Bosch created a buzz at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year by debuting a driverless electric shuttle with ‘in-built mobility services designed to make shuttles suitable for everyday use.’ The German auto supplier predicts that self-driving electric shuttles will become a common sight in cities worldwide. It has also pioneered automated valet parking and pushed back the technical boundaries of driver assistance systems. To learn more about these advances and the supplier’s plans for making cars smart, we spoke to Dr Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.
Dr Hoheisel has been a member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH since July 2012. In this function, he is responsible within the Mobility Solutions business sector for systems integration, for the Chassis Systems Control, Car Multimedia, Automotive Electronics, and Automotive Steering divisions, and for the Two-Wheeler and Powersports business unit.
We understand that Bosch wants to help make cars smart. Could you update us on your automated valet parking developments?
More and more car buyers want a vehicle that anticipates and even intervenes in driving manoeuvres.
More and more car buyers want a vehicle that anticipates and even intervenes in driving manoeuvres. Luckily, manual parking is becoming a thing of the past now. At the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart, Bosch and Daimler have made automated valet parking a reality. With command from a smartphone, drivers can automatically park cars in their assigned spots without having to monitor the vehicles’ movements. Automated valet parking is an important milestone on the road to autonomous driving. The pilot solution at the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage is the world’s first-ever infrastructure-based solution for a fully automated valet parking service in real conditions, with and without drivers at the wheel.
Bosch is also installing the necessary infrastructure in the recently built parking garage on the campus of RWTH Aachen Technical University. In the first step, up to twelve e.GO Life electric vehicles for the automated parking service will be supplied by e.GO.
The systems that currently drive robot cars cost money. Lots of it. It is said that the LiDAR is one of most expensive items. Who is Bosch working with on LiDAR and how can the cost tumble?
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
As you know, we develop and produce radar sensors, video cameras and ultrasonic sensors in-house. For quite some time, we have been looking into LiDAR technology. This is a major topic for the industry and for us too. Therefore, we are developing a LiDAR, which is suitable for highly and fully automated driving. Having said that, we are simultaneously observing the market thoroughly, in order to decide if there is product available which can be bought. Firstly, it is important to achieve all functional requirements, durability and reliability. Cost is important but will not be optimised for the first generation. Therefore, it is difficult to name the exact date at which this technology will be available at competitive prices. However, we will also concentrate on cost-effective design decision from the very beginning.
Is connectivity the main driver for progress at present?
For Bosch, the strategic focus on connectivity is paying off. We want to shape change in our markets, in both a technological and a business sense. In the previous year, we sold a total of 52 million web-enabled products, 37 per cent more than in 2017. Connectivity will also fundamentally change how we get from A to B, and in the process, it will help to solve today’s traffic problems. Mobility services are a key part of Bosch’s strategy. We believe that there will be no cars without connected services from Bosch in the future.
Security within the connected car continues to cause debate. How is Bosch addressing this security risk?
IT security plays a central role at Bosch. We do not see our activities here as the equivalent of a sprint to the finish line, but rather as daily training for running a marathon. Our goal is to create a competitive advantage through trust and the best possible data security. That’s why Bosch aims to offer the latest data security on all levels, combining smart IT with the reliability of automotive technology. Here, Bosch is able to call upon the know-how of automotive security experts at its subsidiary ESCRYPT GmbH, where Bosch has around 200 specialists working on customised cyber-security solutions.
Thinking further out to Level 4 and 5 self-driving cars, by when do you see this happening?
Bosch and Daimler for example are speeding up the development of highly and fully automated driving towards SAE Level 4 to 5. In the second half of 2019, together with Daimler, we will offer a selected user community in San José, California, an on-demand ride-hailing service with automated Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles.
To what extent are you seeing an increase in demand from OEMs for radar systems and video sensors as fitment of ADAS continues to rise?
Sales of driver assistance systems will reach EUR2bn this year, up from EUR1bn three years ago.
Installation rates of driver assistance systems are rising steadily. More and more car buyers want a vehicle that anticipates and even intervenes in driving manoeuvres. Today we are the global leaders of that market. Sales of driver assistance systems will reach 2 billion euros this year, up from one billion three years ago and is to continue growing.