Save money when refueling at filling stations in Germany
Choose your preferred strategy for refueling
Overview of your savings at a glance
Available in the Google Play Store for Android smartphones
Drivers using the new Fuel Saver App from Bosch SoftTec GmbH can customize settings to help them to save money when refueling their vehicles at filling stations in Germany. The app offers drivers three different strategies – Thrift Driver, Time Watcher, or Money Collector – to choose from, depending on their own time preferences and money-saving goals. Based on information acquired from the vehicle’s fuel gage, the Fuel Saver App determines which filling station along or near the chosen route has the best price.
Vehicle connection via OBD Bluetooth® adapter The app can be used in any vehicle which provides fuel gage information via onboard diagnostics (OBD). All that is required is an OBD Bluetooth® adapter (available separately) connected to the vehicle and the Fuel Saver App. The app checks for the vehicle’s compatibility with the OBD interface and activates the Fuel Saver function.
Various driving strategies: Thrift Driver, Time Watcher, Money Collector The Thrift Driver strategy emphasizes refueling at the lowest cost. However, the Thrift Driver’s willingness to take a detour only for the sake of the best price is not unlimited. So-called Time Watchers would like to save money, but also want to reach their destinations quickly and will accept only a short detour. Saving money is the Money Collectors' overriding priority, so they are prepared to make a more substantial detour to a filling station with lower prices.
Convenient navigation to the chosen filling station Once the app has located the filling station which best meets the selected criteria, the pre-installed basic navigation of the smartphone is launched. If there are changes in the route or fuel prices, the app, accessing the data of all German filling stations, conducts a search at regular intervals to identify a different filling station. Yet another feature is the calculation of total savings and visualization of the results at a glance so that drivers are given a feeling for how much they have saved on all driven routes.
If drivers want nothing more than an overview of current fuel prices at filling stations in Germany without the attendant calculation of a route, they can use the app’s so-called "Surroundings Radar" showing the available prices.
The Fuel Saver App and additional details are available immediately in the Google Play Store for smartphones running Android 4.0 or later.
Bosch SoftTec GmbH, which was first formed in July 2011, is headquartered in Hildesheim and is a subsidiary of Robert Bosch Car Multimedia GmbH. On the basis of decades of experience in the field of Car Infotainment and automotive software, a small team of specialists at Bosch SoftTec develops new product solutions in the segments for automotive software, connected services, cloud and smartphone applications.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In 2013, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.1 billion euros. (NB: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). 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 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, the Bosch Group invested some 4.5 billion euros in research and development and applied for some 5,000 patents. This is an average of 20 patents per day. The Bosch Group's products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is "Invented for life."
Mineral glass pane over the display exudes quality
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.
Accident prevention from automatic alert when approaching congestion
Automatic speed regulation on country roads
Server connection for access to the latest traffic data
Improved convenience and safety when driving
Bosch SoftTec GmbH is taking advantage of the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show to present 360°logiQ, a newly developed suite of integrated solutions for motor vehicles based on the knowledge gained from the dynamic electronic horizon. The system can alert drivers that they are approaching congestion or serve as a so-called country road assistant. The combination of software and service features heightens traveling safety and driving convenience by offering drivers farsighted and intervening functions. The alert function can automatically reduce driving speed when approaching congestion, decreasing the risk of rear-end collisions, while the country road assistant offers greater convenience when driving on country roads by automatically regulating the vehicle’s speed.
Server connection provides real-time information The connection to a server system (Bosch "Trusted Data Provisioning") offers access to dynamic map information made available by the partner TomTom, so 360°logiQ can draw on the latest real-time traffic information such as speed limits, danger points, or traffic congestion just ahead. Interacting with precise map data, 360°logiQ calculates a route forecast and can automatically adjust the vehicle’s speed appropriately.
"Combining TomTom’s technology and knowledge with Bosch’s proven advanced driving systems to create a competitive solution for drivers", said Jan Maarten de Vries, VP Automotive at TomTom. "They benefit from having the most accurate information of what’s happening on the road ahead, creating an overall safer driving experience."
Torsten Mlasko, Managing Director at Bosch SoftTec, emphasizes this aspect as well: "We make driving safer and more convenient by ideally integrating TomTom's latest information with our decades of automotive expertise, thereby creating innovative solutions. This is how we make a cutting-edge contribution to safe driving."
