Bosch continues to drive forward its transformation into a provider of 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 to solve today’s traffic problems. We are using it to realize our vision of emissions-free, stress-free, and accident-free mobility,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, at the Bosch ConnectedWorld 2018 IoT conference in Berlin. By 2025, there will be more than 470 million connected vehicles on the world’s roads (source: PwC). Just four years from now, the market for mobility services and associated digital services will be worth 140 billion euros (source: PwC). “Connected driving is a growth area for Bosch. Bosch aims for significant double-digit growth with the solutions it offers,” Denner said. The plan is for the new division to further extend the existing service portfolio.
Bosch enters the ridesharing business
By 2022, the number of ridesharing users worldwide is set to rise by 60 percent to 685 million (source: Statista). To date, most such services have been directed at people who happen to be traveling in the same direction or who want to book a trip at the last minute; companies and commuters have been seen as less of a priority. This is precisely where SPLT comes in. Recently acquired by Bosch, this U.S. start-up developed a platform that companies, universities, or municipal authorities can use to arrange ridesharing for their staff. This B2B approach is aimed directly at commuters: the SPLT app brings together people who want to share a ride to the same workplace or place of study. One advantage of this is that rides are shared by colleagues, which means users never have to get in the car with complete strangers. Within seconds, an algorithm locates a suitable rideshare, calculates the fastest route through traffic, and thus assumes what used to be the time-consuming task of coordinating the departure point, departure time, best route, and passengers.
Digital services for electric vehicles
Bosch subsidiary COUP 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. “Digital services will give electric driving a boost,” Denner said.
Eliminating range anxiety: Services that encourage everyday use
For many car buyers, the worry that an electric car might leave them stranded is a deal-breaker. It is precisely this problem that system!e is designed to tackle. Because the electric drive is connected to the cloud, the system can produce an “extended range forecast.” An algorithm factors in vehicle data such as current battery charge, energy consumption of heating or air conditioning, and the driver’s driving style, as well as information from the vehicle’s surroundings. This includes the current traffic situation and topographical data for the route ahead. Based on this information, the system can reliably calculate the vehicle’s precise range. For longer journeys in an electric car, the extended range forecast is supplemented by the “charging assistant.” This service knows where all the charge spots are on a given journey, ; it also manages the payment process. Thanks to additional information about restaurants, cafés, and shopping options, drivers can make the most of the charging time. A third service manages vehicle charging in smart homes, helping to optimize how they use energy. It integrates the electric car into the smart home’s electricity grid, meaning the car’s battery supplements 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 as necessary.