Mobility Solutions

Networking vehicle systems for increased safety and efficiency Bernhard Bihr,
President of Bosch Engineering GmbH,
and Dr. Hans-Peter Hübner,
Senior Vice President, Body Electronics business unit,
Automotive Electronics division, Robert Bosch GmbH
at the 61st Automotive Press Briefing in Boxberg, June 2013

  • June 17, 2013
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Presentations
  • Images: 3

press release

Ladies and gentlemen,

Bosch networks vehicles for more service and safety. A prerequisite for the external networking of vehicles and infrastructure is a comprehensive understanding of the complete vehicle system. Like scarcely any other supplier worldwide, Bosch has this understanding. We network components and systems inside the vehicle as well, both with each other and with other sources of information. This allows us to develop new functions, and in doing so, to reduce fuel consumption, increase comfort, shorten development times, and customize driving characteristics.

For this automotive networking to function, powerful communications systems are needed. With CAN FD – a new CAN-Bus with a flexible data rate – we are already working on the communications systems of the future.

Integrated vehicle dynamics control – networking of vehicle dynamics systems
In automotive engineering, the drive and chassis domains are traditionally regarded in isolation from one another. An example of how Bosch is improving agility and comfort via systems networking is integrated vehicle dynamics control. For this function, we use the available vehicle dynamics actuators, for example the brakes, rear-axle steering, active stabilizers, and differentials. In the case of hybrids and electric vehicles, regardless of the specific concept, we make use of wheel-specific electric motors. The integrated vehicle dynamics control manages the actuators in an innovative way. For drivers, the result is completely natural handling that does not feel artificial in any way. Drivers experience a more agile and, at the same time, more comfortable vehicle without any changes being made to the hardware. Thanks to a variety of preprogrammed settings for the various functions as well as a manual-configuration mode, drivers can also select the mix of comfort and agility that suits their own tastes.

Integrated vehicle dynamics control can be used with a combination of different actuators, depending on which ones are installed in the vehicle. This saves valuable development time, and in doing so reduces costs.

The first series-produced vehicle with this function is the SLS AMG Electric Drive. The function is also currently installed in a concept car, in which the ESP electronic stability program is used to network the brakes with the rear-axle steering system. You can experience this car for yourself on our proving ground.

Modular hybrid platform – networking in the powertrain
Where powertrains are concerned, new architectures are being created as a result of the networking of internal-combustion engines and electric motors. Bosch already offers all the components for electrical powertrains. In addition, the Bosch subsidiary Bosch Engineering has the specific systems expertise to develop hybrid and electric drives for small-series vehicles, customized vehicles, and prototypes. The key focus of this expertise is on systems, function, and software engineering for different architectures as well as on integrating those architectures electrically and electronically. Each customer can, if they wish, get a system that is customized for their specific powertrain – a prospect that is particularly interesting for small-series manufacturers.

To more efficiently support the development of hybrid and electric drives in the future, Bosch is developing a modular hybrid software platform. With this new software, we are developing operating strategies for a large number of powertrain architectures. The software flexibly integrates the powertrain's electric motors and the interfaces between numerous control units. This shortens development time and likewise reduces costs.

Bosch: service partner for electromobility
In addition to driving forward the evolution of hybrid and electric drives, electrification gives rise to new areas of business. Since 2009, Bosch has supported automobile workshops with solutions for the servicing and repair of hybrid and electric vehicles. For instance, the Automotive Aftermarket division trains the Bosch Car Service network's experienced electronics and diagnostics specialists in all aspects of high-voltage systems, and makes available the expertise needed to deal with new types of powertrains. In addition, to make the servicing and repair of all common hybrid and electric vehicles more efficient, Bosch supports workshops with state-of-the-art testing and diagnostics devices. Various types of professional training and a technical hotline round out Bosch's offerings. Thanks to its comprehensive network of workshops, Bosch Car Service is already a partner in the electric-vehicle fleet business. Bosch is also lending its expertise to pilot electromobility projects in a number of regions – from electric scooters to electric cars.

Next step: cross-systems networking
Ladies and gentlemen, let's now return to the subject of networking in automotive engineering. The advent of electromobility is bringing together two areas of automotive technology that were traditionally regarded in isolation from one another – powertrains and chassis. The reason for this is that electrification is unlocking new potential in the realm of driving dynamics – potential that goes beyond the powertrain. For instance, with sports cars, the lateral dynamics can be significantly improved, depending on the powertrain. For example, if two electric motors are mounted at either end of a non-driven axle, they can generate asymmetric torque. A sports car that was previously rear-wheel drive can thus be transformed into an all-wheel drive vehicle with torque vectoring. Increased driving enjoyment will also help make hybrid and electric vehicles more attractive.

Sensing the environment: networking with the electronic horizon
Bosch also links automotive systems with data from the electronic horizon, which senses the vehicle's environment and provides a detailed preview of the road ahead. We also use a new standardized interface protocol to integrate information such as bend radius, inclines, and speed limits directly into the vehicle's systems. Logically linking this information with the ACC adaptive cruise control and the powertrain allows us to reduce fuel consumption and increase comfort.

