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Bosch researching tech to stop pedestrians getting run over

Driver assistance system will predict collisions and help driver to avoid pedestrians

Bosch researching tech to stop pedestrians getting run over
Bosch is developing driver assistance technology at its research centre in Renningen, Germany.

Bosch is working on smart car technology to help stop vehicles from hitting pedestrians.

The company is developing driver assistance systems at its new research campus in Renningen, Germany, which will automatically detect pedestrians in front of the car, and if a collision is likely plot assist with braking and provide a route to avoid collision. In tests the technology has helped avoid 60% of potential collisions.

The company hopes that the technology will help prevent some of the 1.3 million road fatalities that occur worldwide each year. In the UAE alone, there were 1,209 collisions between vehicles and pedestrians in 2014.

"The RTA and the government of the UAE have worked hard to increase policing and raise awareness around safe driving, which, in the last few years, has led to a significant drop in road fatalities. But pedestrians will always be the most vulnerable population on our roads. The technologies that we are developing at Renningen research centre, our innovation hub in Germany, aims to leave fewer pedestrians fighting for their lives," said Volker Bischoff, General Manager of Robert Bosch Middle East.

Bischoff continued, "Research conducted by Bosch shows that when a driver has at least half a second to react to a potential collision with pedestrians, the assistance system can help him to avoid the accident in about 60 percent of cases."

To test the technology, an interdisciplinary team at the innovation hub in Renningen built a research vehicle whose central component is a Bosch stereo video camera used in production models. Mounted behind the windshield near the rear-view mirror, the camera provides a 3D image of the area to the front of the vehicle, and detects pedestrians and oncoming traffic as well as obstacles on the road ahead. A computer in the trunk of the research vehicle analyses the information. If a pedestrian suddenly appears in the stereo video camera's field of vision, the system computes the likelihood of a collision as well as the route that must be taken to avoid it. All this happens at lightning speed - more than ten times a second. The correct interpretation of the images from the camera and the specific driving situation is particularly complex.

Bosch anticipates that the assisted driving systems will ultimately lead to automated driving by 2020. The Bosch highway pilot for instance will enable highly automated freeway driving without the need for constant driver supervision. Automation will be based on various sensors that provide a precise image of the vehicle's surroundings. Here, Bosch relies on its mid- and long-range radar sensors, stereo video camera, and image-processing expertise.

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