Bosch refines automatic emergency braking technology
The precursor prototypes of today’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) technology have been around in one form or another since the 1950s, but complete high-tech systems that can stop a car when it detects an object on its trajectory dates back to a little over a decade. old. That’s enough time to figure out how it works, but not enough time to be ubiquitous.
In 2020, about 74% of passenger vehicles and light trucks sold in the United States were equipped with a factory-installed AEB, according to data from Wards Intelligence. There is no mandate in the United States for new cars to be equipped with AEB technology today.
Instead, automakers pledged in 2016 to voluntarily make AEB a standard feature on all new cars and trucks in the United States starting in 2022. Even once that happens, it will take some time. years before every car on the road had AEB installed, given that the overall penetration rate of AEB technology in all cars on American roads today is less than 5%.
However, when we reach the adoption level of 100%, the accident rates will decrease. According to new accident research from Bosch, about a third of vehicle crashes with injury or death – 649,000 per year – would be avoided or mitigated if every car on the road had an AEB.
This figure is based on data from the United States Department of Transportation’s Crash Report Sampling System from 2018, when there were a total of 1,889,000 accidents with injury or death in the United States.
Bosch claims that 566,500 accidents could have been avoided with basic AEB technology, while another 64,000 would have been avoided with AEB with pedestrian detection and 18,500 would not have happened with AEB technology which detects cyclists.
“Think about that number: 649,000 accidents that could be avoided if AEB were present in all vehicles,” says Kay Stepper, senior vice president of automated driving and driver assistance at Bosch in North America. North. “Combine that with ever-evolving technology – and we are far from having finished developing this technology – what an impact this could have.”
AEB technology is more than a forward facing radar (or rear facing, when we talk about AEB which works when you are in reverse) and sensors for detecting objects. (photo above). It’s also the system that controls the brakes and the software that makes the decisions.
Stepper claims that many improvements in AEB technology have been made over the past two years, with rapidly evolving camera and detection technologies that deliver more resolution and more dynamic range information for improved algorithms with which ones to work on. This allows the new AEB systems to detect people or cyclists even when they are “hiding” behind a car or a sign.
“We have a unique approach with Bosch cameras which have what we call a multi-pass approach,” says Stepper. “We combine computer vision technologies and algorithms with artificial intelligence. This allows us to safer and more robustly detect partially masked objects, including pedestrians. “
The second big improvement in AEB is the continuously improving radar technology, Stepper explains. With new higher angular resolution sensors and a wider vertical field of view, forward collision warnings (required for AEB) can be activated at higher speeds.
“These two (technologies), combined, really allow us to detect anything that could potentially venture earlier in the vehicle’s path and react sooner,” says Stepper.
A third improvement in AEB technology is better brake system response time, which plays an important role in making AEB more efficient, as it’s not just about sensors and object identification. The car must also be able to stop physically.
With all the advancements in AEB technologies, Bosch says it’s high time this type of crash avoidance technology was included in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)(photo below).
“What we would like to see is this Rescue Technology (AEB) implemented in NCAP and we’re not afraid of that,” Stepper said. “The US Department of Transportation and NHTSA are very much aware of our proposals on this subject. “
Stepper says today’s NCAP is all about impact resistance and fuel economy, but what’s missing are the technologies that keep a car from going into a crash in the first place.
“Collision prevention has been around for over ten years now,” he says. “It is high time to educate and let consumers know, when they are looking for a new car, what collision avoidance technologies on the vehicle are of interest to them? And AEB would be a part of it. “