BOSCH DRIVERLESS: how to design a self-driving prototype

BOSCH DRIVERLESS: how to design a self-driving prototype

Bosch DRIVERLESS: Sense - Episode 2

Before we start this journey and discover the project that involves the students of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, we should bear in mind that ingenuity, talent and commitment alone are not enough to compete with other academic giants at international level.

We need absolute reference partners, such as Bosch and Power On in this case. They have provided products and a basic technical training, crucial elements to carry out a successful project.

When you decide to design an autonomous racing prototype, it's better to have a clear development project in mind. So, let's try to think about this vehicle as if it were a human body, with its senses.

The human body gets to know itself thanks to the five senses. They help us to read and interpret the world around us, to recognize a friendly face, a landscape hidden in our memories and, in extreme cases, to recognize dangerous situations.

Just as for humans, for a self-driving vehicle senses are crucial. And a car's eyes and ears, technologically speaking, are nothing but sensors that map its surroundings.

If from a certain point of view, this technology has now become an indispensable asset in today's automotive sector, on the other the world of racing is a whole other story because the self-driving racing prototype should be carried out by young students.

The vehicle has to prove its ability to read the surrounding environment, along a pre-established path, without touching or exceeding the track bounds. That's quite a challenge.

Figuring out where to place the sensors is the first step: depth, both for humans and for the prototype, is a crucial factor. Placing the sensors in one or another point of the vehicle can bring both advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it is necessary to calculate everything thoroughly before installing and connecting them to the control unit, the brain of the prototype and the main subject of the next episode.

Timing, visual acuity and detection are the starting points of the project: however, this is just the beginning of a journey still long.


To detect all parameters of vehicle dynamics, particularly yaw angle, , the team of students use the Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). This is a high-performance inertial computing unit that contains six-dimensional inertial sensors to measure acceleration and angular rates. Depending on which position the sensor is installed, it can measure the vertical, longitudinal and lateral acceleration of the vehicle as well as yaw, pitch and roll values. As a result, the Bosch IMU can be used for a multitude of automotive applications, as well as for future advanced driver assistance systems functions and autonomated driving

Bosch DRIVERLESS: Sense - Episodio 2
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