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Recent Blog Comments
Bosch is developing solutions for connected agriculture
According to a recent study published by the McKinsey Global Institute, the agricultural sector is currently one of the least digitized industries. Many farmers have yet to be convinced of the benefits of digital technology. This may be because available technology is often not adequately user friendly, and services usually cover only a fraction of a farmer’s needs. However, Bosch sees a great deal of potential for innovative solutions in agriculture, for instance in the areas of sustainable food production, packaging, and distribution – from the fields to the consumer’s plate.
In cooperation with “The Yield“, and Australian start-up, the company is showing how connected solutions can improve oyster farming in aquaculture. Sensors monitor the parameters that are critical for the oyster harvest, such as water temperature and salt content. Software records and analyzes data and then sends the results directly to the farmer’s smart phone. Based on this analysis, the farmer can determine the best possible moment for the harvest. Since oysters are filters that absorb water contaminants, they cannot be harvested if contaminant levels are too high, and this means that oyster farmers risk generating losses. With their joint project, “The Yield“ and Bosch have made it possible to increase the number of harvestable days by as much as 30 percent. In addition to hardware and software, Bosch has also provided the computing center required to collect and record data. As shareholder, the company has thus far invested more than two million euros in “The Yield”.
Bosch offers connected solutions in other areas of agriculture as well. For instance, connected wireless sensors help improve the yield of asparagus harvests. Moreover, with intelligent containers, Bosch is contributing to making the transport of goods more agile and efficient in the future. These containers can monitor the two-week sea voyage of bananas, for example.
Connected agriculture is one of the main topics at the Bosch Connected World conference, which is taking place until March 16. More information on the conference program can be found here.
More information on the cooperation between Bosch and “The Yield” can be found on the Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.
Bosch and EnBW are developing new energy storage systems to stabilize the power grid
The energy turnaround not only means exploiting new sources of power, it also calls for innovative approaches to energy production. In addition to conventional power plants, a growing number of small producers are now appearing on the market. Wind and solar parks, cogeneration units, heat pumps, and biogas plants are now also feeding power into the public grid. Since the amount of energy that those facilities produce often depends on factors that cannot be controlled, such as wind and sunlight, energy storage solutions ensure that the power supply becomes constant and reliable. Bosch is developing such solutions for both energy providers and industrial companies.
At present, Bosch is driving a promising project forward together with EnBW, a German energy provider: At the EnBW power plant in Heilbronn, the company is planning an energy storage system that will make primary regulation energy available, thus offsetting short-term fluctuations in the grid. “The cooperation with EnBW is another important step toward establishing energy storage systems in the market and thus helping ensure the success of the energy turnaround,” says Cordelia Thielitz, the president of Bosch Energy Storage Solutions. Solutions like these not only ensure a reliable power supply, but furthermore contribute to making renewable sources of energy reliable and suitable for widespread use.
The energy storage system comprises 768 lithium-ion battery models and a maximum output of five megawatts with an installed storage capacity of five megawatt hours. The amount of power that the storage system receives and dispenses corresponds to the average consumption of about 400 two-person households. In a first step, the two companies will establish a joint project enterprise that will be in charge of planning, building, connecting, and operating the battery.
More information on the joint project between Bosch and EnBW can be found here (only in German available).
Bosch presents traffic safety solutions
At the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, which ended yesterday, Bosch presented smart new solutions for use in the Internet of Things (IoT). Occupying center stage was a concept car with a number of automated driving features. In addition to conveniences such as keyless entry, the automobile offers in particular innovative safety features: if the driver begins to fall asleep, or is considerably distracted, the Driver Drowsiness Detection feature can cause the car to emit a warning signal, and thus prevent a dangerous situation.
The concept car is also the first to offer gesture-controlled operation with haptic feedback. The technology makes use of ultrasound sensors, which allow drivers to feel whether their hand is in the right place. They also give the driver feedback regarding the gesture that has been performed. This, in turn, makes it possible to operate infotainment programs without looking at the controls, and driver can this keep their eyes on the road for much more of the time. In addition, the exterior rear-view mirrors have been replaced by a “Mirror Cam System,” which displays the car’s surroundings with the help of sensors and display screens. What is really special is that when the car is on the highway, the camera automatically extends the viewing angle farther back behind the car, and when in the city, the viewing angle is as wide as possible, to enhance safety. At night, increased contrast levels enhance the driver’s ability to perceive his or her surroundings.
