Mobility Solutions

On the road to an electric, automated, and connected future Presentation by Wolf-Henning Scheider,
Member of the Bosch Board of Management
Responsible for the Automotive Group,
at the Tokyo Motor Show November 21, 2013

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  • November 21, 2013
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Presentations

press release

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Tokyo Motor Show offers the chance to explore possible answers to the perennial question: how will cars drive in the future? At Bosch, we predict that they will be electric, automated, and connected.

We believe that these trends will shape the future development of automotive technology, and that they will make driving safer and more comfortable for everyone. At Bosch, we are at the forefront of innovation on all three of these fronts.

Automotive technology gaining momentum
First of all, let me briefly outline our business situation. Our Automotive Technology business sector is currently gaining significant momentum. We expect its operative sales to grow by 5 percent in 2013 – faster than global automobile production. Business is particularly strong in Asia Pacific, where we forecast year-on-year growth of around 10 percent in local currencies. Globally, we are expecting a pre-tax return on sales of around 6 percent this year in our automotive business.

In the coming years, we forecast that global automobile production will grow by an average of 3 percent. Above all, we expect to see growth in Asia. Over the next ten years, the world’s passenger car fleet is set to increase by 50 percent, with the majority of growth happening in Asia’s emerging markets [Asian emerging markets=without Japan and S. Korea]. Currently, these countries have 36 percent of the world’s cars; in ten years, they will have 46 percent.

An advantage for globalized companies
In such a climate, globalized manufacturers will clearly have the upper hand. Japan’s automakers understand this, and are increasingly locating operations in the emerging markets. In 2005, the share of their manufacturing activities outside Japan was just under 50 percent. By 2015, it will be close to 70 percent.

For automotive suppliers as well, a broad international footing is crucial for success. And this is exactly where Bosch excels. We are close to our customers in the automotive industry, wherever they are in the world – our automotive manufacturing network currently comprises 95 locations globally. When our customers go somewhere new, chances are high that we’re already there. And our network is constantly expanding. In 2013 alone, we have opened three major new sites in China. We are currently building our first manufacturing site in Indonesia and extending an existing one in Thailand. Outside of Asia Pacific, we’re expanding our presence in Russia and Mexico.

Engineering where our customers are located
In all our activities, we place a great emphasis on engineering locally. Developing products in the regions allows us to harness local expertise, which in turn gives us a profound understanding of local customer and market needs. We’re therefore locating engineering competence where our customers are developing. In other words, we’re engineering where we can collect the most valuable market feedback, and where we can best exploit the synergies offered by close proximity to both automakers and end users.

Globally, we have 50 research and development sites. Of the 36,000 engineers working at Bosch in the area of automotive technology, about 15,000 are located in Asia Pacific – and this number is set to rise further. There’s a good reason why we’re concentrating our development strength here: according to our forecasts, by 2016, half of all global vehicle sales will be in this region.

In Japan, we have more than 1,300 engineers working at seven research and development sites. Our Yokohama location is the largest research center for active safety systems outside Germany. Above all, it specializes in motorcycle safety. In fact, we’ve made Japan our lead country for motorcycle systems development.

Two remarkable achievements that originated here are new applications for our antilock braking technology. These innovations represent both ends of the spectrum. One is MSC motorcycle stability control, a sophisticated, high-tech safety system for premium motorcycles. This system is a real game-changer in that it allows motorcycles to even brake in bends without the risk of an accident – something that has never been possible before. The other is ABS 9M light, a cost-effective, single-wheel variant aimed at the Asian mass market. As low-cost two-wheelers are the primary means of transport in much of Asia, this innovation has the potential to dramatically decrease road fatalities and injuries across the region. This is an example of what we mean by “Invented for life.”

Environmental and safety concerns driving innovation
At Bosch, we see accident prevention as an absolute imperative. As such, we are pursuing targets such as “vision zero,” which aims to completely eliminate road fatalities. In this, we are supported by legislation which is imposing ever-stricter safety standards around the globe. In addition, environmental concerns are leading to ever-lower emissions targets. Here as well, we are aiming far beyond legal requirements to create technology that is as resource-conserving and eco-friendly as possible. In the automotive realm, this commitment is reflected in our advances in powertrain electrification.

Electric driving: innovation on many fronts
Bosch is currently realizing major solutions with mild, strong, and plug-in hybrids, as well as with the purely electric drive. What sets us apart here is our comprehensive systems competence. Bosch has created a modular system for powertrain components, which means we can offer a custom-tailored solution for every need. This allows us, for example, to supply the complete powertrains for everything from the mild hybrid with 48-volt boost-recuperation system all the way up to the top-of-the-range Porsche Panamera plug-in hybrid as well as for fully-electric cars – the first time ever such complete systems have been offered by a single supplier.

