Today’s automobile is a complex product with a host of systems, components, and functions. Ensuring that these all work together smoothly is a challenging task that can impede the development and validation process. At the same time, it also adds to the growing mountain of data that needs to be processed. In order to streamline the development and validation of driver assistance and braking systems, the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division relies on connected development – including the use of the Bosch IoT Suite.
For Andreas Hoffmann, a system engineer at Bosch Chassis Systems Control, there are four key factors contributing to the increasing complexity of the development process: “First off, we’re dealing with more and more projects. And these are increasingly diverse, because OEMs use varying drive systems, which in turn require different brake control systems.” At the same time, the validation process itself has become more complicated. “Software is being updated all the time, and each new release has to be validated before it can be handed on to OEMs. And, finally, the tests themselves are becoming more and more complex. In the past, we needed a quarter of an hour; now it can take up to twice as long.”
In order to validate braking systems, Hoffmann and his team therefore use not only conventional test routines and rigs but also the IoT. Connected Brakes is the name of a new, connected generation of braking systems. The system is based on the Bosch IoT Suite and in particular on Bosch IoT Insights, the Bosch IoT Suite service for data management. This provides support throughout the entire product life cycle – from the start of development to production launch and on to the final phasing-out of the product.
Bosch IoT Insights supports the development process
It is the use of IoT that enables Bosch to provide an OEM with support for vehicle validation during the development process. First of all, in cooperation with the OEM, a fleet of some 30 to 50 vehicles is connected. This means that they continuously deliver, practically in real time, a stream of data and valuable information, despite the fact that some of them are undergoing tests in remote regions and are therefore not physically accessible. Development engineers can access this data via an online dashboard. In addition, they receive a monthly report for statistical purposes. They can also access event-specific data such as the entire dataset relating to a braking maneuver. This includes speed, temperature, and GPS data. “We decide in advance which data are relevant, and which should be recorded, and in which form,” Hoffmann explains. “This method of data evaluation not only saves time but also means that we can optimize functions and services on the fly, or even develop new ones and then offer them to OEMs.” Over-the-air updates ensure that vehicles are always equipped with the latest software.
The start of production need not mean that the gathering of data comes to a halt. With OEM approval, data collection can continue during live operation. This helps to identify any variances as well as to benchmark product specifications. At the same time, it means that Bosch can provide OEMs with a sound assessment of the degree of user acceptance for individual system functions. “Another goal is to supply OEM with data-based services such as predictive diagnostics – i.e., an early warning in the event of imminent system failure,” Hoffmann says. In this instance, algorithms are used to analyze field data and thereby generate information on the current status of the braking system. “Using IoT and, in particular, Bosch IoT Insights, we can simplify the validation process, accelerate development, and improve the quality of our products. This in turn helps us to develop braking systems that react more rapidly and safely in dangerous situations.”
New feature: master data management
Bosch IoT Insights had an opportunity to show its true mettle during this year’s winter testing at the Bosch test center on the Vaitoudden peninsula in Sweden. This is where Bosch carries out extreme tests, not least of its braking systems. Winter testing provides developers with important data and valuable feedback, which then helps them further enhance products. In Sweden, there was particular excitement surrounding a new feature of Bosch IoT Insights: master data management. Originally developed specifically for Bosch, this is now being used by other customers as well. In addition, a new visualization widget has been developed for use in winter testing. This means that vehicles can now be visualized and tracked in real time via a map display.
At this year’s winter test, all demo vehicles were networked. They then sent data to Bosch IoT Insights. The data generated in this way enabled customers and Bosch associates to track the GPS location of vehicles in real time on a large display. Using the master data management feature, each vehicle can be mapped, along with its name, registration number, and the version of the software it is using. Before testing a vehicle, this configuration is stored as a master dataset. This enables a more meaningful analysis of a vehicle’s test results in combination with the vehicle configuration. In addition, there is also a booking function to reserve vehicle time. This means that everyone involved always knows who is using which vehicle and for what purpose.
More on Chassis Systems Control
Chassis Systems Control is a division of the Bosch Group. It develops and manufactures components and systems – as well as individual functions – that enable safe, relaxed, and increasingly automated driving. These include:
- Brake actuation systems, such as vacuum-based and electromechanical brake boosters, and brake discs
- The electronic braking control systems ABS, TCS, and ESP®
- Sensors for measuring parameters such as engine speed, steering angle, and yaw rate
- Electronic devices to protect occupants and pedestrians, such as airbag control units and crash sensors
- The fast-growing field of driver assistance systems, which are based on ultrasonic, radar, and video sensors developed and manufactured by Bosch. These enable functions such as radar-assisted adaptive cruise control (ACC), predictive emergency braking systems, lane-keeping systems, and parking assistants. Driver assistance systems are continually being enhanced so as to create increasingly automated solutions
Chassis Systems Control has operations – including development, production, sales and marketing, and test tracks – at almost 50 locations in over 20 countries worldwide. The division employs over 25,000 associates.