Bosch Connected World 2018 - focus on autonomous driving and smart logistics

At this year’s Bosch Connected World in Berlin (Feb 21-22) it became obvious yet again that Bosch’s IoT-related focus was on the topics of connected car and autonomous driving. At the same time, the topics of logistics and supply chain within the area of industrial IoT/Industry 4.0 have gained momentum. Bosch is still very keen to expand its ecosystem of IoT partners.

Connected car and autonomous driving

Bosch is increasingly positioning itself as a mobility service provider. In the opening keynote, Dr Volkmar Denner (CEO of Bosch) emphasized the significance of autonomous driving, Mobility as a Service, and smart logistics. In this context, he announced the launch of a new line of business, Connected Mobility Solutions, headed by Dr Rainer Kallenbach (former CEO of Bosch SI). The approximately 600 employees are to develop and sell digital mobility services (Mobility as a Service) such as car-sharing, ride-sharing and connected car services for car owners. Smart parking is also part of Bosch’s IoT portfolio. Together with Daimler, the company is currently working on developing the first parking garage offering autonomous parking.

The acquisition of US start-up Splitting Fares Inc. (SPLT) also fits Bosch’s mobility strategy very well. SPLT offers ride-sharing services for companies. Using an app, employees can specify the times when they want to arrive at work and when they want to leave and drive home. The app matches these times with those of coworkers, identifying people with the same time frame. This helps employees save time when getting to work and back home (particularly in countries with carpool lanes, such as the US), and they don’t have to share rides with complete strangers.

In the electromobility space, Bosch presented “system!e”, which enables the connection of vehicles’ electric powertrains to the cloud. This new offering is designed to take away electric car drivers’ concerns about being stranded. „system!e“ offers features such as better range diagnosis, a charging assistant that helps you plan your stops at charge points for longer journeys, as well as smart home integration.

The Caruso data marketplace was presented at Bosch Connected World for the first time. The independent data platform was established in March 2017. Its aim is to generate and standardize vehicle-related data, based on which players in the independent aftermarket are to be enabled to develop digital business models. Besides Bosch, other automotive suppliers such as Continental, ZF and Schaeffler support this initiative as partners.

Smart logistics and supply chain

Industry 4.0/industrial IoT remains a focus for Bosch. The company differentiates between “Manufacturing 4.0”, “Logistics 4.0” and “Services 4.0”. Bosch has been very active in expanding its capabilities, particularly in logistics and services. An example is its cooperation with Swiss transport and logistics company Panalpina on improving supply chain processes. For instance, cargo is equipped with tracking devices to track it in real time in order to identify delays and adjust routes.

IoT partnerships

Partnerships remain a central element of Bosch’s IoT strategy. This is why more and more parts of Bosch’s IoT Suite are being made available on AWS, Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud. The company continues its cooperation with the Eclipse Foundation to support open source projects. In addition, Bosch has been heavily investing in the IOTA crypto currency launched by the IOTA Foundation, an open-source, nonprofit foundation based in Berlin. This crypto currency allows the automated trade in connected devices and vehicles on the Internet of Things, e.g. for Platooning as a Service. Overall, Bosch’s partner landscape has been changing: While in the past few years, it was dominated by consulting & systems integration providers, Bosch is now focusing more on working with management consultancies such as McKinsey and on numerous technology partnerships.