By 2014, Bosch will have powertrain electrification components for 30 different projects in regular production. With these projects, we are gaining experience in bringing high-performance, cost-efficient electric powertrains to the mass market. Step by step we are realizing full electromobility.

Nonetheless, we still have a lot of work to do. Our aim is to reduce the cost of lithium-ion batteries by at least half, and to at least double their energy density – in other words, to get more energy both into and out of each cell. To this end, we have agreed to enter into a joint venture with two Japanese partners, GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi Corporation. This potential partnership will allow us to combine our expertise in electronics and sensor technology with our partners’ in-depth knowledge of cell chemistry. Initially, we will focus on battery management systems and on research and development of next-generation cells, with production likely by the end of this decade.

Missing link between electric and automated driving
A new solution that links the areas of powertrain electrification and driving automation is the Bosch iBooster, an electromechanical brake booster that provides situation-dependent support when braking. Depending on vehicle design, the iBooster can increase the range of electric vehicles by up to 20 percent – allowing the electric motor to recover most of the braking energy before the conventional brakes are applied. In addition, the iBooster brakes better than conventional systems, building up pressure three times faster. At speeds of 30 kilometers per hour, this can shorten the braking distance by up to 1.5 meters – which can be decisive in preventing an accident.

Automated driving functions: improving safety and comfort
Where safety and assistance is concerned, Bosch has developed more pioneering solutions than any other supplier – take ABS and ESP®, to name only two. At Bosch, more than 5,000 engineers are working on the future of our safety and driver assistance systems.

Automation is coming step by step, and with it, increased safety and comfort on the road. Although fully-automated vehicles are still at least a decade away, an increasing number of automated safety and assistance functions are already putting us closer to our goal of accident-free driving.

One such function is stop and go assistance. In Japan, people spend an average of 30 hours per year in traffic jams. In 2014, Bosch will launch a traffic jam assistant which will relieve drivers of the burden of navigating stop-and-go traffic.

Next is freeway driving assistance. This field of development includes combining adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assistance, a function which Bosch has already introduced. By the end of this decade, a highway pilot will be available, which will take over all the driving from on-ramp to exit at speeds of 130 kilometers per hour.

Above all, assistance systems can help prevent the 1.2 million fatal road accidents each year, more than 90 percent of which are the result of human error. They also offer tremendous potential in aging societies like Japan. Here, more than half of all people killed in traffic accidents are senior citizens [4,411 total deaths in 2012, of which 2264 were senior citizens]. Bosch assistance systems will not only help prevent collisions with pedestrians, but will help to keep an aging population mobile for longer.

Connected driving: networking cars with their surroundings
The more ambitious the safety functions of the future are, the greater the need for connected vehicles. In particular, our focus is on car-to-cloud connectivity, which will see vehicles maintain constant connections with high-speed mobile data networks. By 2025, we expect nearly every new car sold worldwide to be capable of this. One benefit of car-to-cloud connectivity will be the real-time exchange of information, for example enabling drivers to avoid hazards and congestion. Another will be the range of service possibilities this unlocks, enabling the car to access everything from maintenance centers and streaming music to emergency medical support.

One of the primary challenges is going to be a consistent data infrastructure. Here, Bosch is bringing the IT and automotive worlds together. Our subsidiary Bosch Software Innovations, in particular, is offering pioneering solutions in this regard. It has developed a software platform to enable e-roaming, which allows drivers of electric vehicles to use any charge spot regardless of provider, and be charged via a single invoice.

Connectivity inside the car also promises to make driving not only more comfortable, but also safer. To this end, Bosch has recently introduced mySPIN, a system for integrating smart phones into the vehicle. Via mySPIN, smart phone apps appear on the dashboard display exactly as they appear on the phone, meaning that they can be operated safely while driving. In other words, with this technology we are optimizing human-machine interaction to help increase comfort and prevent accidents.

Innovations such as this one also help keep the car attractive to buyers for whom a mobile internet connection is particularly important. At the same time, mySPIN represents Bosch's universal approach: the more features make their way into the car, the easier operating them should be. Our aim is to help drivers stay informed without ever feeling overwhelmed.

Three main lines of development converge
This brings me to my conclusion. Whether our engineers are working on making driving more comfortable, safer, or more efficient, their focus is on innovations that offer tangible, everyday benefits. This is what we at Bosch call technology “Invented for life.” The three main lines of automotive development – electrification, automation, and connectivity – all converge at this ultimate goal. Bosch is moving forward briskly on all these paths, and this will give rise to many new growth opportunities, both in Japan and globally.

Thank you.

Curriculum Vitae Wolf-Henning Scheider

Click here to find further information.

RF00210 - November 21, 2013

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