Bosch airbag tech cuts costs and space

  • 19-Jan-2010 09:24 EST
Bosch12-09Airbag AB Plus.jpg

A Bosch airbag control unit that integrates ESP sensors and improves packaging is now in production.

Bosch has integrated two ESP sensors within its latest AB plus airbag control unit as well as improving packaging and reducing cost.

The inertia sensors (yaw rate and lateral acceleration) were previously housed separately. Further sensors can also be integrated, which would allow vehicle movement along all axes to be measured, explained Dr. Werner Struth, President of Bosch’s Chassis Systems Control division. Bosch AB plus is now in production.

Struth said that both the ESP anti-skid system and the passenger restraint system required extremely accurate data about the movement of the vehicle. The integrated concept is described as being best suited for vehicles in which both airbags and ESP are standard features.

An added advantage, apart from the packaging improvement, is that electrical connections can be made more easily.

The AB plus control unit offers all the conventional crash-sensing functions for passive safety; it senses head-on, side, and rear impacts, with a rollover sensor function available as an option. An active pedestrian-protection system can also be integrated.

The system can be scaled flexibly with respect to the number of spark plugs, sensor interfaces for peripheral crash sensors, and integrated inertia sensors. It is because the inertia sensors are directly connected to the motherboard in the airbag control unit that it is possible to offer new functions based on the networking of the airbag control unit and ESP.

Apart from AB plus, Bosch offers two further solutions for integrating inertia sensors in existing control units. An ESP variant entered series production last year in which the sensors are integrated in the ESP control unit itself. It is mounted directly on the hydraulic modulator and installed in the engine compartment.

Integrating sensors in the ESP is always an advantage in vehicle models in which the system is not a standard feature. If even more sensors or control units are to be combined, the DCU (Domain Control Unit) is stated by Bosch to be the more suitable approach. In this central control unit, the software of new functions, as well as individual hardware components and sensors, can be combined in a compact unit.

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