Connectivity in commercial vehicles helps reduce transportation costs
Bosch offers web-based services
Bosch connectivity control units provide the technical basis for networking
The truck of the future will be connected. As early as 2016, every new long-haul commercial vehicle in Europe and the United States will be web-enabled. Connected functionality will increase efficiency, and thus reduce transportation costs. Bosch provides the technical basis for networking in the form of connectivity control units (CCU). These devices connect on-board vehicle electronics with external servers via data communication. What’s more, Bosch offers web-based telematics services to assist with things such as scheduling maintenance or monitoring valuable freight.
Optimized maintenance reduces downtime Connectivity enables Bosch to support fleet operators in planning service intervals for their fleets. Vehicles constantly transmit operating data, such as mileage or fuel consumption, over the internet; any faults reported by the various vehicle electronic control units are also recorded. The information is encrypted and sent to a computing center for evaluation. Using this data, fleet operators can then plan maintenance and repairs in advance, which reduces unnecessary downtime.
Lower fuel consumption thanks to Eco.Logic Motion Using an internet connection, Bosch can also update and optimize its Eco.Logic Motion system solution. On the basis of enhanced navigation data on topography or bend radii, this solution already makes it possible to develop a proactive driving strategy, which reduces fuel consumption by 5 percent on average. In the future, when dynamic, cloud-based data on speed limits and construction sites can be incorporated into speed-setting and gear-shifting strategies, fuel consumption will drop even more.
Take a safe break with secure truck parking More safety along the logistics chain is the idea behind the Bosch secure truck parking service. Freight forwarding companies can use this service to reserve one of a current total of over 100 parking spaces in rest areas. The system also serves to deter thieves. In the future, parking spaces will have surveillance cameras, making it easier to identify numerous dangers, property damage, and theft in real time.
Trailer control unit for commercial vehicle trailers Bosch has developed its own telematics solution specifically for commercial vehicle trailers. Using the trailer control unit, freight forwarders can track the location and condition of their freight at any time. And because the unit has its own power supply, it even works when the trailer is no longer connected to the truck. The trailer control unit delivers valuable information to the computing center, such as tire pressure or open freight-hold doors. Any deviation from planned operations is recognized immediately so that the dispatcher can react accordingly. The system also keeps constant track of the temperatures in trailers containing perishable goods.
On-board unit connects trucks with highway toll system Since 2013, Bosch has also been supplying a new on-board unit (OBU) for the truck toll system in Germany. The unit is the essential element for automatically logging the vehicle into the German toll system. Using GPS, the OBU constantly tracks the truck’s position and, using mobile communications, transmits encrypted data at regular intervals to a computing center. A special map enables the OBU to determine the route traveled and calculate the toll amount. Bosch has greatly expanded the computing and storage capacity of the 1-DIN slot unit, which will thus be able to meet future technical requirements.
Bosch control center monitors trucking On request, the Bosch Security Systems division can take over truck-monitoring tasks. At any time day or night, the telematics system will notify the Bosch control center of any incidents: when a vehicle deviates from its planned route, for instance, or the trailer doors are opened at an unscheduled time. Trained associates then initiate one of a number of standard operating procedures and inform the police.
eCall: faster help in emergencies Even in the case of an accident, Bosch can use the internet to ensure safety. Moreover, its eCall system helps save lives. In the event of an accident – and only then – the emergency call system automatically sends relevant data to the Bosch emergency control center, including location, time, and direction of travel. What’s more, a voice connection is established to the accident vehicle, and the system also identifies the nearest police station or emergency services. If an eCall is made, and no contact is established with the vehicle occupants, a Bosch associate contacts the closest emergency response center directly. The advantage of the Bosch solution is that multilingual associates can communicate with those involved in the accident as well as with the local authorities. So after an accident in Spain, a German truck driver with no knowledge of the local language can communicate details about the accident or the number of injured persons directly to the Bosch emergency control center, which in turn immediately informs local emergency services.
Bosch’s flexible hardware is continuously being improved A Bosch connectivity control unit is all that is needed for many of the services described above. One advantage of these units is that they are easy to install. Hidden in the foot well or the dashboard, the unit connects to the vehicle electrical system using the standard OBD II diagnostic connector. If a vehicle is taken out of the fleet, the device can easily be removed again. A second generation is already in development. The device is compatible with fast LTE mobile communication and open to software applications, making it ready to meet future needs.
First and foremost, the Bosch stand (Hall 17, Stand B12) at the 65th IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover is about efficiency. We are using smart solutions to make conventional commercial-vehicle powertrains not only cleaner, but also increasingly economical. And with technologies for alternative powertrains and fuels, Bosch has the future clearly in its sights. In addition, we show how in-vehicle and internet connectivity can help simplify logistics and make truck use even more efficient.