Bosch has established a new Connected Mobility Solutions division, bringing together more than 600 associates to develop and sell digital mobility services. These include vehicle sharing, ridesharing and connectivity-based services for car drivers.
“Connectivity will fundamentally change how we get from A to B, and in the process it will help to solve today’s traffic problems. We are using it to realize our vision of emissions-free, stress-free and accident-free mobility,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, at the Bosch ConnectedWorld 2018 IoT conference in Berlin.
For Bosch, connectivity offers tremendous business potential. By 2025, there will be more than 470 million connected vehicles on the world’s roads, according to PwC. Just four years from now, the market for mobility services and associated digital services will be worth 140 billion euros ($172.6 billion USD) (source: PwC).
“Connected driving is a growth area for Bosch. Bosch aims for significant double-digit growth with the solutions it offers,” said Denner. The plan is for the new division to further extend the existing service portfolio. For instance, mobility services from Bosch send alerts about wrong-way drivers and turn smartphones into car keys. The latest of these is the ridesharing service offered by U.S. start-up Splitting Fares Inc. (SPLT). Denner also presented system!e in Berlin. Connected services for electromobility are set to further increase the suitability of electric driving for the mass market.
Bosch enters the ridesharing business
One growth market in the field of connected mobility is ridesharing, which encompasses online services and apps for carpools as well as for arranging driving services and taxis. By 2022, the number of ridesharing users worldwide is set to rise by 60 percent to 685 million (source: Statista). To date, most of these services have been directed at people who happen to be traveling in the same direction or who want to book a trip at the last minute; companies and commuters have been seen as less of a priority. This is precisely where SPLT comes in.
Recently acquired by Bosch, this U.S. start-up developed a platform that companies, universities or municipal authorities can use to arrange ridesharing for their staff. This B2B approach is aimed directly at commuters: the SPLT app brings together people who want to share a ride to the same workplace or place of study. One advantage of this is that rides are shared by colleagues, which means users never have to get in the car with complete strangers. Within seconds, an algorithm locates a suitable rideshare, calculates the fastest route through traffic, and thus assumes what used to be the time-consuming task of coordinating the departure point, departure time, best route and passengers. Sharing a ride is good for the nerves, for the wallet and for the environment. Companies also play a role in reducing traffic volume.
“Connectivity is a way for us to rethink not just the car but the whole way we use modes of transport,” said Denner.
Digital services for electric vehicles
Bosch subsidiary COUP has provided e-scooters for rent in Berlin since 2016. After introducing e-scooter sharing to Paris last year, the service will launch in Madrid this year. This will bring the total number of e-scooters to 3,500.
“Digital services will give electric driving a boost,” said Denner. At the IoT conference, the Bosch CEO presented system!e, a comprehensive system of connected electrified powertrain components and new service solutions for electric cars. To this end, Bosch has connected the electric drive to the Bosch Automotive Cloud Suite. The company is developing web-based services that rely on this interaction. In the future, intelligent electric cars will know precisely when their power will run out, but also where they can find their next charge, according to Bosch.
Eliminating range anxiety
For many car buyers, the worry that an electric car might leave them stranded is a deal-breaker. It is precisely this problem that system!e is designed to tackle. Because the electric drive is connected to the cloud, the system can produce an “extended range forecast.” An algorithm factors in vehicle data such as current battery charge, energy consumption of heating or air conditioning and the driver’s driving style, as well as information from the vehicle’s surroundings. This includes the current traffic situation and topographical data for the route ahead. Based on this information, the system can reliably calculate the vehicle’s precise range. For longer journeys in an electric car, the extended range forecast is supplemented by the “charging assistant.” This service knows where all the charge spots are on a given journey, say from Munich to Hamburg, so it can plan ahead for necessary charging stops; it also manages the payment process. Thanks to additional information about for example restaurants, cafés and shopping options, drivers can make the most of the charging time and relax. A third service manages vehicle charging in smart homes, helping to optimize how they use energy. It integrates the electric car into the smart home’s electricity grid, meaning the car’s battery supplements the stationary storage device for the house’s photovoltaic system. During the day, the car absorbs excess solar power and feeds it back at night as necessary. “For Bosch, mobility goes beyond the car. Our breadth of technology expertise in numerous fields puts us in an unparalleled position to develop and operate cross-application ecosystems,” said Denner.
4,000 participants, 70 exhibitors and 140 speakers
Bosch’s IoT activities are broadly diversified, encompassing solutions for connected mobility, connected manufacturing, as well as for connected energy systems and buildings. At the Bosch ConnectedWorld forum, taking place Feb. 21-22, for the IoT industry in Berlin, more than 70 exhibitors will demonstrate what is already possible with the Internet of Things, and how it will improve people’s everyday lives in the future.
In addition to the Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner, the roughly 140 speakers will include Dr. Dieter Zetsche (CEO Daimler), Dr. Frank Appel (CEO Deutsche Post DHL) and Johann Jungwirth (CDO Volkswagen). At a hackathon, some 700 programmers, start-up associates and designers will develop new ideas for connected mobility services, automated driving, connected manufacturing and logistics, and connected living. The 2018 Bosch ConnectedWorld will be the fifth event of its kind. It is one of the world’s largest conferences on IoT.