Mobility Solutions

Innovation in windshield wiper technology Bosch wiper direct drive system Series debut in the new Ford Focus

  • Especially compact and lightweight – no mechanical linkage necessary
  • Offers additional space under the hood
  • Software can tailor highly standardized units to different vehicles
  • First application in the new Ford Focus
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  • April 07, 2011
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases

press release

A new direct drive system for windshield wipers is currently entering series production at Bosch. The two drives of the dual motor wiper system do not need additional mechanical linkage and are therefore smaller – the volume of each unit is now only some half a liter. The new Bosch direct drive system needs up to 75 percent less space and is over a kilogram lighter than standard drive and linkage systems. Each wiper has its own compact drive and is mounted directly on the drive shaft, which makes the new system easier to integrate into vehicles. It is being produced in series for the new Ford Focus, which will be launched on the German market on April 9.

Depending on the arrangement of the wiper arms, conventional wiper drives can be nearly as wide as the car body. They thus take up considerable space under the hood. Because the new drives require no linkage, installation space is freed up. Thus there is more room for other components, such as the air conditioning unit, head-up displays and other new comfort features, as well as for larger brake power boosters and pedestrian airbags to make vehicles safer. An electronic control unit takes the place of the mechanical linkage. The control unit synchronizes the two drive units, with sensors in the wiper drive monitoring the position of the two wiper arms.

The new system can be used for parallel and opposed-pattern wiper layout. Electronic position sensing and control enables the wipers to always sweep very close to the A-pillar. What’s more, once the system has been mounted onto a vehicle, the distances between the wiper and the A-pillar on that specific vehicle can be easily programmed on the production line, eliminating assembly and bodywork tolerances. This allows the wipers to sweep a maximum possible area without running the risk of hitting the pillars. The system can be installed under the hood, reducing the potential risk of injury to pedestrians in the event of an accident. An energy and thermal management device protects the drives from overload without restricting wiper function. A software-based blockage recognition system detects obstructions on the windshield such as accumulations of snow and reduces the area swept, but only to the extent necessary. Current wiper systems react by stopping completely, leaving the driver unable to see the road ahead.

Standardization simplifies the logistics involved
Each drive unit consists of a mechatronic drive that can run backward and forward. Since the wiper drives no longer require vehicle-specific linkage, they can be of identical design for both sides. Specifications such as the sweep angle and rest position are individually programmed on the production line after the wiper system has been installed. The systems can also be designed completely identically for right- and left-hand drive: the alignment is simply specified in the software. In the same way, identical drive units can be tailored to the windshield shape, which varies depending on whether the vehicle is a sedan, coupe, convertible, etc. This considerably simplifies logistics and storage.

In addition to the wiper drive, Bosch also supplies the new Ford Focus with components for the fuel injection systems, the engine blower and generator, as well as a multi-functional display including innovative navigation technology, spark plugs, the airbag control unit and the rain sensor.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at and,

PI7254 - April 07, 2011

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