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News | The roadmap for the future

Bosch study shows what connected mobility will make possible

After a long drive on the highway, the last thing drivers want is a surprise traffic jam around the next bend. And when they finally arrive at their destination, they may have to drive around searching for a parking spot in vain. While this is an all too common situation today, technology may well be a game changer in just a few years time. Highly automated vehicles will warn drivers of oncoming traffic jams and decelerate accordingly, and navigation systems will take over the task of searching for a parking spot at the driver’s destination. Moreover, drivers will no longer need to carry out parking maneuvers themselves – their parking assistance systems will do it for them. While this may still seem like science fiction, connected cars are already equipped with highly sensitive sensors. Via the Internet, they are constantly linked to different clouds.

 

 

In cooperation with the Prognos consultancy, Bosch examined the potential impact of automation on road traffic in the Connected Car Effect Study 2025. The two companies analyzed different technologies for personal mobility and their effects by 2025 in Germany, the United States, and China. The model used for the study was based on international vehicle fleet development statistics, accident data, and current research.

Fewer accidents and CO2 savings

Among other things, the study found that driving is becoming safer and more comfortable while vehicles are becoming more efficient. This is the result of technologies that are already well established: “The secret heroes of the connected revolution are the assistance and comfort systems that we are already familiar with,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. With the help of safety systems such as the ESP anti-skidding system and cloud-based functions, in the future about 260,000 accidents could be prevented in the three countries and some 400.000 tons of CO2 could be saved. Moreover, it will one day be possible to integrate smart phones into vehicle infotainment systems and thus offer web-based parking solutions.

For many years, Bosch experts have been developing solutions that not only make road traffic safer, they also increase the efficiency of vehicles. For instance, cloud-based solutions already draw on real-time data to help drivers avoid traffic jams or react to sudden hazards. The most recent example of connected technology is the active gas pedal, which was launched in 2016: with a knocking signal and noticeable vibrations, it not only promotes an energy-efficient driving style, it also warns drivers of dangerous situations.  

More information on the Bosch “Connected Car Effect 2025” study can be found here.

News | COP 21: The road has been paved

Bosch has stepped up its commitment to climate protection.

With the adoption of a new climate agreement, the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris has drawn to a close. Some 200 countries have signed the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to less than two degrees over pre-industrial times. Among other things, all countries have committed to setting national climate targets that will be assessed every five years.

Outside the 21st Climate Conference in Paris

According to John Danilovich, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce, the results of the climate conference are a major step forward. “This agreement will give business and investors the long-term certainty they need to scale up innovation and investment in climate solutions. The path to a low-carbon economy is now firmly set: business is ready to make that a reality,” Danilovich said.

 

ICC press conference during COP21 in Paris [VIDEO]

 

Bosch also welcomes the climate agreement, and sees the agreement among United Nations member states as an important step toward reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Each year, the company spends ten percent of its sales on research and development. And energy efficiency plays an important role at Bosch: in recent years, the company’s products across business sectors have continuously become more energy-efficient and eco-friendly. Moreover, Bosch has committed to climate targets by setting itself the aim of reducing its CO2 emissions relative to value-added by 20 percent over 2007 levels. While Bosch originally set 2020 as its target date, the company has already achieved the 20 percent reduction in 2015 thanks to a range of internal measures. Not only do these include the greater use of renewable energies, they also involve specially trained CO2 coordinators, who are in charge of identifying potential for reducing emissions at all relevant Bosch locations around the world.

 

  

Bernhard Schwager of Bosch as he speaks to Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research, at the German embassy in Paris

 

With regard to global climate targets, Bosch intends to build on its current energy-saving activities. The company has found that taking a sustainable approach to business also makes sound economic sense. Between 2007 and 2014, Bosch saved around 530 million euros as a result of energy-saving measures.

Updates on COP21 are available on the International Chamber of Commerce’s Twitter channel.

News: Fuels savings on the high seas

An innovative hydraulics system made of Bosch components reduces the fuel consumption of cargo ships

 

 

The world’s seaways play a decisive role in international trade: some 45,000 freighters are currently in use around the globe. In total, they carry 90 percent of the world’s traded goods. With efficient ship propulsion systems, global fuel consumption can be decreased and COemissions reduced.

 

Against this backdrop, Japan’s Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding and Bosch Rexroth have developed a system that recuperates energy from the exhaust of diesel engines. Today, exhaust accounts for 25 percent - the largest share - of the energy lost in in the fuel combustion process. While thermal heat recovery systems have been available for quite some time, they are expensive and take up too much space in the engine room. For this reason, until now many shipping companies have avoided upgrading their freighter fleets.