Let's illustrate this with an example. Even now, we can let drivers know in advance about upcoming bends or speed limit restrictions. We can show them what their optimum speed around the bend is, which gear is recommended for the best fuel efficiency, and where exactly they should brake and accelerate.

The next step is to link this information with the adaptive cruise control. Using data from the electronic horizon, we calculate the vehicle's future velocity curve. In doing so, we not only include information about the next bend, but also a large amount of additional information about the route ahead. The result is adaptive cruise control with “foresight”. ACC regulates vehicle speed independently, reducing it before bends, speed limit reductions, and city limits, as well as when it detects obstacles and slower vehicles in front. For drivers, this function means an increase in safety and comfort.

In a further step, the data from the electronic horizon is also integrated into the powertrain's operating strategy as well as into the energy management of vehicles with conventional, hybrid, or electric drives. Using the detailed route preview, we calculate how much energy the powertrain needs and control the internal-combustion engine and/or electric motor accordingly. For instance, when the system identifies a segment of the route in which a hybrid vehicle will be able to recuperate more energy, it can engage the electric motor in advance, thus discharging the battery. Depending on the route and the type of vehicle, this can lead to a reduction in emissions of up to two grams of CO2 per kilometer. The European Union has recognized this as an “eco-innovation,” meaning that automakers can offset this credit against their CO2 fleet emissions. Further adjusting the operating strategy to optimize fuel efficiency offers the additional potential to reduce consumption by ten percent or more, depending on the type of powertrain. You can experience this networked control strategy today as well in one of our concept vehicles.

Future trend: individualization of driving functions
Ladies and gentlemen, it is not only in the form outlined here that Bosch offers the functions we have just described. Rather, we believe the trend of the future will be driving functions with different modes, which are needed on the one hand to fulfill drivers' wishes for more individuality, and on the other hand, to satisfy manufacturers' requirements for brand-specific differences in driving behavior. For this reason, we develop customized solutions for our customers that offer numerous new functions. We can use an eco mode to configure driving strategies that are particularly fuel-efficient, and a sport mode to configure ones that are particularly dynamic. For the integrated vehicle dynamics control mentioned earlier, we have developed a total of four different modes: safe, sport, and drift, as well as a custom mode which lets drivers configure, save, and activate their settings as they wish.

Engineering competence: designing on-board electrics
Of course, creating networks within the vehicle and between vehicle and internet means that electric and electronic systems, components, and functions are becoming more complex. The need to deal with this complexity means that the optimum configuration and control of complex on-board electrical systems is becoming an important automotive-engineering competence.

A vehicle's on-board electrical system links all electric and electronic components in the vehicle and handles the distribution of energy and information. Our many years of experience with powertrains and efficient auxiliary, safety, assistance, and operating systems, as well as their interaction, is the basis for another important offering: Bosch also supports its customers in the configuration of on-board electrical systems and efficient energy management. We develop and optimize the systems architecture of modern on-board electrical systems, and integrate the right components into an overall system that is both powerful and fail-safe.

Communications system of the future: CAN FD
The on-board electrical system is not the only major prerequisite for vehicle networking – the automotive communications system is equally important. The CAN bus has long been a synonym for safe and economical communication of data in a vehicle, alongside high-performance bus solutions such as FlexRay and the forthcoming ethernet.

As early as 1984, Bosch began developing CAN as an automotive communications system. After its debut in industry, the Bosch CAN went into series production in cars in 1991. Yet while data transfer rates of 1 Mbit/s and a data word length of 8 bytes per CAN message sounded impossibly utopian 25 years ago, they are generally not enough today. In other words, many CAN systems have reached the upper limits of their data transfer capabilities. In response to this, Bosch introduced CAN FD – CAN with a flexible data rate – at the beginning of 2012, as a solution for higher data throughput in existing CAN systems.

CAN FD expands the existing CAN protocol in two ways:
  • First, the transfer rate in the data phase can be increased to values above 1 Mbit/s.
  • Second, the data word which is sent as a message can now be up to 64 bytes long.
Depending on the system, the data payload is increased and we can achieve, for instance, shorter load times for software, or considerably speed up communication over long lines.

The standardization of CAN FD, as an extension of ISO11898-1, is already underway. In addition, CAN FD is fully supported by the current Bosch CAN protocol controller IP, and has already been supplied to a number of chip manufacturers. We expect the first microcontrollers with CAN FD support to be available in the market from the end of 2013.

CAN bus testing and analysis tools with CAN FD support are already being sold by tool manufacturers such as our subsidiary ETAS GmbH. CAN FD thus conforms to the requirements of modern automotive and industrial applications.

Ladies and gentlemen, connectivity is more than just a synergy effect for us. We are networking automotive technology in its domains and far beyond its system boundaries. We are working on future-proof communications systems as a prerequisite for connectivity, and we are developing customized solutions for our customers and for the mobility of the future.

Thank you.

Click here to find further information.

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,

RF00197 - June 17, 2013

Your contact person for journalists

Annett Fischer

+49 7062 911-7837 Send Email

Share this information