back to article Bosch wants crowdsourced data for future connected cars

“It’s all about how to make the car safer and safer,” German engineering firm Bosch told The Register last week as it exhibited its driverless technologies in London. Bosch, best known in the UK for domestic power tools and white goods, has been working on self-driving car technology for a few years now. While nothing that it …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    Bosch have been making automotive electronic systems for donkeys years.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Bosch have been making automotive electronic systems for donkeys years.

      Yeah, I remeber playing around with D-Jetronic fuel injection in the 70s.

    2. handleoclast

      They've been making other things, too.

      My Wielyfox Swift reports various Bosch sensors. Some of them are obviously software-derived versions of others (game rotation and rotation, for example), but there's at least 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis magnetic field hardware.

      The sort of thing I'd once have expected from Ferranti (had they not shot themselves in the foot), Marconi (had they not shot themselves in the foot) or Smiths Industries. These days I'd have expected Japanese, Taiwanese, South Korean or even Chinese manufacture. Instead it comes from the German equivalent of Lucas.

      They have to be damned good at it to undercut the oriental companies.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Joke

      Eh?

      I didn't know donkeys needed electronics?????

  2. Lysenko

    Bosch, best known in the UK for domestic power tools...

    Quite true, but it bears mentioning that Bosch invented CANBus which is the protocol (and associated driver chipset) that runs the control system of just about every modern car. This isn't a case of a drill and coffee maker manufacturer muscling in with no track record.

    1. namke

      Re: Bosch, best known in the UK for domestic power tools...

      not to mention being a pioneer in ABS and more recently stability control (aka 'ESP'), and being one of the largest suppliers of ECUs in the world.

      So, yeah - not just fridges and washing machines ;-)

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Bosch, best known in the UK for domestic power tools...

      This isn't a case of a drill and coffee maker manufacturer muscling in with no track record.

      Given the frequent reports of "security, what security?", a track record of inventing CANBus seems something to be wary of.

      1. Lysenko

        Re: Bosch, best known in the UK for domestic power tools...

        CANBus is a physical and link layer specification (OSI 1 and 2) which essentially amounts to RS485 + collision management. "Security" doesn't make any sense at that level (just as it doesn't for Ethernet or RS232) because all you're dealing with is voltage fluctuations in a couple of wires. Whether you encrypt the payload or authenticate slave nodes isn't within the CANBus bailiwick, it's the responsibility of whatever protocol you run on top of CANBus.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Bosch, best known in the UK for domestic power tools...

          "Whether you encrypt the payload or authenticate slave nodes isn't within the CANBus bailiwick, it's the responsibility of whatever protocol you run on top of CANBus."

          IOW add it later, so standard operating practice.

          And then when things go wrong everybody asks why security wasn't built in from scratch. In this case by including the necessary protocols in the spec instead of of waving hands and saying it's SEP.

  3. Christoph

    "this watches the driver’s face and triggers increasing levels of alarms if he starts nodding off or gazing into space instead of watching the road."

    So the drivers will quickly learn to go to sleep while still gazing straight ahead - much the same as going to sleep in class without the teacher noticing.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Because you really think teacher's don't notice ?

      I've given hundreds of trainings to groups of anywhere between two to twenty people. I can vouch for the fact that, when you're standing and speaking before a group of people, trying to make eye contact with all of them in turn, it is blatantly obvious when a person's eyes are unfocused and/or fluttering in the clouds of near-sleep.

      Personally, I'm more bothered by the fact that they're missing out on a given point than by the fact that they're sleeping during my presentation, but I only give trainings to professionals so I'm not authorized to go around pounding on desks to wake people up.

      What teachers see is one less troublesome teen to manage, I'd wager. Then they'll add another exercise in the homework list if they want to give the kid a chance to catch up.

    2. Tigra 07
      Thumb Up

      RE: Christoph

      Or wear those glasses with fake eyes on them while driving.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Low accuracy?

    "We were told that this system requires the car to be positioned within about two metres of the recorded start point"

    On our drive, you need positional accuracy to within +/-0.25m to avoid scraping the car on a wall or a tree as you swing in. Personnally speaking, I'd expect a self driving system to be more accurate than a human, not less.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Low accuracy?

      I don't think the bit you quoted means what you think it means. It refers to the starting position of the car before starting the parking manoeuvre, not to the path taken or the final parking point. In fact it says that it can adjust the final parking point to take into account any garage clutter that might move about. So shouldn't have any problems avoiding walls and trees I should think

    2. Ian Michael Gumby
      Boffin

      Re: Low accuracy?

      I don't think you understand.

      Your position is a bit fuzzy and relative.

      (There's the GPS location, and then there's the map which is also a bit relative.)

      Here, if you're within 2m , the position relative to the map, but that's where LIDAR kicks in. It helps you determine your position relative to your surroundings. LIDAR can give you fairly accurate positioning. However these are expensive and they may be building/designing cheaper units which are less accurate.

      Imagine your lane guidance system where you're going down the highway at 70mph and the guy in the lane next to you starts to swerve towards your lane but doesn't enter it. What does your car do? ;-)

    3. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Low accuracy?

      I shouldn't worry on the score of accuracy, Bosch has been making pick &place and packaging robots for some time. Pick & place robots usually work to fractions of a mm, it's the feedback to identify it's start point that is crucial though.

      Overall it doesn't look as though, they are doing anything particularly new, just developing and applying some of their robotics knowhow to cars.

      I just wish they like the rest of the marketing world, his wife and his bloody dog, would stop calling any of this stuff AI, there are dicky birds in the trees in my garden who are way smarter and more intelligent than a Bosch/Tesla ( in fairness though even the magpies can't drive).

  5. Tigra 07
    Thumb Up

    Linux FTW

    It appears to be running a full version of Ubuntu too

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UAE 300 car pileups (30 people dead)

    ~ Forget narrow roads / garage clutter Bosch, that's easy! Robot-cars are a complicated problem and I don't think we're going to solve it until we at least have Smart roads (even though I hate the idea of more IoT).

    ~ We need advance warnings about conditions ahead to stop these kinds of pile-ups. Also what's the use if we're not going to make driving safer: (UAE 300 car pileups on the road to Abu Dhabi etc)...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Bosch is certainly making the right noises'

    Data-rape me one, twice and yet again.... No more! I'm done with empty promises from Corporations making the 'right noises'. Invariably they slurp more than they admit, its just that sometimes they don't 100% monetize it!

    No more assurances! We need rock solid enforced legislation, whether its GDPR or whatever comes after it! But it needs to be enforced! Hope regulators / legislators have the staff they need, but I suspect they don't, because politicians are just corporation's bitches!

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