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Bosch establishes new division for digital mobility services
By 2025, there will be more than 470 million connected vehicles on the world’s roads. Bosch is driving this transition forward with the founding of its new Connected Mobility Solutions division. In the future, some 600 associates will develop digital mobility services and bring them to market. “Not only will connectivity fundamentally change the way we get from A to B, it will also help solve today’s traffic problems. With it, our vision of emission-free, stress-free, and accident-free mobility will become reality,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, at the recent Bosch ConnectedWorld 2018 IoT conference in Berlin.
Dr. Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH, holding a keynote speech at the Bosch ConnectedWorld 2018
Ride sharing made easy
Among other things, the future division will focus on digital solutions that promote ride sharing. By 2022, the number of people using ride sharing services around the world is expected to increase by 60 percent, to 685 million. Until now, services have mainly been geared toward people who decide to travel in the same direction on short notice. Companies and commuters have not been the main focus. However, these are precisely the groups that Bosch is targeting with Splitting Fares Inc. (SPLT), a start-up it recently acquired. The SPLT team has developed a platform that allows companies to organize ride sharing. Within seconds, an algorithm matches drivers and passengers, calculates the fastest route, and handles coordination between participants. This saves time, reduces costs, and helps protect the environment.
Smart electric vehicles
After Berlin and Paris, the Bosch subsidiary COUP is launching its e-scooter sharing services in Madrid this year. As many as 3,500 electric scooters will thus soon be on the streets of three European capitals. What is more, an intelligent system comprising connected components and innovative service solutions will soon make e-mobility part of everyday life. With “system!e”, for instance, the electric car knows exactly when it will run out of power. To ensure a reliable range forecast, the application takes vehicle data such as battery status and energy consumption into account, and also analyzes driving style and information from the vehicle’s surroundings. Moreover, “system!e” can plan charging along the route ahead of time and handle payments accordingly.
More information on Bosch connected mobility services can be found here
Impressions of Bosch ConnectedWorld 2018 can be found here
Bosch relies on virtual networks of experts
In the connected world, an agile organization with active networks of experts is decisive for success. This is why Bosch is one of the first large companies in the world to use the “Working out Loud (WOL) program, which aims to connect associates with one another and further develop their skills. “The digital transformation is also a cultural transformation,“ says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. “With Working Out Loud, we are promoting digital cooperation, enhancing our learning and working culture, and thus also increasing our innovative strength.”
Working Out Loud aims to make work visible and promote knowledge sharing. It comprises a peer coaching program, within which “Circles” of four to five associates cooperate for twelve weeks on a task they have selected themselves. Over the course of the program, participants build their own personal networks of experts and use external social media channels as well as the internal Bosch Connect social business platform. “Building a network with Working Out Loud does not mean collecting random contacts,” says Katharina Krentz, an expert for digital cooperation at Bosch. “It means learning how to connect with experts in a targeted manner and building stable relationships that can help find answers to specific questions and drive things forward.”
From a network to a start-up incubator
Dennis Böcker, who oversees IT innovation at Bosch, is among the associates who have benefited from WOL. His task was to establish a co-creation space in the United States to seize the opportunities of the Internet of Things (IoT). “The challenge was huge. I didn’t have access to the authorities or to start-ups,” he says. To reach his goals, he thus cooperated with a group. “My Circle partners not only shared their knowledge with me. Thanks to them, I also gained access to the mayor of Chicago and the start-up scene.“ As a result of cooperation in the network, the initial idea of a co-creation space developed into the Chicago Connectory start-up incubator.
A prize-winning concept
Bosch contributed to WOL’s further development in cooperation with John Stepper, who invented the concept. In 2015, the company established its first Circle. Since then, more than 1,000 Bosch associates from over 40 countries have taken part in the program. In cooperation with other companies, Bosch also initiated the WOL Community of Practice. The aim was to develop the method further and make it accessible to as many companies as possible. In 2017, the work of Bosch and other members of WOL was honored with Germany’s HR Excellence Award in the “Employee Management and Collaboration” category.
An interview about WOL with Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH, can be found here.