Mobility Solutions

Freight goes online Digitalization of rail transport: Bosch and SBB Cargo working on connected freight wagon

  • Freight wagons to become a smart and connected mode of transport
  • Collaboration combines automotive expertise with knowledge of the rail transport sector
  • Digitalization of freight traffic essential for efficient logistics processes
  • “Digitalized freight wagons make logistics transparent, secure, and connected,” says Bernhard Bihr, president of Bosch Engineering GmbH
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  • October 06, 2015
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases
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press release

Abstatt/Olten – Smart trains will revolutionize freight traffic and logistics. Bosch Engineering is working with Swiss rail freight operator SBB Cargo to develop rail logistics into a connected transport system. The two companies have concluded a cooperation agreement that will see them jointly develop an asset intelligence system for rail freight traffic. This system enables SBB Cargo freight wagons to transmit data relating to their position and cargo to a central control center. As a result, the company can deliver goods more speedily and provide its customers with more detailed information. The collaboration brings together two capable partners: SBB Cargo is a leader in Swiss freight traffic, and as a provider of development services Bosch Engineering is the hub for all rail-specific applications within the Bosch Mobility Solutions division. “Using Bosch automotive technology to connect trains allows us to open up new possibilities for integrating rail freight traffic into the digitalized world,” says president of Bosch Engineering Bernhard Bihr. “A significant developmental leap is required if rail freight traffic is to ready itself for the future. This can be achieved only through innovation – the sort of innovation we and our partners from other sectors are jointly adapting for rail applications,” says Nicolas Perrin, CEO of SBB Cargo.

Asset intelligence for the railroad
To turn freight trains into connected modes of transport, they are equipped with sensors that collect data on their current position as well as the condition of wagons and their cargo, including parameters such as temperature, air humidity, and shocks sustained. Connectivity hardware wirelessly relays this data to a server and makes it available online to the rail operator, enabling them to see where their wagons and goods are at any given time. As a result, organization of transport is faster and more efficient, logistics processes are optimized, and transportation costs are reduced. An anticipatory condition-monitoring feature notifies users of wear on components so that upcoming repairs can be planned well in advance and according to requirement. This reduces downtime, conserves resources, and saves money. What is more, geofencing and break-in alarm features ensure that the new system also provides additional security for the transported goods.

Innovative automotive technology and rail expertise
For Bosch Engineering and SBB Cargo, this new collaboration agreement to develop a comprehensive asset intelligence system for rail freight traffic builds on their already successful collaboration. The first SBB cargo test fleet fitted with a connected condition-monitoring system has been operating on the Swiss railways since back in February 2015. Initial functions are being tested and refined. Bosch Engineering has specifically tailored connectivity technology taken from large-scale automotive series production to cater to the needs of this new field of application. The plan is to continue developing the technology and to incorporate new functions, with SBB Cargo contributing its experience in testing and rail standards to the collaboration.

Further information:
Bosch gets freight wagons online
Bosch compact on Bosch Engineering

Video links:
Collision warning system for trams and light rail:
Bosch Engineering:

Contact for press inquiries:
Bosch Engineering GmbH:
Annett Fischer, phone: +49 7062 911-7837

SBB Cargo AG:
SBB media office, phone: +41 51 220 41 11, e-mail:

Bosch Engineering GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH and is headquartered in Abstatt, Germany. As a systems development partner to the automotive industry since 1999, the company offers development services for powertrains, safety and convenience systems, and electrical and electronic systems - from the original concept to series production. Specialized in electronics and software, it draws on Bosch's proven large-scale series production technology to develop tailored solutions for a wide variety of applications in passenger cars, commercial vehicles, off-highway and recreational vehicles, and in rail vehicles, ships, and industry. Bosch Engineering GmbH also coordinates all the Bosch Group's motorsports activities.

Additional information can be accessed at

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 360,000 associates worldwide (as per April 1, 2015). The company generated sales of 49 billion euros in 2014.* 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 subsidiary and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including its sales and service partners, Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2014, Bosch applied for some 4,600 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to create solutions 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 and,

*The sales figure disclosed for 2014 does not include the former joint ventures BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (now BSH Hausgeräte GmbH) and ZF Lenksysteme GmbH (now Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH), which have since been taken over completely.

SBB Cargo stands for sustainable freight transportation by rail. Accounting for almost a quarter of all freight traffic in Switzerland, the rail freight operator is number one in the Swiss freight market, liberalized in 1999. The company employs around 3,000 people and operates more than 6,800 freight wagons in addition to some 500 traction vehicles. By working consistently to rail’s strengths, SBB Cargo was able to enjoy another good year in 2014, with profits of CHF 33 million and revenue of CHF 986 million. SBB Cargo offers secure, highly punctual freight transportation – and helps reduce road traffic sustainably and effectively. The rail freight operator supplies Swiss quality and creative solutions, and is always developing new businesses. As a result, it plays an important role in its customers’ success.

Additional information can be accessed at

PI9068 - October 06, 2015

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