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Fields of innovation

Smart Sensors & Hardware Systems

Bridge between physical and virtual spaces

Smart Sensors

From physical to virtual and back

Measure. Process. Feedback. Decide. Four words reveal the journey information makes from the physical world to the virtual world and back again. Bosch sensors measure the physical environment and transfer information to the virtual world. Artificial intelligence algorithms process the data. Feedback of the processed data is provided via multiple paths like display solutions to stimulate human perceptions. The value is attained from the well-informed decisions taken to make people’s lives better.

fact 1 smart sensors and hardware systems
fact 2 smart sensors and hardware systems
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Mission

The Smart Sensors & Hardware Systems field of innovation at Bosch is building bridges between physical and virtual spaces for an automated and connected future. Our focus is on embedded AI, display solutions and intelligent sensors that are best in class when it comes to functionality, cost and energy usage. We can accomplish that mission with technology to co-design hardware and software, AI algorithms and lifecycle update capabilities.

Embedded AI

Bosch is pushing the bar of embedded AI to the next level by taking a close look at integrating artificial intelligence into sensor systems. The potential advantages are compelling: more efficient energy consumption, low latencies, enhanced privacy and greater accuracy. Bosch products can be differentiated if they integrate AI in this way – especially if it can be done with resource constraints on the sensor systems. Smart Sensors & Hardware Systems is working on mixed-signal techniques, computation in memory and neuromorphic computing, which enable deployment of machine learning algorithms in these resource-constrained systems.

True to our namesake, we place high value on hardware and software co-design. Our field of innovation develops AI hardware and the corresponding algorithms that take full advantage of that hardware. We prioritize our efforts on areas where Bosch has domain ownership or strong application know-how, including MEMS sensors and automotive sensors like radar.

Sensor sound siren detection
Important for Level 3 and 4/5 automated driving: With the help of an intelligent sensor, obscured emergency vehicles (e.g. at an urban intersection) can be detected – even before visual recognition by camera images. Here the sensor is installed on a test vehicle and tested under real conditions.
Sound siren detection
Verification and analysis of the function in the vehicle: The raw signals of the sensor are read in and the evaluation is checked with AI. Direction recognition is possible. The necessary algorithms can be applied in the sensor itself and the system can communicate the information via an automotive interface.
Sensor data analysis
In the laboratory, individual sensors are examined and re-characterized after the testing on the road. Possible influencing factors (rain, rockfall, vibrations) can change the function. It is also possible to analyze the recorded data afterwards on a computer. In this way the algorithms and the intelligence of the systems can be continuously improved.
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Display solutions from Bosch

With displays and user-friendly interaction interfaces we want to make traveling by car a fascinating experience with enhanced safety, comfort, and convenience. A clear design language and distraction-free interaction are key to achieving a seamless user experience. At Bosch, we have the expertise needed to integrate display technologies from the consumer electronics domain in the vehicle environment, and our many years of experience are invaluable for ensuring compliance with the automotive industry’s stringent safety requirements.

With our passive multiview 3D display, we can put the focus on essential driver information and display the navigation system’s route guidance in a more tangible, impactful way. And we don’t need any additional technology like eye tracking.

Touch-operated displays in the cockpit like the ones users are already familiar with from their smartphone or tablet have reached modern automobiles. Bosch’s haptic feedback feature for touchscreens uses different surface structures to make it easier to find your way around the display, enhancing ease of use and safety. Your fingers intuitively find the function you want, almost on their own – no need to take your eyes off the road. So Bosch is innovating solutions that will meet the requirements of future display elements.

Bosch earned the Best of Innovation award at CES 2020 for the outstanding quality of its 3D display.

Leaping ahead with quantum sensors

Quantum diamond magnetometer
Laboratory setup of the quantum diamond magnetometer

Sensors round out the focus of our field of innovation. Quantum sensors are a new class of sensors with disruptive advantages in sensitivity, measurement range and robustness. Their main advantage: perfection. Even the most advanced sensors available today, such as MEMS that offer dimensions in the micrometer range, have structural imperfections that limit them. Quantum sensors circumvent this error and measure the quantum state from perfect atoms. Their performance goes beyond limitations of classical sensor technologies - and in the long run their size, power demand and cost can be made comparable to MEMS sensors.

The applications for quantum sensors are just as exciting as the technology itself. Diamond quantum sensors in innovative magnetometers create new potential for human brain machine interfaces. New quantum gyroscopes utilize more drift stable than ever before, paving the way for fully interial navigation and improved safety in highly autonomous driving.

Laboratory setup of the quantum gyroscope
Laboratory setup of the quantum gyroscope
MEMS vapor cell
Centerpiece of the quanum gyroscope: MEMS vapor cell filled with Rubidium and Xenon
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Summary

Smart Sensors & Hardware Systems creates intelligent sensor and display systems that seamlessly bridge physical and virtual spaces in an automated and connected future.

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