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Bosch survey finds 60% worldwide want road safety improvements

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Bosch and Microsoft are working on a new generative artificial intelligence (AI) project that they say will increase road safety.

Improved safety on the road is also desired by 60% of respondents who participated in this year’s “Bosch Tech Compass,” a worldwide representative Bosch survey on technology and AI.

Survey respondents were 18 years old and over in seven countries — Brazil, China, Germany, France, India, the U.K., and the U.S. — were polled online on behalf of Robert Bosch GmbH by market researchers Gesellschaft für Innovative Marktforschung mbH (GIM) in December.

“It’s a scenario that no driver ever wants to see: a ball rolling out into the road. The chances are it will be followed immediately by a child in hot pursuit, oblivious to any traffic,” a joint news release from the companies states. “But while human drivers can assess this situation using their contextual knowledge, today’s assisted and automated driving systems still have to learn how to do it.”

In answer to addressing road safety, Bosch and Microsoft have teamed up to take the performance of automated driving functions to the next level with AI, according to a news release. They’re also working to enhance user convenience inside the vehicle.

“To achieve this, Bosch’s comprehensive understanding of vehicles and automotive-specific AI expertise will be invaluable, as well as their access to vehicle sensor data to feed the generative AI. “In our unwavering commitment to safer roads, Microsoft is eager to explore collaboration opportunities with Bosch to pioneer the realm of generative AI,” said Uli Homann, Microsoft CVP and Distinguished Architect.

While today’s driver assistance systems can detect people, animals, objects, and vehicles, Bosch and Microsoft believe generative AI could soon help determine whether a situation could potentially lead to an accident.

“Generative AI utilizes vast amounts of data to train systems for automated driving, enabling them to draw improved conclusions from this data,” the release states.

For example, AI could discern a plastic bag from a damaged vehicle part and then use the information to communicate directly with the driver by displaying a warning or initiating appropriate driving maneuvers, like braking while switching on the hazard warning lights.

“Generative AI is a boost to innovation. It can transform industry in much the same way as the invention of the computer,” said Tanja Rueckert, Bosch Board of Management member and chief digital officer.

The new 2024 Bosch Tech Compass shows this as well. Sixty-four percent of respondents believe that AI is the technology with the greatest importance for the future. In comparison, 41% of respondents thought the same one year ago.

Bosch is working with several other partners on AI tech including AWS, Google, and Aleph Alpha.

The Bosch Group’s venture capital unit, Bosch Ventures, invested in the AI company Aleph Alpha last year. Bosch has also announced it will collaborate with the startup on finding new use cases both for Bosch associates and customers.

“Bosch and Aleph Alpha want to learn from each other, benefit from each other’s know-how, and work together on cross-domain use cases,” Rueckert said.

Aleph Alpha and Bosch are debuting AI-based speech recognition on behalf of a premium car manufacturer, the name of which wasn’t disclosed.

A chatbot understands and answers breakdown service calls with the help of natural language processing, which also recognizes dialects, accents, and moods, according to the release. The call is taken directly to reduce the driver’s waiting time to a minimum. Forty percent of calls can be processed and resolved automatically.

For more complex queries, the bot sends all relevant information to a service center agent who takes over the case immediately, according to the companies.

Bosch is working on more than 120 applications that the new AI models open up for the company’s associates and customers including software program code and powerful chatbots and voicebots to support technicians or interact with consumers.

Generative AI is used by Bosch to improve manufacturing optical inspection speed. Bosch expects it to reduce the time needed for planning, launching, and ramping up AI applications from the current six to 12 months to a few weeks. Following successful piloting, the service for generating synthetic data will be offered to all Bosch locations.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents to the Tech Compass survey said they’re convinced that AI use in professional development is becoming increasingly important. The opinion is particularly prevalent in the U.S. at 63% followed by Germany (54%) and China (52%).

Questions explored in the study include:

    • Does AI make the world a better place? Fifty-five percent said yes. Respondents to the 2022 and 2023 surveys said they thought biotech, climate engineering, and hydrogen/fuel cells would have the biggest positive impact on society. AI was ranked No. 1 this year with 39% of all votes.
    • Are we ready for the dawn of the AI era? Forty-nine percent said they’re ready for the “ever-expanding role” that AI is set to play. Those surveyed in Western countries were more pessimistic.
    • Can AI be as smart as a human? Sixty-one percent answered yes.

Eighty-two percent of respondents said they’d like AI-generated content to be labeled as such.


Featured photo and infographics provided by Bosch

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