Atlatec GmbH (Karlsruhe, Germany) is to become part of the Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division as an independently operated company. Bosch and Atlatec have now signed corresponding contracts. The company, a spin-off of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, is active not only in Germany but also in the U.S. and Japan and is regarded as one of the most innovative suppliers of high-resolution digital maps for use in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving.
Atlatec’s expertise lies in the analysis of road data using artificial intelligence. To collect the map data, the company has developed a scalable solution consisting of one or more sensor boxes and associated software. The collected raw data is also evaluated with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and enriched with important information such as traffic signs, curve radii and structural features such as tram tracks. The algorithms are continuously learning, so that the proportion of road and environmental features detected purely by AI is constantly growing. These maps are very accurate – they show objects with an accuracy of 5 centimetres.
The maps provided by Atlatec are not only used in vehicles, but also for simulations and for testing and verifying systems and sensors. This is because they are also needed during the development phase of ADAS and self-driving algorithms. The higher the level of automation, the more closely map creation and driving strategy programming must be interlinked.
“With its technology package for the creation of high-resolution maps, Atlatec is an ideal addition for Bosch,” comments Stephan Hönle, division manager for automated driving in Bosch’s Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division. “Their concept results in a very intelligent and agile mapping solution, which sets them apart from other providers. For example, the AI used identifies and maps road features such as crash barriers and lane markings with the highest accuracy and consistency. This allows us to design our driving strategy algorithms even more precisely.” Hörnle also sees a useful complement with Atlatec with Bosch’s Road Signature technology, which enables self-driving cars with swarm data to precisely locate themselves based on digital maps.
Bosch is working intensively on technology for automated driving and is developing driver assistance systems and the associated sensor technology. In parallel, Bosch is developing solutions for private vehicles on the one hand, with a focus on driver assistance and semi-automated systems (SAE Level 1 to 3). These developments are driven by the motivation to increase the comfort and safety of driving. On the other hand, the supplier is also working on solutions for higher levels of automation with a focus on fleet vehicles and new operator models. Especially in the field of logistics, the company sees attractive application possibilities and great business potential for automated driving systems according to SAE Level 4.