Mobility Solutions

Beyond the hood: how Bosch now sees itself as a systems supplier Presentation by Dr. Rolf Bulander,
chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector
of Robert Bosch GmbH
at the 62nd International Automotive Press Briefing in Boxberg, May 19, 2015

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  • May 19, 2015
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Presentations

press release

Ladies and gentlemen,

It doesn’t always have to be the engine that gets the most attention at the Bosch automotive press briefing. Allow me to welcome you to the 62nd such event here at the Boxberg proving ground. And indeed, we’re giving our attention not just to the technology under the hood, but also to road traffic.
Traffic that is regimented according to odd and even days, as in both Paris and Beijing. Traffic that moves at 19 kilometers per hour, as it does in
London, or at a staggering five kilometers per hour, as in Mumbai. This suggests that we need to rethink personal mobility, at least in big cities, and move toward a multimodal concept encompassing bikes, trains, and buses. That’s exactly why Bosch as a company is looking beyond the hood. We can summarize how the way we see ourselves has changed in two sentences:

  • We are a systems supplier – and that already encompasses much more than braking and injection systems.
  • And we supply systems for mobility as a whole – including solutions for connecting cars, other modes of transport, and infrastructure.
Against this backdrop, Bosch decided to rename its Automotive Technology business sector Mobility Solutions. The new name says it all. That’s the point I’d like to pursue in my opening statement. After a quick overview of our current business situation, I’ll sketch out our view of the future of mobility and then show how our technologies are the logical answer to that. We are already making good progress on the necessary solutions – and I’ll leave you with some first impressions of them at the end of my presentation. True to our strategic imperative “Invented for life,” we want to improve the efficiency not just of engines but also of traffic in general. Only then can we truly see ourselves as a supplier of solutions for the mobility of the future.

The business situation: strong growth continues
First, let’s take a look at our current business. Bosch’s Mobility Solutions business sector generated sales of 33.3 billion euros in 2014. This was equivalent to 8.9 percent growth – more than double the growth in worldwide vehicle production. Sales of important products such as the ESP electronic stability program, gasoline injection, and diesel direct injection systems each grew by some 20 percent. We experienced particularly strong growth in sales of our clean diesel systems in China – our contribution to making the air in Beijing and Shanghai cleaner.

In 2015, we are continuing on this growth path with Mobility Solutions. As of February, we are also consolidating Bosch Automotive Steering, our steering systems business. On a like-for-like basis, we have already been able to increase real sales growth in the first quarter of this year by 7 percent. As a result of current exchange-rate effects, nominal growth was considerably higher, at 13 percent. Our Mobility Solutions business sector brings together a worldwide network of 126 manufacturing sites and 59 engineering centers. It has a total workforce of some 205,000 associates. Of these, more than 39,500 work in research and development. That’s the team that is working on the mobility of tomorrow.

Future mobility: it doesn’t always have to be the car
But where are cars and traffic heading in the coming years? At first glance, everything looks positive and the direction clearly set. When it comes to car driving, we see a congruence between societal and technological trends. For example, fuel efficiency is in the interest of climate protection. But forecasts can be quite uncertain – a truth that the economic and financial crisis clearly demonstrated once again a few years ago. It would be negligent to believe that market developments will be linear.

To predict the basic outline of long-term change is only one half of the story. The other half is to prepare for volatility in our markets. How can we do both?

Only by thinking in terms of scenarios. That’s why at Bosch we’ve drawn up a series of pictures of the future. I’ll compare two of them here:

  • On the one hand, there’s the globalization of driving enjoyment. Never mind all the rules and regulations, having your own car is still a lot of fun. So personal mobility will spread further, while the internet will further
    enhance the driving experience, for instance with music from the cloud. This means that in advanced economies, vehicle demand will be driven by innovations, while in emerging markets it will be driven by the adoption of Western standards of consumerism. In China, there are currently just 50 cars per 1,000 inhabitants, while in the European Union it’s a good 500. Under the “fun for everyone” scenario, these numbers would converge.
  • On the other hand, there’s ecological globalization. This sees the world going green – either because climate protection policies are adopted right around the planet, or because megacities all over the world place limits on personal transport. The result is a further tightening of emissions and efficiency regulations for cars in both advanced economies and emerging markets. We are already seeing countries such as China and India following the European model and tightening their emissions limits. Under the “green world” scenario, personal mobility will not only be regulated more strictly, it will increasingly be complemented by other modes of transport. This is reflected in real planning: for instance, China wants to build 170 new local public transportation systems such as subways and light rail by 2030.
Electrified, automated, connected: complementary developments
These two pictures of the future stand at the two extreme ends of the scale: one an emotive perspective on car driving, the other ecological. And yet the technological answers to both are identical. No matter whether personal mobility continues to grow worldwide or becomes more tightly regulated – either way, powertrains will be electrified and driving will become automated and connected. The reasons for all three developments are easy to summarize:

