Bosch Connected Car Technology will offer new services, reduce accidents & CO²

Although Bosch shows it wares at many trade shows, to support automakers and developers, the company puts on the international Bosch ConnectedWorld 2017 conference in Berlin.  This year, Bosch showed how it is creating the brain for the self-driving cars of the future that works with all the parts, sensors and sophisticated hardware that the company produces. Other kinds of technology highlighted at the event internet security, block chaining to prevent odometer fraud, communication with repair shops, AR used for difficult repair jobs and a suite of software solutions. The company demoed new safety features including wrong-way alert, predictive diagnostics, community parking, personal assitants an Over-the-Air (OTA) updates. The affects of the new connected car technology will reduce accidents, injuries, CO², time driving and save damage costs.

Bosch diplayed artificial intelligence (AI) so that the computer can apply machine learning methods. The AI onboard computer is expected to guide self-driving cars through even complex traffic situations, or ones that are new to the car. AI is teaching the car’s on board computer how to maneuver through road traffic by itself.

Cars already use Bosch sensors to monitor their surroundings. Using artificial intelligence, it will also be able to interpret those readings to make predictions about the behavior of other road users.

For building the core onboard computer, Bosch announced the company will be workign with  NVIDIA. NVIDIA will supply Bosch with a chip that stores algorithms, generated with machine learning methods. The AI onboard computer is expected to go into production by the beginning of the next decade at the latest.

How AI Works for Automated Driving

Bosch’s AI onboard computer can recognize pedestrians or cyclists. Besides this ability, known as object recognition, artificial intelligence also makes it easier for automated vehicles to assess a situation. For instance, cars that have their turn signals on are more likely to change lanes than those that do not. As a result, a self-driving car with AI can recognize and assess complex traffic situations, such as when an oncoming vehicle executes a turn, and factor these into its own driving.

The computer stores whatever it learns while driving in artificial neural networks. Experts review this knowledge in the lab for accuracy. Following further testing on the road, the artificially generated knowledge structures can be transmitted to any number of other AI onboard computers in an update.

Automated driving will need artificial intelligence that would play a key role in all areas of business at Bosch.  Early this year, the company announced it was establishing a Center for Artificial Intelligence. Bosch is investing some 300 million euros in expanding its expertise in this area.

Key Note Notes BlockChain

In his opening address at Bosch ConnectedWorld 2017 before an audience of some 2,700 attendees, Dr. Volkmar Denner taked about nnovative technologies that will open up new areas of business for Bosch. Besides artificial intelligence and the cloud, one of these is “blockchain” technology. This allows consumers to securely share data online without involving a third party. They can conclude agreements and contracts online and securely transact payments, and the technology ensures the data is anonymized. A blockchain is based on a kind of decentralized database, which distributes information entered into it across thousands of computers. This makes it impossible to falsify the data, and consumers are less dependent on one single computing center.

Bye-Bye Oddometer Fraud

Denner highlighted one practical use for a blockchain with a live demonstration in cooperation with German certification authority TÜV Rheinland. It promises to put an end to the widespread practice of odometer fraud. In Germany alone, manipulated odometers in vehicles cause some six billion euros in damage. The idea is to combat this fraudulent practice with a digital logbook distributed across many computers. Cars regularly send their odometer readings to these computers via a simple connector. With a smartphone app, car owners can check the actual mileage at any time and compare it to the in-vehicle display. Should they wish to sell their car, they can have a certificate issued that attests to the accuracy of the car’s mileage. It is also possible to share this certificate over the internet; for example, on an online platform for selling cars.

How Tech Helps Fix Problems?

How does connected Bosch technology change  day-to-day lives? Denner answers this question with an example: say a stone flies through the air and cracks the car’s side window. The repair shop receives an automatic notification via the cloud and can prepare to make the necessary repairs. Connected logistics and connected forklifts mean that the replacement part is ready and waiting when the customer arrives. Donning a pair of augmented reality glasses that display instructions, the mechanic can carry out the work much more easily and quickly than otherwise. The benefit for drivers is that they can get back in their car and drive off after just a brief wait, with no need to come back to pick it up the next day and no need for a costly alternative in the meantime.

