Bosch goes ridesharing and presents connected services
At the 2018 Bosch Connected World Conference in Berlin, tech company Bosch demonstrated its expertise in developing new and connected mobility services. Its new Connected Mobility Solutions division will bring together over 600 associates to develop and sell digital mobility services. These include vehicle sharing, ridesharing, and connectivity-based services for car drivers.
“Connectivity will fundamentally change how we get from A to B, and in the process, it will help solve today’s traffic problems. We at Bosch are using connectivity to realise our vision of emissions-free, stress-free, and accident-free mobility,” said Dr Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management at Bosch.
According to PwC, there will be more than 470 million connected vehicles on the world’s roads by 2025, and by 2022 the market for mobility services and digital services will be worth €140 billion. “Connected driving is a growth area for Bosch. With our solutions, we're aiming for significant, double-digit growth,” Dr Denner said.
Ridesharing is a major growth market in the connected mobility space. By 2022, the number of ridesharing users worldwide is set to rise by 60% to 685 million. That's why Bosch is entering the ridesharing business. The supplier of technology and services has acquired Splitting Fares Inc. (SPLT), a start-up founded in 2015 and based in Detroit. SPLT operates a platform that allows companies, universities and municipal authorities to offer ridesharing services to their workforces.
The B2B approach is designed especially for commuters. SPLT uses an app to connect people who share the same route to their place of work or study. An algorithm finds the best composition for the ride-share and computes the fastest route. The aim is to reduce congestion and make the daily commute more relaxed. Some 140,000 users in the United States, Mexico, and Germany currently take advantage of the service. In the years ahead, the number of SPLT users is expected to rise many times over – with new regions also being included. Within Bosch itself, associates in Mexico are already using the app, and the company plans to extend its use to the entire company.
E-scooter sharing in Madrid
A second interesting mobility development comes from Bosch subsidiary COUP. This company has provided e-scooters for rent in Berlin since 2016. After introducing e-scooter-sharing to Paris last year, the service will launch in Madrid this year. This will bring the total number of e-scooters to 3,500.
Bosch is also looking at services to support stress-free mobility. For example via community-based parking. With this parking-space search engine, Bosch searches for a suitable parking space so that drivers don’t have to. Using the ultrasonic sensors in their parking assist system, cars identify and measure the gaps between parked cars as they drive past them. The data collected is transferred to a digital parking map that drivers can use to guide them to suitable parking spaces.
Going forward with parking, there's also the automated valet parking with which cars will park themselves in the future. Drivers leave their vehicle at the entrance of the parking garage and instruct the car to park itself using a smartphone app. The car then searches for a vacant spot on its own and parks itself without assistance. One factor making this fully automated parking service a reality is smart parking-garage infrastructure, which connects with the vehicle’s onboard software.
And finally, there is Bosch's major electric mobility pillar. As the smartphone is crucial for future mobility, Bosch has developed an intelligent app that combines the search for charging stations with the payment of EV charging. Bosch developed charging apps together with automakers including Mercedes, smart and Renault. These currently provide access to some 17,400 charging stations in five countries in Europe. The predictive range forecast calculates how far an electric car can travel in modes ranging from sporty to economical. To do so, it factors in not just vehicle data such as current battery charge and energy consumption of heating and air conditioning, but also information from the vehicle’s surroundings. With this additional information, the range of electric cars can be calculated with particular precision.
And a new service will manage vehicle charging in smart homes. It helps to optimise how these houses use energy. For instance, the electric car’s battery can supplement the stationary storage device for the house’s photovoltaic system. During the day, the car absorbs excess solar power and feeds it back at night, if required.
Pictures: Bosch, 2018