Automated driving:
Where the mobile world is headed

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Today, efficient driver assistance systems are already helping drivers reach their destination in a safer, more relaxed manner. In the future, these systems will tackle increasingly complex driving situations and assist the driver – or even act independently. Each innovation brings us a little closer to accident-free, automated driving.

Automated driving will change the future of mobility. There will be fewer accidents, fewer traffic jams and lower harmful emissions. Instead of steering the vehicle ourselves, we will calmly leaf through a newspaper, prepare ourselves for meetings, or catch up on our email. The dream of self-driving vehicles may become a reality in the near future, as the technology needed is already in existence today.





Improved road use and lower emissions

Benefits: Automated driving does more than just move cars.

Automated driving will completely change the way we use our roads. Automated vehicles are able to drive at a shorter distance to the preceding vehicle. The flow of traffic can be improved considerably thanks to vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, resulting in coordination in mobility far beyond what humans alone could manage. Automated driving improves the traffic flow on roads, while also reducing fuel consumption and lowering emissions. Personalized and environmentally-friendly travel is becoming a reality.

Greater level of safety for all road users

The efficient flow of traffic afforded by automated vehicles is not only good for the environment, but also drivers' stress levels. In addition, road safety will improve significantly, as automated vehicles are able to detect and avoid potentially critical situations much earlier than human drivers. A higher degree of automation reduces the potential for driver error, and the dream of accident-free driving is becoming a reality.

Greater driving pleasure

Automated driving opens up a new dimension of driving pleasure. In the future, drivers will be able to make their time on the road much more productive and eventful – whether by reading a newspaper, checking e-mails, surfing online, or enjoying a relaxed conversation with a passenger. Automated driving will transform the vehicle into an integral part of connected living.

Global megatrends:
Another thing that speaks in favor of automated driving

Megatrends are the main drivers of society. They reflect long-term changes in people’s behavior. Megatrends are not only able to change individual areas of social life, politics, and the economy, they can even transform entire societies. Here you will find several examples of megatrends that are of particular significance for automated driving.

Urbanization

More and more people are living in urban areas. The resulting megacities are simultaneously engines of economic growth and productivity. This means increasing numbers of people are moving from the countryside in order to take advantage of the growing wealth and higher standard of living provided by these urban centers.
All metropolitan areas have to address environmental pollution, growing volumes of traffic, and overloaded transport routes. Urbanization presents a need for new traffic management and infrastructure solutions that optimize traffic flow. Following the development of new vehicle concepts, urbanization also requires sustainable and environmentally-conscious mobility solutions.

Population and demographic change

Global population development is one of the greatest challenges of our time; never before has the world’s population grown as rapidly as in the 20th century. Alongside this development, the proportion of older people in the global population is also rising significantly.
We are all living longer than previous generations – but we are aging differently. The seniors of today are more mobile and more active, and they are breaking with traditional age roles. This means that we will have to assist older motorists with driving, and give greater consideration to their safety requirements and physical needs.

Connectivity

The degree of connectivity is on the rise in all areas of life and work, and we can go online anywhere, any time. The "Internet of Things and Services" enables not only people to communicate with each other, but objects as well. This gives rise to completely new services that change people’s everyday lives.
Vehicles will come into contact with guidance systems, and thus have at their disposal an up-to-date view of the traffic situation. More and more web applications will be integrated into the vehicle as well. The increasing amount of information available to the driver creates a need for an intuitive human-machine interface (HMI). Bosch is actively working to provide the best technology to meet this need.

Energy and climate

Findings generated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change attracted international attention: the unabated emission of greenhouse gases is leading to an increase in average global temperatures and consequently to flooding, heat waves, and drought. Therefore, the consumption of fossil fuels must be drastically reduced. This necessitates new energy and mobility concepts. As a systems supplier, Bosch is helping to make mobility more efficient and more economical. Automated systems have an important role to play in this process.

Levels of automation: From assistant to chauffeur

Modern driver assistance systems are paving the way for the automated driving of tomorrow. A distinction is made* between various degrees of automation, depending on the extent to which the driver has to monitor the traffic situation and the framework within which the driver is responsible for vehicle control.

*According to SAE International

The higher the degree of automation, the lighter the driver’s workload – automation frees up time for productivity, communication, or conversation while on the road. Partially automated functions, such as traffic jam assist, are already available on the market; these are being followed by functions with a higher degree of automation. Highly automated functions will be implemented by the end of the decade.

Legal framework: why the traffic situation is often simpler than the legal situation

In many countries, the law states that

  • any moving vehicle must have a responsible driver;
  • the driver must constantly be able to control the vehicle;
  • the driver must refrain from all other activities while driving the vehicle.

Informative driver assistance systems comply with these regulations, as it is the driver who decides if and how to react to the system information. This applies for lane departure warning, park assist or lane change assist. Intervening driver assistance systems also comply with applicable regulations as they either assist the driver in a task (e.g. ABS, emergency brake assist) or can be overridden by the driver at any time (e.g. lane keeping support).

Currently, as a further development of driver assistance systems, the same provisions apply to partial automation as to driver assistance systems. When using partially automated functions, the driver's attention must be constantly focused on the traffic situation. The driver monitors the systems and is able to take control of the vehicle at any time.
A major regulatory milestone towards the deployment of automated vehicle technologies was attained on 23 March 2016 with the entry into force of amendments to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. As of that date, automated driving technologies transferring driving tasks to the vehicle are explicitly allowed in traffic, provided that these technologies are in conformity with the United Nations vehicle regulations or can be overridden or switched off by the driver.