Mobility Solutions

30th German Logistics Congress in Berlin Bosch supervisory board chairman Fehrenbach: future mobility depends on modern infrastructure Mobility concepts are an export opportunity

  • Investment in traffic infrastructure a requirement for future mobility
  • Technical potential of traffic management not exploited
  • Exploratory field tests of solutions and concepts in Germany
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  • October 25, 2013
  • Mobility Solutions
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press release

Berlin – Franz Fehrenbach, the chairman of the supervisory board of Robert Bosch GmbH, is calling for more investment in an intelligent infrastructure to facilitate future mobility. “The transportation of the future must be realized in Germany first. To enable this, we need more investment – and more sensible investment – in our mobility infrastructure,” Fehrenbach said at the 30th German Logistics Congress in Berlin. Above all, Fehrenbach sees the country lagging behind considerably in the area of traffic infrastructure. Catching up will involve not only bridge repairs and the construction of more freeways, he said. It will also require investments in infrastructure to be oriented toward the fundamental trends in mobility. According to him, electrification, automation, and connectivity are placing new demands on infrastructure. One of these is efficient traffic management. A first step toward this could be made by implementing a road toll, he explained. “The potential offered by traffic management as well as the other technical possibilities of a networked traffic infrastructure are currently still being ignored in public debate,” Fehrenbach said. Instead, the argument is centering on the question of scope and how the revenue generated by a vignette-based road toll system should be used.

Germany: exploit opportunities offered by trend towards connectivity
Fehrenbach believes that the global trend toward digital connectivity will also fundamentally transform mobility – and with it, traffic. “We must make Germany a hub for this technology. In order to do this, we need the necessary infrastructure,” he said. The shape of future traffic flow – whether of people or goods – is still to some extent the subject of research. However, the mobility trends of the future are already clear. “Achieving electrified, automated, and connected mobility will only be possible if we create the necessary technological conditions and framework in advance,” Fehrenbach continued. This includes, for example, interfaces between renewable energy and alternative powertrains, telematics services, and the efficient management of traffic flows. “With a modern, integrated system, Germany could further extend its expertise in the realm of intelligent traffic management.” The limited discussion surrounding the topic of a road toll is thus disappointing, he said.

Mobility concepts are an export opportunity
In particular, the megacities that are emerging worldwide need new mobility concepts. “Intelligent, resource-conserving, and hence sustainable mobility could be the next big export opportunity for Germany,” Fehrenbach said. However, Germany has up to now been lacking the necessary infrastructure to “field test” new concepts and solutions, he argued. “The role of infrastructure as a vehicle of innovation has been fundamentally underestimated. This has been demonstrated in the discussions about investment priorities and their financing.”

Competition: engine of progress rather than threat to it
Fehrenbach currently sees considerable potential for efficiency in many of Germany’s markets and sectors. He believes that in some areas, a lack of competition, state intervention, and over-regulation could be leading to a lack of transparency, inefficiency, and undesirable market developments. “Competition is perceived as a threat rather than as an engine of progress,” Fehrenbach emphasized. Only by strengthening the principles of Germany’s social market economy will the country’s future as an industrial location be assured. “Competition as a core element of a social market economy guarantees progress, growth, and thus prosperity.”

Shaping the future: no letting up now
With respect to the coalition negotiations between the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats, Fehrenbach pointed to the great need for reform which continues to exist in Germany. He warned against letting Germany’s momentarily strong economy divert attention away from the real challenges. “If we let up on shaping the future now, we will fall behind globally.”

About the German Logistics Congress
The German Logistics Congress has been staged by the German Logistics Association (BVL) since 1983. It has become the most important annual logistics event in Europe. It is an important forum for German industry. The share of international participants is constantly increasing. The anniversary event is taking place from October 23–25, 2013, in Berlin.

More information on the event and the BVL is available online.

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 www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

PI8373 - October 25, 2013

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