Mobility Solutions

Bosch’s technological leap: Display-based instrument cluster Progressive new concept

  • Sophisticated high-performance dual-processor architecture
  • High flexibility when processing content
  • Mineral glass pane over the display exudes quality
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  • September 30, 2014
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases

press release

The instrument cluster represents a leap in technology, just like the vehicle itself: in the BMW i8, the driver is presented with display-based instrumentation. There are no mechanically moving parts whatsoever, and, thanks to the large monitor, the cluster provides a maximum in flexibility for processing and displaying content. It joins the car on its journey into a future that is increasingly shaped by driver assistance and infotainment systems and associated connectivity capabilities. Such a future therefore requires innovative display and control concepts.

The biggest advantage of a purely display-based instrument cluster is its versatility. It gives designers and developers complete freedom when devising the graphics and layout for the display area, thus leading to unprecedented design possibilities. Almost any conceivable shapes and colors can be utilized for a wide variety of operating states. The monitor furthermore allows specific navigation and online content to be presented to the driver clearly.

When designing the instrument cluster for this plug-in hybrid vehicle, the development engineers settled on a crystal-clear high-contrast TFT display with a diagonal screen size of 8.8 inches. The monitor is positioned in the driver’s field of vision and presents the vehicle’s current speed on the left, while the instrumentation on the right changes depending on which of the i8’s driving modes has been selected.

Encouraging economical driving
In "Comfort" mode, the display shows a power meter on the right that indicates the energy utilization on a dial, including the e-boost from the electric traction motor and the recuperation via the vehicle brakes. "Eco Pro" mode is based on the "Comfort" display but provides a more detailed representation of the transition states between the propulsion technologies, which can encourage the driver to adopt a particularly economical driving style. In both modes the basic dials are displayed in gray and blue tones. In contrast, "Sport" mode presents two red instruments with a rev counter on the right, leaving no doubt of the i8 drive concept’s intrinsic power capabilities. In all modes, the space between the two sets of instruments is used flexibly to display, for example, navigation, radio or telephone information.

Perfect visual feedback
The sophistication of the instrument cluster for the BMW i8 required meticulous development work on the part of the Bosch engineers. An example of this can be seen in the exceptionally fluid motion of the pointers as they move over the dials. Both the hardware and software were carefully selected to guarantee the necessary performance for perfect visual feedback, even for highly dynamic animations.

This instrument cluster furthermore utilizes a highly innovative dual-processor architecture, with one processing unit dedicated to handling the graphics and the other for the remaining functions. A level of computing power was chosen that additionally allows the electronics of a head-up display to be controlled via the instrument cluster. Data connectivity is provided by two bus systems: CAN (Controller Area Network) and MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport).

The TFT display is covered with an optically bonded pane of mineral glass, just like the latest smartphones and tablet PCs, thus underscoring the cutting-edge design and modern look and feel of this instrument cluster.

For the BMW i8, Bosch also supplies various sensors, a gasoline direct injection system, starter motors, the power electronics for the starter generator, the front wiper system, and electric water pumps.

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2015, its sales came to 41.7 billion euros, or 59 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector combines the group’s expertise in three mobility domains – automation, electrification, and connectivity – and offers its customers integrated mobility solutions. Its main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

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.”

Further information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

PI8554 - September 30, 2014

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