Bosch helps make changing lanes safer
MRR rear radar sensor enters series production
- Vehicle blind spots are a constant hazard when changing lanes and cause many serious accidents
- A leading European manufacturer is putting Bosch’s MMR rear mid-range radar sensor system for rear-end applications into series production
- MRR technology is based on fourth-generation Bosch radars
Drivers are taught to assess surrounding traffic before changing lanes by checking their rearview and side mirrors and looking over each shoulder. But even for those who scrupulously follow this sequence of checks, the vehicle’s blind spot – the area alongside and just behind the vehicle – is a constant source of danger and often the cause of serious accidents. Drivers are not able to see into this area using either the rearview or side mirrors, but it is big enough for even a minivan to disappear from view and be missed by a cursory glance over the shoulder before switching lanes. To help minimize this risk, Bosch developed the lane-changing assistant, which receives the information it needs from the new mid-range radar sensor for rear-end applications. “The MMR rear means drivers are effectively looking over their shoulders all the time, because it reliably and accurately recognizes other road users in their vehicle’s blind spot,” says Gerhard Steiger, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division.
Sensors monitor all traffic in the area behind the vehicle
A leading global car manufacturer is currently putting the Bosch system into series production for one of its high-volume mid-sized vehicles. To make changing lanes safer, this European manufacturer has concealed two sensors in the rear bumper – one on the left, one on the right. These two MRR rear sensors monitor the area alongside and behind the car. Powerful control software collates the sensor information to produce a complete picture of all traffic in the area behind the vehicle. Whenever another vehicle approaches at speed from behind or is already present in the blind spot, a signal such as a warning light in the side mirror alerts the driver to the hazard. Should the driver still activate the turn signal with the intention of changing lanes, the lane-changing assistant issues an additional acoustic and/or haptic warning.
The MRR rear system can do much more than just assist with lane-changing, however. These sensors also form part of Bosch’s cross-traffic alert system, which supports drivers reversing out of perpendicular parking spaces when their rear view is obstructed. Able to recognize cars, cyclists, and pedestrians crossing behind the reversing vehicle from the left or right at a distance of up to 50 meters, the system alerts the driver to the imminent danger of collision by issuing a timely audible or visible signal.
Significantly smaller and lighter than a pack of butter
Bosch’s mid-range radar sensor has been a great success. And it is just as effective when facing forward and used to provide information for other driver assistance systems. “Both product versions are based on fourth-generation Bosch radar technology,” Steiger says. The MRR is a bistatic multi-mode radar with four independent receiver channels and digital beam forming (DBF). It operates in the 76-77 GHz frequency band that is standard for automotive radar applications in almost all countries worldwide. Whereas the MMR rear has an aperture angle of up to 150 degrees and a range of up to 90 meters, the forward-facing version looks significantly further: with an aperture angle of up to plus/minus 45 degrees, it can detect objects up to 160 meters away.
Bosch uses the mid-range radar sensor for front-end application to offer solutions such as ACC adaptive cruise control and predictive emergency braking systems, either alone or in parallel. And it so happens that from 2016 onwards, radar- or camera-based predictive emergency braking systems will be a requirement for vehicles hoping to obtain the highest rating in the Euro NCAP test. The Bosch MRR system’s compact design also works in its favor. Significantly smaller and lighter than a 250-gram pack of butter, the radar sensor fits into even the smallest cars. As Gerhard Steiger says: “The Bosch mid-range radar sensor is a customized, cost-effective solution that enables radar sensor technology to be fitted as standard in all vehicle segments.”
Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2013, its sales came to 30.6 billion euros, or 66 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers (NB: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Mobility Solutions largely operates in the following areas: injection technology for internal-combustion engines, alternative powertrain concepts, efficient and networked powertrain peripherals, systems for active and passive driving safety, assistance and comfort functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as car-to-car and Car2X communication, and concepts, technology, and service for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch has been responsible for 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. In 2013, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.1 billion euros. (NB: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, the Bosch Group invested some 4.5 billion euros in research and development and applied for some 5,000 patents. This is an average of 20 patents per day. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”
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