“Talk to somebody who is blind – individual mobility; giving purpose – that is worth working for" - Bosch Hungary SVP technical general manager Oliver Schatz

“Talk to somebody who is blind – individual mobility; giving purpose – that is worth working for" - Bosch Hungary SVP technical general manager Oliver Schatz

Bosch Hungary is highlighting the advantages for older and disabled people with the advent of autonomous vehicles as work to advance the concept gathers pace.

Much of the debate surrounding either semi or fully-autonomous vehicles has centred on the possibilities for able-bodied consumers, but there is a sizeable and growing elderly population who may see former mobility constraints eased as a result of the technology.

"My grandfather could afford his car and when he got older we realised he caused more accidents," said Bosch Hungary SVP technical, general manager, Oliver Schatz. "So we as a family took it away to protect him and others – he died angry about that.

"Talk to somebody who is blind – individual mobility; giving purpose – that is worth working for."

There are myriad challenges imposed by the new technology, not the least of which are insurance liability and infrastructure issues, along with a host of others, but a rising elderly base will not only impose societal challenges, it will potentially mean an increase in road accident rates.

"[Around] 1.25m people die in road crashes every year – 70 people die in Europe every day [while] 90% of accidents [are] caused by human error," added Schatz. "What I cannot promise is there will be no accidents, but we can reduce [them] significantly.

"We try to create connected mobility, automated mobility and electrified mobility."

Bosch has a significant presence in Hungary with seven locations in the Visegrad 4 member, capitalising on good universities and access to skilled labour.

Evidence of the country's popularity with the manufacturing sector was given by Budapest University of Technology and Economics Associate Professor and head of department, Zslot Zzalay at the same conference in Prague, who also highlighted Hungary's automotive test track.

"There are four automotive OEMs in Hungary, 15 from the top 21 suppliers," he said. "Eight of them have relevant capacity in research and development in connected and automated vehicles.

"[Vehicles] can only be tested in an environment in relation to other vehicles. We formulated five layers: simulation, laboratory, proving ground, limited public roads and public roads.

"We feel this investment [track] made by the Hungarian government is essential but it is not enough. We feel all these issues should be addressed in order to be successful and in order to be able to create a friendly environment for the industry. Not only automotive, but telecoms and IT."

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