Bosch launches its automated driving initiative in China

Apr 20, 2017   Technology

Collaboration agreements with AutoNavi, Baidu, and NavInfo for high-precision maps.

In order to get automated driving off the ground in China, a promising concept is still needed for generating high-precision, up-to-the-minute maps. Bosch wants to change this and has signed a collaboration agreement with the Chinese internet group Baidu and the map providers AutoNavi and NavInfo. Together, the four partners are working on a solution that will let them use information, collected by Bosch's radar and video sensors in vehicles, to generate and update maps. "Automated driving will not be possible without high-precision maps – not in China and not anywhere else in the world either," said Dr. Rolf Bulander, member of Robert Bosch GmbH's board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector. Bosch is pursuing an open, standardised approach. Automated vehicles will use the data collected by Bosch sensors to determine their own location, which is essential for automated driving. This data will be compatible with the three partners' map data. Bosch, AutoNavi, Baidu and NavInfo want to present their solution before the end of the year.

74% of Chinese want automated driving soon

Bosch and the Baidu internet group are even going a step further. Together, they have set up a test vehicle for partially automated driving on Chinese motorways. The test vehicle, based on a Jeep Cherokee, is equipped with numerous Bosch components. These include, among other things, five mid-section radar sensors and a multi-purpose camera for environment recognition, as well as an ESP braking control system and electronic power steering. "Automated driving is a global topic for Bosch," said Bulander. "With China we are now starting our fourth testing location after Germany, the USA, and Japan."

As the world's largest automotive market and with roughly 28 million vehicles now being produced annually, China is also an important sales market for automated driving technologies. Chinese consumers are already very open to it. In a representative Bosch survey carried out in six countries, 74% of the Chinese interviewed declared themselves in favour of the rapid introduction of automated driving in their country. By way of comparison: in Germany, this figure was 33% of those surveyed, while in the USA it was 31%.

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