in 1994 to 121,000 in 2014). The reduction in UK casualties can be partly attributed to the introduction of numerous driver assistance systems by manufacturers such as Bosch.
Electronic Stability Programme (ESP)
Bosch pioneered ESP technology, introducing it in 1995. Since then, it has produced more than 100 million ESP systems and the technology was made a mandatory feature for all new cars in the European Union from November 2014.
Vehicles equipped with ESP are 25% less likely to be involved in fatal road accidents and reduce serious accidents, such as skidding or overturning, by 59% (Thatcham). Bosch’s ESP system has prevented more than 190,000 accidents and saved in excess of 6,000 lives across Europe over its 20 year history.
ESP works by comparing a vehicle’s direction of travel with the position of the steering wheel. If these do not match, the system reduces engine torque or brakes individual wheels to correct the vehicle’s course.
Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
According to Thatcham, AEB can reduce low speed accidents by around 20%. Bosch first introduced AEB in 2010 and the technology is now mandatory to achieve a five star EuroNCAP rating.
AEB has traditionally used a combination of radar and optical sensors, which can sense if an accident is imminent and stop the vehicle. Bosch’s latest system requires just one video sensor, making AEB more cost-efficient for OEMs and, subsequently, consumers.
Lane Keeping Support
Lane Keeping Support is used to help drivers maintain a proper lane position by using sensors to detect the lane markings on either side of the vehicle. If the distance between the vehicle and the markings becomes too small, the system will either take control of the steering or brake a single wheel to correct the vehicle’s path. It is believed that Lane Keeping Support can help to reduce accidents by around 25%.
Bosch introduced Motorcycle ABS in 2013 and, such is its success, it will become mandatory in Europe by 2017. The fitment of ABS to motorcycles has helped to reduce accidents by 25%.
The chance of locking the brakes on a motorcycle can be far greater than other vehicles, as the front and rear wheels are often braked through separate controls. The effect of ‘locking up’ can also be far more dangerous on a motorcycle, with the rider likely to fall. ABS prevents brakes from locking and improves stopping distances on dry and wet roads.
Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC)
MSC records the lean angle of the motorcycle and adapts the application of ABS and traction control to suit it. By analysing tilt rate and linear acceleration, MSC predicts if the front or rear wheel is going to lose contact with the ground, meaning it can take corrective action. Braking is flexibly distributed between the front and rear wheel depending on the situation, to ensure the safest possible deceleration. This helps to improve stability through corners, reducing two thirds of motorcycle accidents that occur due to rider error.
Motorcycle Side View Assist
Bosch has also recently introduced the world’s first assist system for motorcycles, which monitors the rider’s surroundings to allow them to change lanes safely. Motorcycle Side View Assist uses an optical signal close to the mirror, which illuminates when there is a vehicle in the rider’s blind spot. The system is able to differentiate between oncoming traffic and hazards. It helps improve safety, especially in cities, where heavy traffic makes it necessary to change lanes more often.
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Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2014, its sales came to 33.3 billion euros, or 68 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector combines the group’s expertise in three mobility domains – automation, electrification, and connectivity – and offers its customers integrated mobility solutions. Its main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 360,000 associates worldwide (as per April 1, 2015). The company generated sales of 49 billion euros in 2014.* Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including its sales and service partners, Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2014, Bosch applied for some 4,600 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to create solutions for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”
*The sales figure disclosed for 2014 does not include the former joint ventures BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (now BSH Hausgeräte GmbH) and ZF Lenksysteme GmbH (now Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH), which have since been taken over completely.