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Bosch: Road safety is a shared responsibility

Vision of accident-free mobility through Driver Assistance Systems

2018-06-11

  • According to the Singapore Police Force (SPF), there has been a 12 per cent increase in traffic fatalities and a nine per cent increase for fatal accidents from January to April 2018
  • Bosch continues to significantly invest in research and development to invent life-saving vehicle technologies
  • Collaborative sustained action by all parties necessary towards accident-free roads in ASEAN

Singapore – With more than 1.2 million people worldwide killed on roads each year and an estimated 120,000 fatalities in ASEAN alone, the United Nations General Assembly earnestly advocates for road safety, declaring 2011 to 2020 the “Decade of Action for Road Safety”.

While Singapore’s road fatality rates are considerably lower than its regional counterparts, an increase in traffic fatalities and fatal accidents since the beginning of the year give reason for concern. Road accidents are more prevalent during festive seasons such as the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri weekend.

An important religious holiday observed by Muslims worldwide, Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a time of celebration to mark the end of Ramadan. It is also a time that sees a spike in traffic across the causeway, with many motorists driving back to their hometowns during the festive season to spend time with their families, either in Singapore or in Malaysia. Possibility of road accidents is always higher during festive seasons, with major causes attributed to motorist losing control of the vehicle, entering the opposite lane, attempting to overtake at dangerous spots and making dangerous turns at junctions.

Safe roads, above all

“Road traffic deaths and injuries cause insurmountable suffering and grief,” said Martin Hayes, president of Bosch in Southeast Asia. “Bosch continues to make substantial research and development investments, focusing on creating technologies that save lives. This includes inventing products and solutions that make roads and vehicles safer,” he added.

Among Bosch’s many pioneering innovations in the area of vehicle safety is the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS). Introduced for passenger cars in 1978 and for two-wheelers in 1995, ABS prevents a vehicle’s wheels from locking up during an emergency braking situation. This technology was further enhanced with the development of the world’s first Electronic Stability Program (ESP®), which detects vehicle skidding movements, and actively counteracts them - considerably improving driving safety. To date, 64 per cent of all new vehicles worldwide are equipped with ESP®, and as of 2017, the system has prevented over 250,0001) fatal accidents in Europe alone.

Accident-free mobility with driver assistance systems

Around 90 percent of accidents can be attributed to human error, for example, where risks are not detected or situations are not judged correctly, and the driver reacts too slow or incorrect. Using knowledge gained from various accident researches, Bosch has been developing driver assistance systems that include intelligent features like Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keeping Support, and Side View Assist that help drivers in confusing or critical traffic situations. These systems cover a wide range of everyday driving situations and are an important step in realising a future of accident-free and stress-free mobility.

High-traffic volumes increase the risk of rear-end collisions. Singapore was ranked 45th in a global index of 174 cities for road congestion, giving motorists reason to be wary of collisions. Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), based on a network of sensors in the ESP®, helps to mitigate this situation. Continuously analysing traffic ahead and detecting critical proximity to a moving or stationary vehicle, AEB also initiates partial braking to reduce vehicle speed. If the driver fails to respond, AEB will apply full braking to avoid rear-end collision. In cases where collision is unavoidable, the intervention can at least minimize impact to the vehicles and injury to the driver and passengers.

The Lane Keeping Support (LKS) help drivers to keep the vehicle on course. Using a video camera to identify lane markings in front of the vehicle, LKS is able to identify up to four lanes even in poor visibility situations, swiftly counter-steering to keep the vehicle in the lane. The driver is able to override the counter-steering when turn signals are activated – an intelligible sign that the driver is now in control.

Studies suggest that field of vision is widest when stationary. At speed, the driver’s vision focuses automatically further ahead, significantly reducing vision in all directions, including periphery. This may affect the driver’s ability to assess his outside environment when performing actions such as changing lanes. The Side View Assist (SVA) feature – commonly known as blind spot technology – effectively identifies the driver’s blind spots and immediately displays warning signals on the side view mirror. In two-wheelers, this warning appears as an optical signal close to the mirror. Intelligent sensors are also able to categorize objects detected to avoid false alarms. Blind spot technology is part of the ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) 2017-2020 protocol under the Safety Assist category – one of the requirements in obtaining points to achieve a star rating.

Road safety is everyone’s responsibility

A 2018 report published by the World Health Organization states that road traffic crashes cost countries three percent of their gross domestic product (GDP). The report also states that road traffic crashes will become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030, if no sustained actions are realised.

“Bosch believes that only through collective action will we see change. We call for a more active discussion and collaboration between governments, the scientific community, NGOs, the automotive industry, and the general public to seize the advantage of today’s technologies to make roads safer for everyone. We all hold a shared responsibility in ensuring an accident-free ASEAN and Bosch zealously supports this vision,” concluded Hayes.

Side View Assist for 4-wheelers
The Side View Assist (SVA) feature effectively identifies the driver’s blind spots and immediately displays warning signals on the side view mirror.
Side View Assist for 2-wheelers
In case of two-wheelers, the Side View Assist (SVA) feature displays the warning as an optical signal close to the mirror.
Lane keeping support
The Lane Keeping Support (LKS) help drivers to keep the vehicle on course.
Bosch spokesperson: Martin Hayes
Martin Hayes, regional president, Bosch Southeast Asia.
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