Cars: assistants on wheels Bosch software platform enables a host of custom services

Information Technology Press Releases Friday March 24, 2017 21:20
Bangkok--24 Mar--ABM
  • Bosch board of management member Hoheisel: "Services are increasingly becoming a differentiating factor within the automotive industry."
  • Study predicts that by 2020, there will be 250 million connected cars on the road.
  • The Automotive Cloud Suite makes it possible to develop, operate, and sell services for connected cars.
  • Bosch services warn of wrong-way drivers and find available parking spaces.

It is the dawning of the age of the connected car. Starting in March 2018, the eCall automatic emergency call system will be mandatory in the EU. This means that every new car will be a connected car by default. The market research company Gartner forecasts that by 2020, there will be 250 million connected cars on the world's roads. As cars increasingly become mobile devices on wheels, interested buyers are focusing more and more on digital services, such as ones that monitor the car's condition or warn of wrong-way drivers. According to a survey by the German Consumer and Media Analysis group (VuMA 2017), more than a quarter of the German population already views integrated internet access as a key consideration when buying a car. Speaking at the international Bosch ConnectedWorld 2017 conference in Berlin, Bosch board of management member Dr. Dirk Hoheisel said, "Services for connected cars are increasingly becoming a differentiating factor within the automotive industry." Hoheisel also announced the launch of the Bosch Automotive Cloud Suite, a new platform for mobility services. The Automotive Cloud Suite offers automakers and all mobility service providers a software platform plus a comprehensive toolkit for developing all kinds of services for drivers and for quickly bringing them to a wide market. Hoheisel continued: "Drivers also benefit from the Automotive Cloud Suite's wider, yet more personalized range of services."

Bosch's strength: expertise in cars, clouds, and big data

The Bosch Automotive Cloud Suite is based on the Bosch IoT Suite, and provides the technological basis for all services involving connected cars. It offers all the functions needed to connect devices, users, companies, and domains on a single platform. In its Automotive Cloud Suite, Bosch provides individual software modules, such as a digital logbook or solutions for implementing software updates. Providers of mobility services can use them to develop a broad range of connected car services for drivers. "Bosch is in a position to bring together comprehensive automotive know-how and IT expertise," said Hoheisel. "From the idea to the rollout to the actual operation of services, we provide our customers with everything from a single source." Bosch brings together many areas of expertise in its Automotive Cloud Suite: besides its skills as a systems supplier to the automotive industry and as a leading provider of encryption technologies, the company has extensive experience both as a cloud operator and in handling big data.

"Not only can our customers implement services with the Automotive Cloud Suite, but we also use it for our own in-house services," Hoheisel said. Bosch is demonstrating a range of new services in a show car based on a Jaguar F-Pace at Bosch ConnectedWorld 2017. Below are five services that are due to become standard in every vehicle.

1. Wrong-way driver alert:

In Germany alone, some 2,000 warnings about wrong-way drivers are broadcast each year. In most cases, however, the warning comes too late, since one-third of such incidents generally end after the wrong-way driver has traveled an average of 500 meters – in the worst case with fatal consequences. Bosch's cloud-based wrong-way driver alert is designed to provide a warning within ten seconds or so. The alert goes not only to the wrong-way driver, but to all road users in the vicinity. The service thus functions as a guardian angel in the data cloud.

2. Predictive diagnostics

Nothing is more annoying than when a car breaks down on vacation. Predictive diagnostics prevents situations where the car is unexpectedly out of commission. During regular drives, the system can analyze data and make predictions about the condition of key components. The driver is notified before a part wears out and receives a recommendation for the next repair shop visit.

3. Community-based parking

This service turns parking into a communal activity. As the car drives around, it uses its on-board sensors to identify and measure the gaps between cars parked at the curb. That information flows into a digital parking map. Using smart data processing, Bosch then corroborates the information to supply a prediction of the parking situation. The digital parking map is available in the cloud for cars in the vicinity, allowing drivers to navigate straight to a vacant spot.

4. Personal assistant

The dream of having one's own personal assistant is coming true. With this Bosch service, drivers can use voice commands to conveniently manage their appointments, ask for a wide range of information, make adjustments in their smart home, and much more, all during the drive. Over time, the assistant learns the user's habits and preferences so as to provide even better support.

5. Software updates over the air

Software updates from the cloud are already a given for smartphones; now, Bosch is doing the same for cars. New features, such as a more efficient driving mode for electric vehicles, can be added to the car – overnight, encrypted, and protected from hackers.

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. According to preliminary figures, its 2016 sales came to 44.0 billion euros, or 60 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 390,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2016). According to preliminary figures, the company generated sales of 73.1 billion euros in 2016. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected industry. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. 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." The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 450 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch's global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company's future growth is its innovative strength. At 120 locations across the globe, Bosch employs 59,000 associates in research and development.

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