  • First, electromobility will be promoted with the same legislation that has led to advancements for the combustion engine, namely stricter efficiency and emissions regulations. But this is more than an obligatory piece of green policy, because it also enhances driving enjoyment. For instance, electromobility delivers excellent torque for acceleration even at low engine speeds.
  • Second, automated driving makes road traffic more efficient and above all safer. It avoids human mistakes, which are the root cause of nine out of ten accidents today. Yet driver assistance can already relieve the burden on drivers in stop-and-go traffic, in other words, when driving is no fun. And a car with an autopilot provides a whole new driving experience – it becomes your home on the move.
  • Third, connected driving, too, can help to find savings. At first glance, we might think the internet’s greatest impact would be felt in improving mobile infotainment. But it is also capable of delivering real-time information with which to avoid traffic jams or adjust hybrid vehicles’ charging strategy
    depending on the current state of traffic.
Whether electrification, automation, or connectivity – all three development paths make personal mobility both sustainable and appealing. That means they are also compatible with contrasting pictures of the future – with both the “green world” and “fun for everyone.” But more than that: the three paths complement each other. Drivers will be more at ease if they know they can use the internet to find and reserve not only the nearest parking space, but also the nearest charge spot. Driving becomes even safer once automation allows vehicles to warn each other of intersections with limited visibility or congestion ahead. Our developments do more than fit the future, they interconnect with each other in a coherent way.

The road to the future leads to commercial success
But how can we make headway on these roads to the future? Bosch is already achieving success, not just technologically but also commercially. This, too, is something I can point out for you on all three development paths:

  • First, electromobility is coming – whatever reservations people may have. This is reflected in the spread of infrastructure as much as by progress in the technology. By 2020 we want to halve battery costs; by then, some three million charge spots will have been installed around the world – ten times as many as in 2013. This gives the market ample room for growth in the next decade. By 2025, 15 percent of all new vehicles will feature an electrified powertrain. But it also means that well into the next decade, the combustion engine will remain the basis for efficient mobility. We will continue to improve this basis, particularly as we are confident we can reduce fuel consumption by a further 10 percent for diesel engines, and by a maximum of 20 percent for gasoline. And in combination with electric motors, the combustion engine has yet to reach the peak of its efficiency. Particularly where this hybridization of the powertrain is concerned, Bosch has broad-based expertise, and this is giving rise to a host of solutions. We have already completed 30 production orders for electrifying driving, ten of them for premium plug-in hybrid vehicles. In the mid-sized segment, we’re working on an affordable entry-level hybrid; here we have an order for large-scale volume production. Bosch has the experience to turn an alternative powertrain into a success story. It’s what we did with diesel, and it’s what we want to achieve with the electric powertrain, too.
  • Second, automated driving is coming via a market that is already expanding rapidly: the market for driver assistance systems. Bosch’s sales in this market are currently growing by a third each year. Our sales of radar and video sensors will once again double in 2015, as they did in 2014. We are the world leader in radar sensors. Last year was the first time that we sold more than 50 million sensors all told for driver assistance systems. But development doesn’t stop there: this year, we’re starting production of a range of new assistance systems covering remote parking, traffic jams, evasive action, and turning against oncoming traffic. By 2020, we want to produce a highway pilot for automated driving on freeways. Some 2,000 developers are working on functions such as these at Bosch – a good 700 more than two years ago. Our acquisition of ZF Lenksysteme has once again improved our prospects. Bosch technology will enable the cars of the future not only to autonomously accelerate and brake, but also steer.
  • Third, connected driving has already progressed beyond the pilot-project stage. Collecting and transmitting ECU data and driving profiles and then using these to generate appointments for preventive maintenance or tips for how to use less fuel – by the end of this year, Bosch will have connected some 200,000 vehicles for these functions alone. In this way, we are helping leasing and insurance companies to manage vehicle fleets – as well as supporting services for drivers on our own mobility portal, Drivelog. In addition, we’re developing completely new solutions for urban transport. One starting point is the micromechanical sensors that we employ in systems such as ESP. We are web-enabling them and fitting them unobtrusively into parking spaces. There they can detect whether a space is in use – resulting in a real-time online parking map. This will considerably reduce the time spent on looking for parking spaces, which accounts for at least 30 percent of urban driving. At the same time, we’re connecting the various modes of transport. Stuttgart Services is a pilot project offering a single chip card that can be used to access car and bike sharing services, trains, and buses, but that also serves as an entry pass for swimming pools or libraries – and we developed the software solution for it. It’s a sneak peek at the transportation services of tomorrow.
New customers, new services: Bosch is expanding its business
I would like to close for now by looking at these examples. It is precisely the topic of connectivity that shows how broad a reach our mobility solutions now have.

  • On the one hand, new products that go beyond the car, such as urban transportation services.
  • On the other, new customers that go beyond the automotive industry; in the future, it could be all road users.
But even within the automotive industry, our customer base has broadened to include the new entrants in California. However cars and transportation are changing, Bosch is playing an agile part in shaping those changes. And we’re not going to leave it at that. It is common knowledge that Bosch’s versatility goes beyond cars and transportation. That means we can connect vehicles with smart homes – so our car’s navigation system can instruct our home’s heating system to warm up the living room before our arrival. In short, whether for houses or for cars, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life”. We can connect them all, and this gives rise to a better quality of life. With the versatility of our expertise, our prospects for the mobility of the future are excellent.

RF00251 - May 19, 2015

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