Bosch makes an important step forward towards the implementation of autonomous driving solutions. The German company has announced the acquisition of Karlsruhe-based Atlatec, a player specializing in high-resolution 3D maps for SAE Level 3 to 4 automated driving functions. As a matter of fact, high-resolution digital maps are indispensable as an additional sensor for safe and relaxed automated driving.
Atlatec will become part of the Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division as an independently operated company. The company, which was spun off from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in 2014, employs around 25 people in Germany, Japan, and the United States.
Bosch and Atlatec: together to keep on developing autonomous driving solutions
«The planned acquisition of Atlatec further expands our expertise in the field of high-resolution digital maps and makes us even more diversified. It makes Bosch the only company that can offer its customers all the necessary building blocks of automated driving – from actuators and sensors to software and maps – from a single source. We are thus consistently expanding our strong position in this area», declared Mathias Pillin, president of the Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division.
«In Bosch, we have found the right partner for us as we take the next step in expanding our digital mapping expertise even further», replied Henning Lategahn, CEO of Atlatec GmbH. Atlatec offers all the necessary building blocks for mapping from a single source: its portfolio includes not only data recording and processing but also creation of the maps themselves as well as the requisite quality control. In addition to onboard sensors featuring radar, video, and ultrasonic technology, digital maps are another indispensable sensor in automated driving. The information they contain relating to the vehicle’s surroundings and traffic events goes far beyond the detection range of a vehicle’s onboard sensors.
A scalable solution
For the creation of maps, Atlatec has developed a scalable solution with its own sensor box and associated software. The raw data this solution collects is analyzed using artificial intelligence (AI) and enriched with important information such as traffic signs and the sharpness of bends, as well as structural features such as streetcar tracks. Since the AI algorithms are continuously learning, the proportion of road and environmental features detected purely by AI is constantly growing.
For Bosch, automated driving is a strategic area of business. With driver assistance systems and the requisite sensor technology, it laid the foundation for all automation levels at an early stage.