Bosch's New Retrofit Solution Enhances Safety of Modern Warehousing Forklifts

German engineering and technology company Bosch has developed a solution that can improve the safety of forklifts in modern warehousing. Forklifts play a vital role in moving heavy loads and supporting efficient logistics. However, the use of forklifts is associated with a variety of accident risks, with collisions being one of the most common causes of accidents. These collisions often result from a lack of visibility of the vehicle surroundings, especially when driving backward or maneuvering with loaded forks.

To mitigate these risks, Bosch has introduced a new retrofit solution that can be installed on existing forklifts to improve safety. The retrofit solution is based on a multi-camera system that generates a 360° representation of the current vehicle surroundings and displays it on a monitor in the cockpit. This technology provides drivers with a clear view of their surroundings, reducing the risk of accidents caused by poor visibility. The new version of the multi-camera system is also available for retrofitting, making it accessible to a wide range of vehicles.

“With our special retrofit solution, existing vehicles will also be able to benefit from the added safety provided by the multi-camera system in the future. Accident situations are significantly mitigated. Driver stress levels are also drastically reduced, allowing them to work in a more relaxed manner and maintain their full performance for longer,” explains Philipp Kurek, responsible for Off-Highway Solutions at Bosch Engineering GmbH.

The retrofit multi-camera system includes four compact near-range cameras, a universal wiring harness, a 10-inch touch display, and a set of camera mounts. This complete package makes installation quick and simple, regardless of the vehicle make, model, or year of manufacture. Bosch placed particular emphasis on delivering high functional quality in all usage conditions when developing the system. For example, the exclusive use of digital camera technology from the sensor to the monitor ensures high image quality even in adverse light conditions.

The high-resolution display ensures very good image representation and readability even in direct sunlight or rapid changes in brightness. The robust housing made of powder-coated die-cast aluminum also makes the display usable in harsh outdoor environments, such as construction sites or agricultural fields.

All functions of the retrofit solution are controlled via a touch interface on the display. The intuitive menu can be used to switch between different camera views, allowing the driver to choose between front/rear camera views and the 360° surround view in full screen or split screen, as well as a panorama view. In panorama mode, the view area of the front or rear camera is expanded to 180°. This mode ensures much greater safety when driving backward in areas with restricted visibility, such as exit gates.

The retrofit solution will be available from summer 2023 through a network of selected, specially trained distribution partners. Bosch assists its partners in calibrating the system to the respective application to ensure an optimum all-around view of the vehicle, even when sensor positioning is particularly challenging. The new retrofit system from Bosch is the ideal solution for updating existing industrial trucks of all types, as well as construction machinery and agricultural vehicles, to the latest sensor technology.

As technology advances, cost-efficient and high-performance surround sensing systems are becoming increasingly important for use in safety-relevant functions. In response, Bosch is set to launch the first safety variant of the Bosch off-highway ultrasonic sensor system with performance level C in accordance with ISO 13849 on the market from 2024. This sensor system is designed for use in off-highway vehicles such as construction machinery, agricultural vehicles, and forklifts.

The new retrofit solution from Bosch can significantly improve the safety of forklifts in modern warehousing. With its high-quality camera technology and easy-to-use touch interface, the Bosch sight assist provides valuable support to drivers by generating a 360° representation of the vehicle surroundings and displaying it on a monitor in the cockpit. This allows drivers to clearly see what is happening in the vehicle’s vicinity at all times, reducing the risk of accidents caused by a lack of visibility. Moreover, the retrofit solution is a complete package that includes everything needed for quick and simple installation, regardless of the vehicle make, model, or year of manufacture. The system has been developed to deliver high functional quality in all usage conditions, and features a high-resolution display that ensures very good image representation and readability even in direct sunlight or rapid changes in brightness. Overall, the Bosch retrofit solution is a game-changer for improving safety in modern warehousing, making forklifts and other industrial vehicles much safer and easier to operate.