Bosch interconnects vehicle dynamic systems for customized driving behavior

September 13, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The automotive industry is working intensively on the integration of existing on-board electronic systems for more driving safety, comfort and agility. This also enables drivers to customize their vehicles' handling characteristics. At the IAA automotive show, Bosch Engineering GmbH unveiled an integrated vehicle dynamics control that networks and manages existing on-board dynamics actuators in a completely new way. It enables drivers to adjust their vehicles' handling characteristics individually to match the driving situation.

The function allows carmakers to fine-tune a vehicle's handling characteristics to suit their own particular brand or model strategy. The first series-production vehicle to be equipped with the function is the SLS AMG Electric Drive, which has an electric motor on each of its four wheels. The integrated vehicle dynamics control function networks and manages a car's existing vehicle dynamics actuators – such as brakes, rear-wheel steering, active front steering, active stabilizers and differentials.

With hybrid and electric vehicles, it also interconnects wheel-specific electric motors. The patented function assigns each of these actuators particular handling characteristics, which it can influence to a large degree. Rear- wheel steering, for example, has a major impact on a vehicle's steering response and steering effort. By contrast, its balance and oversteer/ understeer characteristics can be altered, for example, through a combination of the brake system and the ESP electronic stability program. The integrated vehicle dynamics control coordinates and steers a vehicle's actuators in a thoroughly innovative way to achieve the desired handling characteristics. From the driver's perspective, the vehicle's handling is natural and does not feel artificially controlled. Drivers can experience a car that is both comfortable and responsive to their driving preferences, without the necessity of altering the vehicle's hardware.

The integrated vehicle dynamics control can be used with a large number of different actuators and can be adapted to suit both manufacturer- and model-specific requirements. Bosch has implemented a version with three programmed settings or modes (Safe, Sport and Drift) along with a fourth, freely configurable, mode. In Safe Mode the emphasis is on greater comfort and safety, with the vehicle dynamics actuators set to respond less directly and ensure stability when driving on long straight stretches of road.

Sport Mode is the opposite. Here, the focus is on achieving the highest levels of agility and dynamics. The integrated vehicle dynamics control sets the actuators for neutral balance and agile response. The