Mobility Solutions

Bosch is making the car an active part of the internet Connectivity as the key to electrification and automation

  • Comprehensive connectivity expertise for the car – and beyond
  • A wealth of services for business and private customers
  • Bosch ensures transparency in data handling
  • Connectivity achieves breakthrough for electrified and automated driving
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  • May 19, 2015
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases
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press release

These days, it is hard to imagine life without the internet – and soon that will be true in the car as well, since Bosch is making the car an active part of the internet. “Connectivity is the key to electrified and automated driving,” said Dr. Markus Heyn, a member of the Bosch board of management, at the 62nd International Automotive Press Briefing in Boxberg, Germany. Connected vehicles are safer, more comfortable, and more efficient. Online connectivity means, for instance, that drivers have access to information about congestion, black ice, and accidents, as well as where to find available parking spaces and charge spots – which they can reserve and pay for straightaway. Cars are also turning into digital media hubs as Bosch facilitates continuous access to online music services, social networks, and a wide range of smartphone apps.

Connectivity expertise for the car – and beyond
Bosch is a technology and service provider better positioned than almost any other company in the world to exploit the possibilities of the internet of things. “Our connectivity business relies on the 3S’s: sensors, software, and services,” Heyn explained. The result is connected solutions for smart homes, energy, industry, and of course mobility. This lays the groundwork for innovative functions. In one current test scenario, for instance, engineers use the car’s navigation system to automatically turn up the heating at home shortly before the vehicle gets there.

The car of the future is electrified, automated – and connected
Bosch anticipates that around 15 percent of all new vehicles will be electrified as early as 2025. It also expects that by 2020, cars will be able to drive themselves from the highway on-ramp to the highway off-ramp. Both trends rely heavily on connected solutions. For instance, drivers of electric cars can conveniently locate and reserve charge spots and pay for the electricity they use. “Apps such as Charge&Pay for Mercedes-Benz allow drivers to enjoy electrified driving without having to worry so much about range,” Heyn said. Rapidly transferred traffic data also enables an extended electronic horizon function, which allows connected vehicles to anticipate what is coming around the next few bends. Electric vehicles can use this system to optimize recuperation and charge levels. The information also contributes to vehicle safety. For instance, if several vehicles report intervention by their ESP at the same location, the system can refer to the weather data and conclude there is black ice present, warning the drivers following on behind. In addition, information on speed limits at temporary construction sites or a warning about congestion ahead allows automated vehicles to anticipate events and ease off the gas in plenty of time. Heyn summed it up in no uncertain terms: “A connected car is always the better car.”

Bosch mySPIN solution brings smartphones and vehicles together
To connect the car to the internet, Bosch pursues two main approaches. First of all, it makes use of the driver’s smartphone: Bosch’s mySPIN integrated solution allows Android and iOS devices to link up to the vehicle’s infotainment system. A wide range of apps can then be conveniently operated from the vehicle’s central display. Second, Bosch offers the connectivity control unit (CCU) as a command center within the vehicle. The CCU communicates via a cellular module equipped with its own SIM card and can determine the vehicle’s position using GPS, if desired. It is available both as an original equipment model and as a retrofit solution, which can be connected to the vehicle’s electrical system via the on-board diagnostics interface.

The CCU sends vehicle operating data to a cloud server, unlocking a variety of potential services. It is here that the Bosch IoT Suite software platform excels. This suite developed by the subsidiary Bosch Software Innovations brings devices, users, and companies together to make it as easy as possible to offer attractive services – including those from Bosch.

Trust is built on safety and security
Vehicle connectivity is already in full swing. Constant growth in the computing power of ECUs, the ongoing spread of high-speed mobile telecommunications worldwide, and the growing possibility to release secured updates over the air will unlock new opportunities for an ever broader range of functions. But technology alone cannot guarantee success. “Only safe and secure functions will win drivers’ trust,” Heyn said, pointing to the three aspects of the security debate. First of all, functional safety ensures the safe operation of the desired application and defines the procedure for safely deactivating systems if a fault occurs in one of the components. Data security, meanwhile, is about protecting against unauthorized external access. Here, Bosch relies on a multi-tier approach to both hardware and software so that it can maintain the high level of security it offers today in a future of increasingly connected vehicles. In this, Bosch sees a clear need for both technical and process standards, along the lines of the ISO 26262 functional safety standard. Finally, there is data protection as a legal consideration, which is defined in laws and regulations. “What we need is comprehensive European data protection regulation, so that a functioning digital market can establish itself in Europe,” Heyn said, adding that Bosch guarantees transparency in how it handles all data. Outlining Bosch’s basic stance, he emphasized that “customers have to be able to decide for themselves how and to what extent their data is used.”

Services for business customers cut servicing costs and times
Connected fleet management is a service aimed at fleet operators. The solution uses the CCU to securely transmit journey and service data to Bosch servers for analysis. This cuts operating costs and reduces time out of service. Companies can use the processed data to help plan operations, leasing contracts, and service and repair visits with more precision.

In the future, Bosch will put augmented reality to use in workshops, enabling a sort of “x-ray view” under the hood. When a worker takes a tablet computer and holds it under the hood, the tablet’s camera image is overlaid with comprehensive additional information and repair instructions for precisely the area being displayed. The mechatronics technician can manipulate the overlaid objects via the touchscreen and access additional information. This makes poring through service manuals a thing of the past. A Bosch server provides all the detailed data online.

Connected components enable predictive diagnostics
Bosch is increasingly drawing on Industry 4.0 techniques in developing and manufacturing its products. The goal is to connect each component so that it can seamlessly communicate manufacturing, test, and operating data about itself. This can then be used even once the product has left the Bosch plant. To take a current example of preventive diagnostics, it is already possible to use a connectivity control unit to gather operating data from a diesel injector throughout its service life and monitor its operation online from the cloud. If the data indicates signs of wear or a change in operating conditions, a modified version of the operating map can be automatically installed, likewise via the internet. It is also possible to immediately arrange a service visit and order a replacement part, if the customer so desires. Following analysis, the defective diesel injector can be restored to full working order. This analysis data also provides important information that can be utilized in the development of future product generations and to optimize the manufacturing process.

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.

PI8905 - May 19, 2015

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