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News | Rock ‘n‘ eRoller for Berlin

News | Acceptance rather than tolerance

The company’s LGBT network is celebrating its 10th anniversary

Ten years ago, Bosch associates joined forces to found RBg, the Bosch gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender associate network. Their aim was to make the LGBT community more visible at the company, and to promote greater tolerance and acceptance. A great deal has happened since then: today, more than 290 members in 10 countries are active members of RBg. And Bosch sponsored this year’s Christopher Street Day celebrations in Stuttgart, demonstrating the company’s commitment to promoting diversity. This sent out an important signal, says Dr. Jean-Claude Loux, a Bosch engineer and the associate network’s spokesperson.

 

 

Dr. Loux, this year’s CSD was held under the banner of “Operation Visibility”. How visible is the LGBT community at Bosch?

As a result of our involvement in events such as Christopher Street Day, it is become increasingly visible. The Bosch sponsorship was communicated through a variety of channels: there were articles on the intranet, in the associate newspaper, and on Facebook. As a result, colleagues see what we are doing and just how important diversity and the LGBT community are at Bosch. The sponsorship has helped Bosch strengthen its position, also vis-à-vis its associates. Today, Germany has the greatest RBg representation, but our network is also growing in other countries in which the topic of homosexuality is still taboo. This is mainly the result of our board of management’s clear support of our network.

 

 

How can an associate network promote greater tolerance with regard to sexual orientation?

As the network has grown, each and every one of us has become more visible. This is important, because it has contributed to making interaction with the LGBT community more natural and relaxed. Many people still associate homosexuality mainly with sex. We want to change that: after all, sexual identity is a great deal more, and shouldn’t be reduced to physicality.

What would you like to see for your community in the next ten years?

If I look around at Bosch in Germany, I can see that tolerance is widespread. But sometimes there is still a lack of acceptance. For this reason, I would like the LGBT community to be just a normal part of the Bosch community. I’d also like to reach out more to our colleagues in production as well. Since they aren’t sitting at a computer, they are more difficult for us to reach.

Thank you very much for the interview, Dr. Loux.

More information on diversity at Bosch can be found here.

News | Super sensors for Industry 4.0

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.

News | Rock ‘n‘ eRoller for Berlin

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.

 

News | Happy without drivers?

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.

News | Smart networks in San Francisco

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.