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Bosch driver assistance systems make driving safer
Driver assistance systems play an increasingly significant role in the decision to purchase a vehicle. According to a Bosch analysis based on registration statistics, in 2014 one-fifth of the almost three million new vehicles that rolled off the assembly line in Germany were equipped with lane assistance and emergency braking systems. In 2013, only one in ten new vehicles featured the systems. By 2014, a quarter of all newly built cars were even equipped with Bosch drowsiness detection technology. The solution analyses driving behavior to detect patterns related to fatigue, such as involuntary, abrupt steering maneuvers. If other parameters such as long periods of driving apply, the vehicle issues the driver a warning. The parking assistant is the most common driver assistance system in new cars. Every second newly registered vehicle features a system based on ultrasound that operates with acoustic warning signals, rearview cameras, and special parking aids that can even take over steering.
While this trend has increased driving comfort, it has also made driving safer. A single sensor can serve as the basis for several driver assistance systems. For instance, the adaptive cruise control (ACC) sensor maintains the speed set by the driver, as well as a safe distance to the vehicles ahead. Combined with a collision warning system, ACC can reduce strong braking by 67 percent. It can also effectively prevent unsafe distances between vehicles in 73 percent of cases. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH, welcomes this development: “Driver assistance systems can only make road traffic safer if they are widespread.” If all vehicles were equipped with an emergency braking system, 72 percent of rear-impact crashes in Germany could be prevented.
More information on Bosch driver assistance systems can be found here.
At the CES 2016, Bosch presented connected solutions for improved driving safety
While the car as a kitchen assistant may have sounded futuristic just a few years ago, it is already reality. Today, connected vehicles can communicate with smart homes via the internet. Before drivers even reach their homes, they can turn on their ovens and start baking a pizza. But that is just one of the features that car owners benefit from. More importantly, new technology has made driving safer. Web-based assistance programs and micromechanical sensors (MEMS) can correct driving errors in fractions of a second, or even prevent them entirely. They measure, inform, give warnings, and take action whenever necessary.
Dr. Volkmar Denner at the CES 2016 in Las Vegas
As global market leader in the production of MEMS sensors, Bosch not only supplies components for three-quarters of all smart phones, the company also provides the ‘high-tech feelers’ that help drivers reach their destinations safely. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016, which took place from January 6 to 9 in Las Vegas, Bosch presented a range of connected functions and innovative assistance systems for vehicles. For a touchscreen that it developed, the company received the “CES 2016 Innovation Award“ in the “In-Vehicle Audio/Video” category. The screen can change the structure of its surface in such a manner that the user can identify display elements simply by feeling them. As a result, drivers can control infotainment applications without taking their eyes off the road.
In the area of connected mobility, Bosch presented another innovation with the Retrofit eCall plug: effective immediately, it is a available as a retrofit product. In the event of an accident, the technology transmits an emergency signal to a hotline. In addition to this, in the future drivers will be able to receive cloud-based warnings of wrong-way drivers. To this end, a (anonymized) program compares vehicle movements with the permitted direction of travel. People driving in the wrong direction receive a warning within seconds, as do vehicles that are headed toward them.
“The right information at the right time helps minimize driver distractions,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management. When it comes to connectivity, the company’s decades of industry experience and broad portfolio of products are distinct advantages. “We aim to improve quality of life and make people’s everyday lives easier. Connectivity plays a decisive role in this regard,” Denner said during the Bosch press conference at the CES 2016.
More information on connected mobility can be found here.
Bosch and its associates are committed to helping refugees integrate
Since the beginning of last year, Germany has been facing a unique challenge: between January and December 2015, around one million displaced persons came to Germany to seek asylum from war, persecution, and a lack of economic opportunities in their home countries. The topic has been the subject of heated debate and has given rise to a number of questions. However, policy makers, businesses, and the general public agree that meeting the challenge of accommodating asylum seekers and helping refugees integrate requires a collective effort. “We can only handle the growing number of asylum seekers in Germany and Europe if we all help,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. “As a company, we can also make an important contribution. Especially when it comes to integration, we can provide support.”
In order to help refugees get started in Germany, Bosch has already donated 500,000 euros for activities at its locations. For instance, the company is planning an additional 200 internships that will prepare refugees for an apprenticeship or the German labor market. Mentor programs and supporting German lessons aim to help promote integration during the internships. Moreover, Bosch has made properties available to municipalities, on which shelters can be built. It has also offered company apartments where needed.
