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An active Bosch gas pedal helps make driving more fuel efficient
The driver’s foot is responsible for one-quarter of fuel consumption. In the past, eco-driving lessons were about the only thing that could be done about this rule of thumb. Now, however, the Bosch active gas pedal provides drivers with extra help. In the form of tapping, vibration, or resistance, it gives drivers haptic signals to let them know they need to change their driving behavior. This innovation can reduce fuel consumption by up to seven percent, which in turn has a positive effect on CO2 emissions. But that’s not all: the active gas pedal can also be connected with other vehicle functions. This not only makes driving more efficient, but also safer.
For instance, with tapping, the active gas pedal lets drivers know when they are driving too fast. In combination with the navigation system or a camera, it also helps drivers detect hazards in potentially dangerous situations. It provides a warning, for example, when the vehicle is driving into a bend too fast. By drawing on online data, the active gas pedal also issues warnings in the event of wrong-way drivers, traffic jams, cross traffic at intersections, or other hazards along the planned route. Combined with the collision warning system, it warns drivers when they should stop accelerating.
In addition to all this, drivers of manual vehicles now receive a haptic signal that tells them when they’ve shifted into the ideal gear. At present, the signal appears as a small arrow on the vehicle’s display. “The pedal shows the point at which acceleration and fuel efficiency are ideal,” says Stefan Seiberth, President of Gasoline Systems. The fuel saving potential of hybrid vehicles is especially high: whenever the vehicle switches from the internal combustion engine to the electric motor and back again, the system issues a signal. Drivers can then adapt their driving behavior accordingly and reduce fuel consumption even further.
More information on the active gas pedal 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.
At Auto China 2014, Bosch showed why the future of the car is driverless.
Bosch used the international industry event to present its latest developments in the field of automated driving and give visitors an insight into what the future holds for driving. The first highly automated vehicles could go into series production as early as 2020.
“Automated driving can dramatically reduce the number of accidents and thus greatly improve safety on the roads,” says Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Board of Management at Bosch. According to estimates, around 1.2 million people are killed in traffic accidents every year, most of them caused by driver error. With this in mind, more than 5,000 engineers at Bosch are working to develop automated safety and assistance functions. These include the predictive emergency braking system that prevents rear-end collisions at low speeds. The lane-keeping assist system also improves safety by automatically steering in the opposite direction if the vehicle strays too close to the lane markings.
Automatic driving systems also score highly when it comes to cost-effectiveness. Even today, on-board assistants can already assess current traffic situations, avoid jams or construction sites, and thus help to reduce fuel consumption.
However, such highly automated driving systems are just a stepping stone. Bosch is currently working on optimizing and networking various applications. The aim is to have the first self-steering vehicles on the roads by 2030. All the user will need to do is specify the destination the car is to take him to. This is one technological leap forward that has the potential to save lives.
Double honors at the 2013 Lean & Green Efficiency Awards
Bosch receives two 2013 Lean & Green Efficiency Awards. The company’s Stuttgart-Feuerbach and Homburg manufacturing sites in Germany are awarded joint first place in the “automotive group/OEMs” category; performance at both locations impressed the jury enough for it to award first place twice. The Lean & Green Efficiency Awards recognize successful approaches to protecting the environment and conserving resources. Instead of viewing the environmental aspects of product development in isolation, the awards see them in the context of the manufacturing process itself, evaluating how energy and environmental considerations are dealt with through process efficiency and lean principles. “Receiving this double award underlines our conviction that economic and environmental interests are very compatible. They’re even mutually beneficial,” says Dr. Werner Struth, whose responsibilities as a member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH include production systems and environmental protection. “Increasing energy efficiency helps to protect the climate as well as improve our competitiveness,” Struth continues.
“We do not tolerate waste. We’ve been implementing the principles of the Bosch Production System for more than ten years now. In the past, we systematically identified unnecessary waste in production and logistics processes,” explains Dr. Andreas Wolf, the technical manager of the Feuerbach plant. “Nowadays we’re just as systematic and meticulous in our endeavors to pinpoint energy waste,” he continues. Energy consumption at the Feuerbach plant has dropped by more than 40 percent since 2007. Total CO2 emissions fell by almost 50 percent in the same time period, while relative CO2 emissions (in relation to value added) dropped by more than 10 percent. Taking a smart approach to shutting off production machines, for example, can save enough energy in a year to supply 3,200 family homes.
"We are improving our energy efficiency using the same methods we use to optimize our production processes. This illustrates the importance we give to combating resource waste. Our systematic approach is yielding great results,” explains Thomas Gönner, the technical manager at the Homburg plant. An energy value stream is used to ascertain how much energy is consumed at each stage in the process of manufacturing diesel injection pumps. “The energy value stream creates transparency. This is how we identify the levers that allow us to increase energy efficiency,” Gönner continues. The plant has implemented many energy-saving measures since the early 2000s. Gönner and his associates have managed to reduce energy consumption by a further 16 percent since 2007, for example by optimizing cleaning systems to improve their energy efficiency. Once optimized in this way, cleaning systems consume around 20 percent less energy, which enables the Homburg plant to save enough energy every year to supply some 1,400 family homes.
Industry accounts for over 30 percent of all energy consumed worldwide. The Bosch Group aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its manufacturing sites by 20 percent by the year 2020, compared with the 2007 baseline. It also aims to improve its energy efficiency by 20 percent. In addition to grid-based energy supply Bosch generates energy from renewable sources such as hydroelectric power and photovoltaics at its locations in Germany and elsewhere. Upgrading the energy efficiency of manufacturing facilities and power stations helps to make the energy supply system more efficient overall. Associates’ awareness of energy-efficiency topics is raised through training events such as “energy experiences,” “energy schools,” and “energy days.” More than half of the technology and service company’s approximately 260 locations around the world are certified to ISO 14001, the global standard for environmental management systems. More information on this topic can be found online.
The 2013 Lean & Green Efficiency Awards will be presented at the beginning of November at the Lean & Green Summit. Awards in the categories “groups”, “OEMs”, and “SMEs” will be presented to representatives from both the automotive industry and the mechanical engineering sector. There will also be a special award for particularly outstanding performance. An independent jury drawn from science and industry decides on the winners.
Read this press release in German at the Bosch Media Service.