DRIVER SAFETY First automaker to implement lifesaving warnings via App
With its cloud-based wrong-way driver warning system, Bosch has developed a solution that warns both the wrong-way driver and all road users at risk of the impending danger within seconds – much faster than traffic news on the radio. Now SKODA is the world’s first automaker to opt for the Bosch wrong-way driver warning system.
“Warning! A wrong-way driver is headed your way!” Traffic reports about wrong-way drivers are an all-too-familiar occurrence. On German radio stations alone, some 2,000 such warnings are broadcast each year. And much too often, these incidents lead to critical situations – including serious and even fatal accidents.
Thanks to a new infotainment app, SKODA drivers will receive the lifesaving warning directly via the display in their vehicle’s cockpit. “Our goal is to put the wrong-way driver warning system in every car – in line with our “Invented for life” ethos. Every death, every injury caused by wrong-way drivers is one too many,” says Dr. Mathias Pillin, president of Bosch’s new Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division.
Starting in the first quarter of 2021, SKODA will offer the wrong-way driver warning system in numerous models, such as the SKODA SUPERB, SCALA, KAMIQ, KAROQ, and KODIAQ, equipped with top infotainment systems. Other vehicle models are scheduled to follow before the year is out. “Increasing safety on the road is an important goal for SKODA. Our new app called Traffication with wrong-way driver warning brings us a step closer to achieving it,” says Michal Vondra, product manager for the Traffication app at SKODA.
Unforeseeable danger from wrong-way drivers
Accidents caused by wrong-way drivers are fortunately rare, but when they do happen, they usually have serious consequences. In most cases, however, the warning of the unforeseeable danger comes too late: one-third of such incidents generally end after just 500 meters – in the worst case, with fatalities.
With Bosch’s cloud-based warning system installed directly in the head unit of SKODA vehicles, the two companies now want to further reduce the number of accidents caused by wrong-way drivers. As a vehicle approaches a freeway entrance or exit, the system automatically sends its current anonymized GPS position to the cloud. In the Bosch cloud backend, the software then compares the vehicle’s current direction with the permitted direction of travel. If these two pieces of information clash, the system will alert the wrong-way driver to their mistake by flashing a warning on the display. The distinctive feature of this solution is that the warning occurs within just a few seconds. In the vast majority of cases, this is before the driver even gets on the freeway.
In addition, Bosch and SKODA are planning that the app will also immediately warn all oncoming road users who are connected and potentially at risk. This feature should be available later this year. “The more vehicles connected to the Bosch wrong-way driver warning app, the closer-knit the invisible safety net will be,” Pillin says. Once the vehicle leaves the entrance or exit area of the freeway, the data exchange between the vehicle and the cloud is terminated. Besides equipping SKODA vehicles with the wrong-way driver warning system, Bosch is in talks with other automakers to make it a feature in more and more vehicles.