A cloud-based wrong-way-driver warning system
Furthermore, Bosch has developed a cloud-based system that transmits warnings about wrong-way drivers. This system sends information to both the wrong-way driver and to drivers in oncoming vehicles within ten seconds – faster than with a radio-based system. In order to detect a vehicle driving in the wrong direction, the cloud-based feature compares the actual movements of the vehicle with permitted directions as listed in an Internet-based database. The function depends on the regular, anonymous reporting of the vehicle’s position to the cloud – a centrally located computing center in which data from the Internet can be stored and analyzed. The more vehicles are in the network, the greater the system’s capability for providing comprehensive notification of wrong-way drivers.
On the path toward greater road safety, Bosch is also testing a new solution for providing direct communication between vehicles: In this system, networked cars send information regarding speed, position and lane changes directly to all vehicles within a radius of 320 meters – without any detours whatsoever, and thus, without any delay. The rapid and direct communication between cars serves to optimize the flow of traffic, and is designed to help prevent accidents. The new technology is called LTE-V2X and is currently being tested live in cooperation with Vodafone and Huawei on the test section of the A9 Autobahn near Allershausen, Germany.
More information on the solutions that were presented at the Mobile World Congress can be found here.
More information about intelligent mobile communications and networked vehicles can be found here (only in German available).
Starting in 2018, Bosch will be pooling its e-mobility, gasoline systems, and diesel systems activities in a single division
E-mobility is considered to be the future of the automotive industry. By 2025, there will be an estimated 20 million vehicles with hybrid and electric drives on the world’s roads. In order to further expand this field of business, Bosch is now launching a new division. From 2018 onward, the Powertrain Solutions division will be the home of all drivetrain-related technologies at Bosch. In addition to the new e-mobility unit, Bosch Gasoline Systems and Bosch Diesel Systems will be integrated into the new division.
A look at the European Union’s CO2 targets shows that powertrain electrification is needed to reduce the average emissions of new vehicles to 95 g/km. Bosch supports this plan and invests some 400 million euros each year to contribute to an e-mobility breakthrough. At the same time, the company has kept up its efforts to further develop the internal combustion engine. In fact, Bosch aims to make current gasoline and diesel engines up to 20 percent more efficient.
In strategic terms, Powertrain Solutions has three core segments: internal combustion engines, hybrid drive systems, and electric vehicles. “Whether fuel or electricity, Bosch will also be bringing energy to drive systems in the future,” says Dr. Rolf Bulander, president of the Mobility Solutions business sector at Robert Bosch GmbH. “Since it isn’t clear today which drive system or which combination of drive types will prevail and when, we have taken a two-pronged approach and are further expanding our expertise both with regard to e-mobility and the internal combustion engine.”
More information on Powertrain Solutions can be found here.
On the occasion of its anniversary, the Bosch fire brigade is launching an apprenticeship for plant firemen
The Bosch fire brigade first saw the light of day on February 10, 1917: at the time, fire chief Wendelin Mayr of the Stuttgart fire department and 40 volunteer firefighters laid the foundation for fire fighting at the company. The success story started with a hose cart, an extending ladder, several hand pumps, and two respiratory protective devices. Today, the Bosch fire brigade is active at 60 locations around the world and counts 1,900 part-time and full-time associates who protect the company’s premises 24 hours a day.
Qualified industrial fire fighters are in high demand all over Germany, and that demand continues to increase. This is because applicants need to meet strict criteria and apprenticeships in industrial fire fighting are few and far between. To improve the situation, Bosch is planning to launch an apprenticeship in 2017 that will be accredited by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. In so doing, the company will draw on its 100 years of experience. “In the future, we want to train 15 young people each year to perform these tasks,” says Siegfried Czock, who is charge of apprenticeships and continuing education at Bosch.
The job is multifaceted: in addition to fire prevention, the Bosch fire brigade regularly holds training seminars for associates and carries out environmental protection measures. “When called upon, they respond quickly and know their locations inside and out, so they can effectively protect people and save lives,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the Bosch board of management and head of industrial relations. The Bosch fire brigades also work beyond the walls of the company if required; they have provided manpower and equipment in the past, and are a reliable partner to more than 35 cities and municipalities in Germany. “Bosch fire brigades thus also contribute to municipal fire prevention, and this in turn makes communities safer.”
More information on Bosch fire brigades can be found here.