Associates have also been contributing in a variety of ways: for instance, they organized the “Shoebox Full of Joy” initiative, which collected Christmas gifts for refugees. A group of associates has also collected donations-in-kind for the German Red Cross and other NGOs. They collected many practical objects, including sleeping bags, bicycles, and towels. Moreover, Bosch Jugendhilfe (Youth Support) has offered volunteer associates as mentors for refugee children to “KinderHelden”, a local NGO. The support they provide helps children integrate into their German schools.
In addition to this, the Bosch board of management and works council have called on associates in Germany to make donations. The aim is to provide initiatives that help refugees with continuous support. The company has pledged to match every euro that associates donate until the end of January 2016.
More information on Bosch’s commitment to helping refugees can be found on the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s website.
Bosch has stepped up its commitment to climate protection.
With the adoption of a new climate agreement, the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris has drawn to a close. Some 200 countries have signed the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to less than two degrees over pre-industrial times. Among other things, all countries have committed to setting national climate targets that will be assessed every five years.
Outside the 21st Climate Conference in Paris
According to John Danilovich, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce, the results of the climate conference are a major step forward. “This agreement will give business and investors the long-term certainty they need to scale up innovation and investment in climate solutions. The path to a low-carbon economy is now firmly set: business is ready to make that a reality,” Danilovich said.
ICC press conference during COP21 in Paris [VIDEO]
Bosch also welcomes the climate agreement, and sees the agreement among United Nations member states as an important step toward reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Each year, the company spends ten percent of its sales on research and development. And energy efficiency plays an important role at Bosch: in recent years, the company’s products across business sectors have continuously become more energy-efficient and eco-friendly. Moreover, Bosch has committed to climate targets by setting itself the aim of reducing its CO2 emissions relative to value-added by 20 percent over 2007 levels. While Bosch originally set 2020 as its target date, the company has already achieved the 20 percent reduction in 2015 thanks to a range of internal measures. Not only do these include the greater use of renewable energies, they also involve specially trained CO2 coordinators, who are in charge of identifying potential for reducing emissions at all relevant Bosch locations around the world.
Bernhard Schwager of Bosch as he speaks to Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research, at the German embassy in Paris
With regard to global climate targets, Bosch intends to build on its current energy-saving activities. The company has found that taking a sustainable approach to business also makes sound economic sense. Between 2007 and 2014, Bosch saved around 530 million euros as a result of energy-saving measures.
Updates on COP21 are available on the International Chamber of Commerce’s Twitter channel.
While the world climate conference was being held in Paris, experts at a parallel event discussed concepts for sustainable cities
Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and the number is expected to keep rising. In the context of climate change, urban centers play an important role. According to experts, more than 70 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions are generated in major cities. On December 5, representatives of business, academia, and trade associations took part in a panel discussion to discuss the related opportunities and risks. The event was held at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, in parallel to the world climate conference.
Michael Kloth, International Transport Forum, in conversation
with Bernhard Schwager from Bosch
Three speakers, among them Bosch’s Bernhard Schwager, talked about the future of cities. They addressed innovative mobility concepts and smart infrastructure, which are making a decisive contribution to enhancing quality of life in a sustainable manner, especially for urban populations. The examples discussed included Shanghai: a growing number of people are opting for e-bikes in the city, which is often plagued with extreme levels of smog. In the long-term, the low-emissions drive system is expected to see a breakthrough in the automotive sector as well. Until then, however, four of every five vehicles on the world’s roads will have an internal combustion engine. This is why Bosch invests not only in developing e-mobility solutions, but also in continuously improving the efficiency of diesel and gasoline engines with the aim of further reducing CO2 emissions. The company spends around ten percent of its sales on research and development each year.
The growing connectivity of many spheres of life can also be used to reduce the carbon footprint of city dwellers. MEMs sensors are at the core of smart technology. These tiny high-tech helpers can measure the flow of traffic, air quality, or the ambient temperature, for instance. In turn, this data makes it possible to manage public transit or ventilate buildings more efficiently.
As global leader for MEMS sensors, Bosch continues to push the smart networking of cities forward. The Monaco 3.0 project is one example of the company’s activities in this area. Together with its partners, Bosch is testing concepts in the city that connect urban infrastructure and public services to one another virtually. Monaco’s inhabitants thus receive real-time information about the current parking situation, or on traffic issues arising from road works. This and other pilot projects have shown that urban regions in particular can become pioneers in the responsible use of scarce resources.
“The future of megacities” Bosch special can be found here: Bosch Special
More information about the International Chamber of Commerce’s position on the global climate conference in Paris can be found here: ICC