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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 In addition, the exterior rear-view mirrors have been replaced by a “Mirror Cam System,” which displays the car’s surroundings with the help of sensors and display screens.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.
Bosch heating trends in 2017
The Bosch heating solutions of the future are digital, combined, and efficient. In 2017, the following three trends are in focus: smart technologies, hybrid heating systems, and low-emission pellet ovens.
Digital is better
Digital heating systems continue to make progress. Adaptive systems can automatically adjust room temperature according to time of day and weather developments. What is more, users can comfortably control their heating systems remotely via a PC, tablet, or smart phone. The application informs them of current energy consumption and gives tips to help save costs – and thus also heat in a more eco-friendly way. And should an error occur, repairmen can quickly intervene: the smart devices can inform technicians directly of a malfunction, thus enabling them to bring along exactly the parts needed for the repair.
Clever combined solutions
The principle of hybrid heating involves the best possible combination of different sources of heat. A mix of several different technologies is feasible: from gas or oil condensation boilers to heating pumps and solar thermal energy or photovoltaic arrays. The idea is that using renewable sources of energy reduces heating costs and makes homeowners more independent of individual sources of energy. What is more, combining efficient components with one another can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent.
Heating with wood
Modern pellet heating systems enable climate-friendly heat generation. They burn pellets made of sawdust and shavings in an almost carbon-neutral manner and are very efficient. In order to take full advantage of the system’s potential, extra buffer storage is recommended. This ensures that the boiler runs at the best possible heating operating point.
More information on current heating trends can be found here (only in German available).
Find out how current heating systems can help save energy with the Bosch renovation calculator (only in German available).
Settlement of the claims of consumers and dealers in used VW vehicles
Bosch has entered into a settlement agreement with civil claimants in the United States. The agreement would settle the claims of consumers and dealers of used vehicles against Robert Bosch GmbH, its affiliates, employees, and directors concerning Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles with 2.0L engines for model years 2009 through 2015 and Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche diesel vehicles with 3.0L engines for model years 2009 through 2016. For this purpose, Bosch will pay a total amount of USD 327.5 million (approx. EUR 304 million). By entering into the settlement, Bosch neither acknowledges the facts as alleged by the plaintiffs nor does Bosch accept any liability.
“Upon careful consideration of all relevant aspects, we have in this case decided to enter into a settlement agreement. Bosch is currently undergoing the biggest transformation process in its company history. We wish to devote our attention and our resources to the transition in mobility and in other areas of activity”, said Dr. Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Management Board of Robert Bosch GmbH.
The settlement agreement was concluded with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (“PSC”) on behalf of proposed settlement classes. Jurisdiction resides with the competent U.S. Court, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In a hearing scheduled for 14 February 2017, the Court will consider to grant preliminary approval of the settlement agreement. It is proposed that the Court considers final approval of the settlement agreement in early May.
The settlement agreement concerns only civil law claims. As it has done since allegations have first been made public, Bosch will continue to defend its interests in all other civil and criminal law proceedings and to cooperate comprehensively with the investigating authorities in Germany and in other countries.
More information on the topic can be found here.