Atlatec, a high-resolution digital mapping specialist based in Karlsruhe, Germany, is to be acquired by Bosch in an effort to strengthen its autonomous driving systems development. The company will become part of the Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division as an independently operated company.
“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,” said Dr Mathias Pillin, president of the Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division at Bosch.
Bosch notes that 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.
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. On the basis of information from the map, an autonomously driving car can, say, adjust its speed in good time before a tight bend.
“Atlatec’s technology package for creating high-resolution maps makes the company an ideal addition for Bosch. The resulting mapping solution is very intelligent and agile, which sets it apart from other vendors. For example, the AI it uses identifies and maps road features such as guardrails and lane markings with the highest accuracy and consistency. This lets us design our driving strategy algorithms even more precisely,” added Dr Stephan Hönle, senior vice president of the Automated Driving unit in the Bosch Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division.