Future technologies driving current Bosch growth
- Booming market for driver assistance systems will usher in automated driving
- Bosch expects driver assistance systems to generate sales of one billion euros in 2016
- In 2014, Bosch delivered more than 50 million surround sensors for the first time
- Bosch expects to manufacture its ten-millionth radar sensor (77 GHz) in 2016
- Increasing automation has the potential to cut accident rates by up to another third in Germany alone
Stuttgart, 17-7-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — For Bosch, automated driving is not just a pipe dream. The supplier of technology and services is already achieving commercial and technological success in this area today. “Automated driving will be ushered in by the booming market for driver assistance,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. Bosch’s sales in this field are currently increasing by a third every year. Hoheisel adds: “In 2016, our sales in driver assistance will exceed one billion euros.” As a systems supplier and one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, Bosch benefits especially from its broad product portfolio.
From powertrain to connectivity – Bosch provides everything from a single source
Like barely any other automotive supplier, Bosch is an expert in all the technologies needed for automated driving. These include not just the powertrain, brakes, and steering, but also sensors, navigation systems, and connectivity solutions inside and outside the car. As Hoheisel says: “Bosch develops everything, from the individual components to the entire system.” For example, Bosch sensors are in great demand: Last year, the company set a new record by selling more than 50 million surround sensors for driver assistance systems. The number of radar and video sensors sold doubled in 2014 – and will do so again in 2015. When it comes to the radar sensors used in systems such as ACC adaptive cruise control, Bosch leads the market worldwide. Its ten-millionth radar sensor (77 GHz) is expected to roll off the line this coming year.
Some 2,000 engineers work on driver assistance at Bosch
The number of associates Bosch employs in this field attests to the growing success that the company enjoys. Currently, about 2,000 engineers are working on refining driver assistance systems at Bosch. That’s a good 700 more than just two years ago. Driver assistance systems serve as the basis for automated driving. Even today, they are helping drivers change lanes, stay in their lane, and brake when encountering an obstacle. But development doesn’t stop there: a European automaker is now offering production vehicles that feature not only assistance systems for taking evasive actions and turning against oncoming traffic, but also the Bosch traffic jam assistant. “As we move toward self-driving cars, we will be premiering many new assistance systems,” Hoheisel says. The insights and experience that Bosch gains from these will feed directly into the development of automated driving, giving it some serious momentum.
In 2020, cars should be driving themselves on the freeway – just as Bosch
prototypes have been doing on the A81 in Germany and US Interstate 280 since the beginning of 2013. However, if this is to happen, the legal framework will have to keep pace with technological developments. Currently, there is a legal constraint in the form of the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic of 1968, which dictates that drivers must retain control of their vehicle at all times. In other words, highly automated driving is not yet legal. Nonetheless, there are signs of impending changes to the regulations that apply both in Germany and in many other countries. One possibility would allow automated driving so long as the driver is able to override or disable it. Discussions are underway on how to revise the regulations to permit this exception. But validation puts up another obstacle: using current methods, an autopilot system has to complete several million kilometers’ worth of testing before it can be released for production. Bosch is working on new approaches here as well.
Automated driving improves safety, efficiency, and comfort
For Bosch, automated driving is about making road traffic safer. Every year, an estimated 1.3 million people around the world are killed in road accidents. In 90 percent of cases, the accident can be attributed to human error. “In critical traffic situations, the right support can save lives,” Hoheisel says. Bosch accident research predicts that increasing automation can lower accident rates even further – by up to a third in Germany alone. And automated driving makes road traffic not only safer, but also more efficient. U.S. studies indicate that applying predictive driving strategies when on the freeway can result in fuel savings of up to 39 percent. However, a car with an autopilot also opens up a new driving experience – it becomes a home on wheels.
Related link: www.automated-driving.com
Contact person for press inquiries: Jörn Ebberg, phone: +49 711 811-26223
Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2014, its sales came to 33.3 billion euros, or 68 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector combines the group’s expertise in three mobility domains – automation, electrification, and connectivity – and offers its customers integrated mobility solutions. Its main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as car-to-car and Car2X communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch has been responsible for important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 360,000 associates worldwide (as per April 1, 2015). The company generated sales of 49 billion euros in 2014.* Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including its sales and service partners, Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2014, Bosch applied for some 4,600 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to create solutions for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”
*The sales figure disclosed for 2014 does not include the former joint ventures BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (now BSH Hausgeräte GmbH) and ZF Lenksysteme GmbH (now Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH), which have since been taken over completely.