 

In contrast, the newly developed turbo hydraulic system is not only very compact; it comprises Bosch standard components only. This makes retrofitting easier and keeps investment costs to a minimum. One of the system’s key components is a high-performance radial piston motor, which is directly connected to the large engine’s crankshaft. As a result, fuel savings of up to four percent can be achieved at full engine load. This represents several tons of fuel per day. The efficient system, which is also suitable for small and mid-sized engines, has already been exhaustively tested. The first retrofitted freighters are expected to hit the seas before the end of this year.

 

More information about fuel savings in shipping can be found here

News: Does conserving resources always make sense?

In many production processes, conserving resources and recycling are not only possible, but also make sense. In others, however, doing so is not worthwhile. Bosch experts explain why in a special article on the topic.

 

People have been using raw minerals and metals for thousands of years. However, over the past 100 years, consumption of these resources has increased to such a degree that their finite nature is now the focus of much debate. Today, raw materials are being extracted at a much faster rate than they can naturally regenerate.

 

In order to keep the processing of raw materials affordable in the long term, companies must take an efficient approach to manufacturing. Often, the amount of material used in production can be reduced, and energy can be saved (linear resource efficiency). In addition to this, a range of recycling measures can contribute to reducing the use of primary raw materials even further (circular resource efficiency).

 

“Resource efficiency not only makes sense in terms of environmental protection, it is also gaining significance as a means of making processes more economical,” says Dr. Alexandra Wilde, responsible for raw material risk management at Bosch. With its remanufacturing activities for automotive replacement parts, Bosch has taken an economical approach to reusing materials. Under the “Bosch eXchange” brand, the company offers industrially remanufactured replacement parts, including starters, generators, braking systems, and fuel injection technologies. This makes vehicle repairs far less expensive. At the same time, remanufacturing allows Bosch to significantly reduce the cost of raw materials. Each year, the company saves 2,200 tons of steel, 440 tons of aluminum, and 240 tons of copper. All in all, this makes it possible to reduce CO2 emissions by 25,000 tons compared with the manufacture of new parts.

 

 

In spite of all of this, recycling is only worthwhile if a certain volume of reusable raw materials is exceeded. If this is not the case, the cost of recycling and logistics is greater than that of new materials, and thus unattractive for both the company and its customers. For this reason, Bosch consistently weighs the cost/benefit ratio of recycling in its production activities. “Resource-efficient solutions can only have lasting success if both the company and consumers benefit from saving materials,” says Dr. Alexandra Wilde.

 

The full article, entitled “Resource efficiency – Current challenges and strategies at Robert Bosch GmbH”, published in German UmweltWirtschaftsForum journal, is available here (currently only available in German language).

News: One step closer to emissions-free driving

European research team improves the energy consumption of electric vehicles

 

 

Engineers around the world are working flat out to make emissions-free electric drives competitive. At Bosch alone, some 800 associates are focusing on this topic, which shows great promise for the future. Some of these specialists took part in the “Optimal Energy consumption and Recovery based on a system network" (OpEneR) initiative, a European research project, which presented its results in mid-July. Over the course of the three-year initiative, experts cooperated to increase the efficiency of electric and hybrid vehicles in such a manner that vehicle range would be improved without the need for larger batteries.

 

Among other things, the project partners developed eco-routing, an automated route planning system that allows electric vehicles to be driven in an especially efficient manner. To this end, the vehicle's navigation system continuously monitors the vehicle's actual energy consumption and uses the data to recommend shortcuts that help spare the battery's capacity.

 

 

For hybrid vehicles, the research team enhanced automatic cruise control and cruising functions, the latter of which informs drivers to step off the gas before they drive into towns or zones with lower speed limits. This allows the transmission to make the best possible use of the vehicle's momentum before it automatically shifts into neutral.  To this end, the researchers drew on navigation data, for instance on uphill and downhill gradients, speed limits, and traffic light intervals.

 

Energy can also be saved in the braking process. To achieve this, the test vehicles were equipped with Bosch iBooster, an electromechanical brake booster, and with a braking control system that was specially tailored to the requirements of electric vehicles.

 

As a result of the team's interdisciplinary research, the test drivers of the enhanced electric vehicles were able to reduce energy consumption between 27 and 36 percent compared to drivers with a typical sporty driving style. The size of the reduction depended on the drivers' willingness to follow the driver assistance system's recommendations.

 

Several participants contributed to the OpEneR project, which was funded by the European Commission: AVL List, an Austrian systems developer; Centro Tecnológico de Automoción de Galicia (CTAG), a Spanish research center (CTAG); the FZI Informatik research center from Karlsruhe; the automotive manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroen, as well as Robert Bosch GmbH and Robert Bosch Car Multimedia.

 

Click here to read more about OpEneR: www.fp7-opener.eu