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Bosch continues its research on connected production facilities
The AMELI 4.0 research project, which Bosch launched in cooperation with six partners from industry and business, focuses on monitoring machines more effectively, avoiding down time, and thus reducing costs. The team of experts is developing a sensor system that will enable the intelligent networking of production facilities. Thanks to these smart helpers, deviations from a machine’s normal state will be detected immediately and the appropriate measures taken. As a result, regular maintenance work may no longer be necessary in the future, and this will reduce inspection and maintenance costs by as much as 30 percent.
Micromechanical sensors (MEMS), a key technology for Industry 4.0, are at the center of this project. Once they are embedded in a production facility, these tiny measurement tools will collect and process large volumes of data in real time, and they will do this in a very energy efficient manner. These sensors have already found widespread use in cars and smartphones. However, they are not yet capable of meeting the demanding performance and flexibility requirements of the production facility of the future.
Headed by Bosch, the AMELI 4.0 research team is thus working on developing efficient and energy self-sufficient MEMS sensors that will harvest the energy they need from machine vibrations, without the need for wires or batteries. By measuring the sounds machines make, the sensor’s microscopic “sensory organs“ will also be able to detect whether machines are operating normally. A defective machine vibrates differently and has a different sound – and the system will be capable of learning and issuing a warning at an early stage.
With regard to Industry 4.0, the research project will help improve the competitiveness of German companies. This is why it is receiving 3.84 million euros in support from the Germany Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) “IKT 2020 – Research for Innovation” fund. AMELI 4.0 was initiated in December 2015 and will be completed by the end of 2018.
More information on the sensors of the future can be found here.
Bosch is launching a sharing service for e-scooters under the Coup brand
Traffic, hectic road conditions, and the search for parking spots make urban driving especially challenging. To offer city dwellers and visitors access to flexible mobility solutions, Bosch is launching the Coup e-scooter sharing service. With the agile e-scooters, Coup, a Bosch subsidiary, is now offering Berliners a simple, emissions-free alternative to their own cars. Gogoro, a leading e-scooter manufacturer, is providing the electric two-wheelers. With their smartphones, users can conveniently locate and reserve the closest scooters. When they have done this, they can hop onto the scooters and ride off. Once they reach their destination, they simply leave the scooter anywhere in the downtown area.
For the start of the project, 200 connected e-scooters are being distributed in Berlin Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, and Kreuzberg. Searches and reservations can be carried out in just a few seconds with an easy to use app, which also serves as the key for the helmet compartment and ignition. Once users have completed their ride, the app also automatically issues a bill, just as apps for car-sharing platforms do. Thanks to flat rates, pricing is easy to understand: the use of a fully charged scooter costs 3 euros per half hour, or 20 euros a day. Scooters can travel up to 100 kilometers on a single charge, and Coup covers the cost of charging. To rent a scooter, users must be at least 21 years old and have a license to drive cars or motorcycles.
With the new Coup sharing service, Bosch is contributing to flexible and eco-friendly mobility in urban areas. The platform thus provides a new building block for the Mobility Solutions business sector. This will help Bosch shape its response to modern mobility requirements. If demand is high, the company will expand the service to other parts of the city in the near future.
More information on Coup and practical e-scooters can be found here.
Interested users can also register for the initial phase of the sharing service on the Coup website.
Automated driving: while children are ready for it, adults feel they need more information
Children would like the car of the future to be automated, flexible, and eco-friendly. Over the course of the #asmartercar campaign, Bosch asked six-year-olds how they imagined the driving of the future. The result: the next generation of drivers is hoping for automated driving. The children envisioned not only that vehicles would be able to reach their destinations completely independently, but also park without the driver’s assistance. This vision also reflected the needs of the children’s grandparents: thanks to new technology, people could be mobile regardless of their age. Sustainable drive systems were also very important for the drivers of tomorrow. Out of concern for the environment, the majority of the young respondents hoped that their cars would be electric.
In contrast, as a YouGov omnibus survey showed, adult drivers are somewhat more pragmatic. For them, it is important that vehicles are able to take over in specific traffic situations. Two-thirds of the features that most of the 2.000 respondents mentioned are largely already available today. These include, for instance, an intelligent predictive adaptive cruise control system that adjusts the car’s speed to the vehicles ahead, ensuring that a safe distance is maintained. In addition to this, adult drivers expected the vehicles of the future to park on their own (55 percent), and be able to predict traffic jams or detours (51 percent). There was one topic that adults and children agreed on: in dangerous driving situations, smart technology should contribute to more automation in the car and thus make driving safer for young and old (56 percent).
One group of drivers in particular – namely those older than 55 – were still skeptical of driverless vehicles. However, people in this group were also the most likely to admit that they didn’t know much about such cars (27 percent). Against this backdrop, Bosch aims to use the #asmartercar campaign to raise awareness about automated driving technologies and increase acceptance.
More information about the survey and videos of the drivers of tomorrow can be found here.
A community app that Bosch developed is making mobility more sustainable
With more than 12,000 new apartments, 5 million square meters of commercial space, and 3.5 hectares of parks and green spaces, the Shipyard Communities building project in San Francisco is very impressive. In 2015, the first families moved into their new homes in the former shipyard in the southeastern part of the city. At present, a new shopping and entertainment district is also being built – it will be home to many shops as well as a film and arts center. Despite a growing population, the new neighborhood will be a sustainability role model, in part thanks to technical innovations.
The Smart Community app, which Bosch helped develop, is at the heart of the new community. Users can access real-time information from their local community, for instance about where the shuttle bus is currently located, or with which local trains they can best reach their desired destinations. This encourages people to use public transit and thus contributes to reducing CO2 emissions.
At the same time, Bosch and its partners are also working on making sure that app users can drive their own vehicles more comfortably and efficiently. A connected parking guidance system aims to help drivers find the closest available parking spots. In the future, smart vehicles may even be able to park on their own. As a result, they will need less space and help make available parking spaces even more efficient.
The connected community in San Francisco is the first of many. With its own IoT cloud, Bosch intends to provide other cities with a platform that will help them exploit the opportunities that smart communities offer.
More information on the Smart Community app can be found here.
The UN Global Compact yearbook is one of the world’s best independent publications
The United Nations Global Compact network, of which Bosch is a member, requires that its members assume entrepreneurial responsibility, do business and act in a sustainable manner, and respect human rights. In the organization’s current yearbook, the company highlights the ways in which it motivates its suppliers to act in a more sustainable manner. The “International Yearbook 2015”, whose prominent authors include the environmental activist and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, recently received the bronze medal at the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2015. Each year, the American book prize honors the world’s best independent publications.
The publication aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the Global Compact’s achievements, and to report on companies whose business activities comply with the global initiative’s guidelines. At Bosch, for instance, efforts have been made to improve the sustainability-related performance of the company’s suppliers. Not only does Bosch conduct environmental and social audits on a regular basis, it also offers training programs and honors its best suppliers biannually with the Bosch Global Supplier Award. In its annual progress report, Bosch documents the resulting success stories and all other sustainability-related activities. These include, for instance, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and effectively supporting the integration of refugees.
Since 2004, Bosch has oriented its activities to the ten universally accepted principles of the United Nations Global Compact. The global initiative obliges member companies around the world to make their business activities more sustainable. All members are required to respect human rights and labor norms, and to commit to protecting the environment and fighting corruption. They also report on the measures they have implemented in each of these areas.
More information on the UN Global Compact can be found here.
More information on the Global Compact International Yearbook can be found here.