The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Bosch Saves Us From Wrong-Way Driving

Its software warns the driver and stops the car. It also warns other drivers

1 min read
Bosch Saves Us From Wrong-Way Driving
Photo: Bosch

The traffic accident you least want to be in is a collision with a car moving in a direction opposite to your own.

Even though such wrong-way collisions account for only about 3 percent of accidents on divided highways in the United States, according to a 2013 report by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, they are 12 to 27 times as likely as other accidents to result in death. It makes sense to go to some trouble to prevent them.

Bosch, the German auto supplier, has done so with a software package that compares a car’s direction with a Web-based database of roads and quickly alerts the driver of wrong-way movement. It even goes so far as to stop the car, giving oncoming vehicles a bit more of a chance to get out of the way.

At the same time, the system alerts those oncoming cars using a cloud-based, anonymized system. It can activate roadside signage; even if such signage isn’t around, it can send an alert to drivers via their smart phones or car infotainment systems. 

That’s critical because in many cases the driver who’s going the wrong way may be unresponsive to any warning. Studies have shown that such drivers are often impaired by disease, old age, or alcohol. Worst of all are the ones who go the wrong way on purpose.

According to Christain Jeschke, an engineer at Bosch, some 50 percent of all wrong-way drivers are suicidal. Watch him demonstrate the system in a test drive:

The Conversation (0)

Chinese Joint Venture Will Begin Mass-Producing an Autonomous Electric Car

With the Robo-01, Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely aim for a fully self-driving car

4 min read
A black car sits against a white backdrop decorated with Chinese writing. The car’s doors are open, like a butterfly’s wings. Two charging stations are on the car’s left; two men stand on the right.

The Robo-01 autonomous electric car shows off its butterfly doors at a reveal to the media in Beijing, in June 2022.

Tingshu Wang/Reuters/Alamy
Purple

In October, a startup called Jidu Automotive, backed by Chinese AI giant Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely, officially released an autonomous electric car, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition. In 2023, the car will go on sale.

At roughly US $55,000, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition is a limited edition, cobranded with China’s Lunar Exploration Project. It has two lidars, a 5-millimeter-range radar, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and 12 high-definition cameras. It is the first vehicle to offer on-board, AI-assisted voice recognition, with voice response speeds within 700 milliseconds, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8295 chip.

Keep Reading ↓Show less