Europe sees sharp increase in driver assist systems

| Transport

Bosch in-car driver assist technology

A study by Bosch has shown that the uptake of safety related driver assist systems in the European market is increasing at a rapid pace.

The more widespread availability and affordability of the technology that underpins Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) have resulted in a significant increase in the uptake of such technology within the last year in Europe as well as gaining more importance in the eyes of consumers when making new vehicle purchasing decisions, according to Bosch.

The largest increase has been seen in Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and land departure warning (LDW) systems which saw an increase from one in ten vehicles in 2013 being fitted with such technology to one in ten during 2014.

According to Dr Dirk Hoheisel of Bosch, this trend can only have a positive effect on the safety of motorists with estimates that AEB could prevent up to as many as 72% of rear-end collision accidents that result in injury in Germany alone. This high level of injury prevention potential is the reason why the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) has now made the standard fitment of AEB technology mandatory from 2016 in order to receive the organisation’s top 5-star ranking.

Sensor technology

One of the key enabling factors in the mass consumer availability of driver assist systems is the affordability of the sensors used, such as the 77GHz radar sensors from Bosch. These sensors will reach an output level of 10 million units during 2016 and is used in such popular vehicles as the VW Golf and Polo.

An important element of AEB, the Bosch radar sensor is also used in other ADAS applications, including Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) where the car automatically adjusts its speed to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front regardless of changes in speed. This technology has implications in both safety and mobility since it not only reduces the possibility of rear end collisions during motorway driving, but also reduces the instances of heavy braking in such traffic conditions. Such heavy braking is one of the causes of the “concertina effect” on motorways that results in congestion.

Other safety technology

In its study, Bosch has also seen increased demand for other sensor-based safety equipment including road sign recognition and sleep impairment detection. By recognising signs of drowsiness through changes in steering input and matching them to the length of journey and the amount of time the driver has been behind the wheel, the system can predict drowsiness levels and warn the driver through steering wheel feedback and visual or audio warnings that it is time to take a break before the driver becomes sleep impaired.

Other technology that has become more widespread during the last 12 months has been intelligent headlight control, parking assistance systems and reversing cameras.

Regionally, the demand for ADAS is similar throughout Europe with Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK being the most significant regions outside Germany that are adopting the technology. AEB installations in Belgium even outstripped Germany during the year with one in every four new vehicles delivered in the country having collision avoidance technology in the shape of AEB.

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