Bosch in bid to halve global crashes
Bosch is playing a major part in the Global NCAP’s “Stop the Crash” campaign, in a bid to halve the number of road accidents by 2020.
Currently that figure stands at 1.25 million a year; every day, more than 3,000 people worldwide lose their lives in traffic accidents, according to Global NCAP.
These fatalities are often the result of vehicles that are inadequately equipped – especially in emerging markets – and which therefore provide poor protection for passengers and pedestrians.
“For Bosch, every traffic fatality is one too many. With our technologies, we can protect human life around the world,” says Dr Dirk Hoheisel, member of the Bosch board of management.
The campaign’s objective is to boost awareness of safety systems such as ESP, emergency braking systems, and motorcycle ABS, particularly in growth markets.
The effectiveness of the different technologies was featured in driving demonstrations at the kick-off event of the initiative in Brasilia in November. “Stop the Crash” also supports the United Nations in its aim to halve the number of traffic fatalities worldwide – currently 1.25 million per year – by 2020. Bosch launched the ESP electronic stability programme in 1995, and it has prevented 190,000 accidents and saved more than 6,000 lives across Europe. “After the seat belt, ESP is the most important vehicle safety system – even more important than the airbag,” Hoheisel says. If all vehicles were equipped with the anti-skid system, up to 80 percent of all skidding accidents could be prevented. Bosch has manufactured more than 150 million ESP systems since 1995. ESP is also the basic technology for many driver assistance systems which intervene to support drivers in potentially dangerous situations – such as changing lanes or staying in their lane, or taking evasive action and braking when encountering an obstacle.
Rear-end collisions are among the worst – especially if pedestrians or bicyclists are involved. Automatic emergency braking systems can prevent such collisions entirely – or, at the very least, considerably mitigate their impact.
If a radar or video sensor detects a potential obstacle ahead of the car, the braking system is first prepared for a full emergency braking manoeuvre, and the driver is warned. If the driver fails to respond, the system performs a partial braking manoeuvre.
As soon as the driver steps on the brakes, the system increases braking power to prevent the accident. If the driver also fails to respond to the partial braking manoeuvre and the system detects that a collision is unavoidable, it autonomously performs a full emergency braking manoeuvre. At speeds of up to 40km/h in urban traffic, the Bosch emergency braking system can completely prevent collisions with stationary vehicles.
In Germany alone, according to Bosch accident research, up to 72 percent of all rear-end collisions resulting in injury could be prevented if all vehicles were equipped with an automatic emergency braking system. As early as the mid-1990s, Bosch developed an antilock braking system for the safety of motorcyclists.
“ABS can prevent one-quarter of all motorcycle accidents involving casualties,” Hoheisel says. Many countries now therefore have legislation mandating this safety system.
Bosch’s latest focus is on reducing costs, so as to make ABS technology available for all vehicle classes and markets. This also includes the pricesensitive two-wheelers with up to 250cc displacement which are popular in emerging markets.