Bosch UR:BAN research helps self-driving, peds & tight spaces

Bosch test vehicles compute how objects are going to move, pedestrian evasion techniques and a way to move cars safely through tight spaces in the city. Audi participated in the program with “Cognitive Assistance” scanning.

Dr. Dietrich Manstetten, who works in research and advance engineering at Robert Bosch GmbH and Dr. Lutz Bürkle and a team of 11 Bosch researchers, have been working on UR:BAN project and are showing what they learned today in Düsseldorf.

Bosch researchers have developed an assistance system that intervenes to prevent a collision with a pedestrian. At vehicle speeds up to 50 kilometers per hour, the system helps drivers brake and take evasive action. If braking alone is no longer enough to prevent a collision with a pedestrian who suddenly walks out in front of the car, the assistant instantaneously computes an evasive maneuver. As soon as drivers start using the steering wheel to take evasive action, the system kicks in to support the steering maneuver.

The assistance system for tight spaces goes even further. It maneuvers the car through tight spaces such as streets where cars are double parked. Using images from the stereo video camera, the computer calculates the path the car should travel. It then controls the electrical power steering and ensures that the car maneuvers through a tight space unscathed. The Bosch system also recognizes when a space is too tight to pass through, warning the driver or stopping the car in time before the exterior rear-view mirrors or fenders are damaged.

The insights that Bosch gains from the work of Manstetten, Bürkle, and the team of researchers in the UR:BAN project feed directly into the development of automated driving. Since 2011, the supplier of technology and services has focused this work at two locations: Abstatt, in Germany, and Palo Alto in California.

An Audi A7 Sportback, is equipped with close-to- production sensors, a laser scanner and a video camera at the front, it has a dual radar system at the front, a rear and a side radar system. The system is called ” Cognitive Assistance” for scanning the vehicle environment in a 360° all-round view.

UR:BAN (acronym from the German for urban space: user-friendly assistance systems and network management) is a publicly funded joint project. It brings together 31 partners from the automotive, automotive-supply, electronics, communications, and software industries, as well as universities, research institutes, and cities. The project’s aim is to develop driver assistance and traffic management systems for cities. Driver assistance systems are an essential step on the way to automated driving. UR:BAN is receiving some 40 million euros of funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The project’s overall costs total approximately 80 million euros.