Bosch has entered the aeromobility market with a universal control unit for air taxis that incorporates many of its existing automotive sensors.
Announced in late May, the sensor box includes many of the same micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors that are used to feed information to control units in automobiles. According to Bosch, these include acceleration and yaw rate sensors to measure the movements of the aircraft, magnetic field sensors to determine its compass heading, and pressure sensors to measure altitude and airspeed.
Because Bosch has been developing and manufacturing these production-tested sensors for years, the company believes it can offer its sensor box for a fraction of the cost of current sensor systems in the aerospace sector.
“Through our Bosch solution, we aim to make civil aviation with flying taxis affordable for a wide range of providers,” stated Marcus Parentis, the head of the technology team at Bosch in charge of the control units. “We are talking to air taxi manufacturers from the aerospace and automotive industries, as well as with start-ups that build air vehicles and are looking to provide sharing services.”
Of course, some of the high costs associated with aerospace-grade sensors reflect the expense of certification for aviation applications. Here, Bosch expects to leverage the experience of its Bosch General Aviation Technologies subsidiary in Austria. A Bosch spokesperson told eVTOL.com that the company is already working closely with the European Aviation Safety Agency and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
“At the moment we will follow the aviation certification process ARP4754 and ARP4761 for a DAL-A product. But we also discussing with the authorities how to bring automotive processes into aviation,” the spokesperson said.
“During the development and production we can make use of our automotive manufacturing and testing equipment as well as all know-how to produce automotive products in large scale series manufacturing.”