The Bosch ‘Side View Assist’ blind-spot assistant is a driver assistance system that helps drivers when they are changing lanes and warns them of dangers. Like the Bosch parking aid and parking assistant, the system uses ultrasonic sensors. Because of the combination of several ultrasound-based features, and because the Side View Assist makes use of electronic components already present in the car, the system offers automakers – and thus ultimately car buyers – significant cost savings compared with radar- or video-based systems.
The Side View Assist system is capable of registering objects three metres to the side and diagonally to the rear of the vehicle, which means that it covers precisely those areas that are located in the dangerous “blind spot” area. If the sensors detect a vehicle, their signal is first checked for plausibility by the system’s electronics to prevent false alarms. The Side View Assist system can then warn the driver in two ways: first optically, and then, if the driver fails to react, acoustically.
The Side View Assist system’s ultrasonic sensors are mounted in the sides of the vehicle’s front and rear bumpers. The two rear-side sensors monitor the blind spot on the lanes to the right and left. The two front sensors are used exclusively for plausibility checks. If, for example, the front left sensor detects an object before the rear left sensor does, it is clear that an oncoming vehicle on the other side of the road is driving by the vehicle in question, and the electronic sensors do not warn the driver. The sensors use the same technique to detect parked vehicles, road signs and to register when drivers are passing other cars. In those cases, they do not set off an alarm. It is only when one of the rear side sensors reports an object that has not already been detected by the front sensors that danger is imminent. The Side View Assist then warns the driver optically by activating a light signal in the side mirror on the same side on which the object was detected. If the driver misses or ignores this warning and uses the turn signal to indicate a lane change, the Side View Assist can activate an additional audible warning signal.