Cloud Suite

The Bosch announced the Automotive Cloud Suite is based on the Bosch IoT Suite, and provides the technological basis for all services involving connected cars. It offers all the functions needed to connect devices, users, companies, and domains on a single platform. In its Automotive Cloud Suite, Bosch provides individual software modules, such as a digital logbook or solutions for implementing software updates. Providers of mobility services can use them to develop a broad range of connected car services for drivers. “Bosch is in a position to bring together comprehensive automotive know-how and IT expertise,” said Hoheisel. “From the idea to the rollout to the actual operation of services, we provide our customers with everything from a single source.” Bosch brings together many areas of expertise in its Automotive Cloud Suite: besides its skills as a systems supplier to the automotive industry and as a leading provider of encryption technologies, the company has extensive experience both as a cloud operator and in handling big data.

“Not only can our customers implement services with the Automotive Cloud Suite, but we also use it for our own in-house services,” Hoheisel said. Bosch is demonstrated a range of new services in a show car based on a Jaguar F-Pace at Bosch ConnectedWorld 2017. Below are five services that are due to become standard in every vehicle.

1. Wrong-way driver alert:

In Germany alone, some 2,000 warnings about wrong-way drivers are broadcast each year. In most cases, however, the warning comes too late, since one-third of such incidents generally end after the wrong-way driver has traveled an average of 500 meters – in the worst case with fatal consequences. Bosch’s cloud-based wrong-way driver alert is designed to provide a warning within ten seconds or so. The alert goes not only to the wrong-way driver, but to all road users in the vicinity. The service thus functions as a guardian angel in the data cloud.

2. Predictive diagnostics

Nothing is more annoying than when a car breaks down on vacation. Predictive diagnostics prevents situations where the car is unexpectedly out of commission. During regular drives, the system can analyze data and make predictions about the condition of key components. The driver is notified before a part wears out and receives a recommendation for the next repair shop visit.

3. Community-based parking

This service turns parking into a communal activity. As the car drives around, it uses its on-board sensors to identify and measure the gaps between cars parked at the curb. That information flows into a digital parking map. Using smart data processing, Bosch then corroborates the information to supply a prediction of the parking situation. The digital parking map is available in the cloud for cars in the vicinity, allowing drivers to navigate straight to a vacant spot.

4. Personal assistant

The dream of having one’s own personal assistant is coming true. With this Bosch service, drivers can use voice commands to conveniently manage their appointments, ask for a wide range of information, make adjustments in their smart home, and much more, all during the drive. Over time, the assistant learns the user’s habits and preferences so as to provide even better support.

5. Software updates over the air

Software updates from the cloud are already a given for smartphones; now, Bosch is doing the same for cars. New features, such as a more efficient driving mode for electric vehicles, can be added to the car – overnight, encrypted, and protected from hackers.

The Connected Car Effect

Bosch also announed  findings from the study “Connected Car Effect 2025.”

“Our study shows that the effects of connectivity will have a perceptible impact on every driver in 2025,” says Hoheisel. For the study, Bosch and Prognos have produced calculations for the US, China and Germany. Here is a selection of the individual findings:

• Over 260,000 accidents involving personal injuries (US: 210,000, China: 20,000, Germany: 30,000) will be avoided annually – as many accidents as occur within two years in Germany’s capital city of Berlin.

• 350,000 fewer people injured by traffic accidents – the same as 12 years without traffic injuries in Los Angeles. In the US alone, there will be 290,000 fewer (China: 25,000, Germany: 37,000).

• About 11,000 people could be saved through connected assistance systems, 4,000 of whom in the US (China: 7,000, Germany: 300).

• Up to EUR 4.3 billion in material and damage costs will be saved by connected assistance systems. This is nearly double the sum spent by the Chinese government in 2016 to improve air quality in Beijing. These sums mean considerable savings for insurance companies, keeping a little more money in the purse or wallet of every individual vehicle owner. Of the EUR 3.6 billion attributable to US’s savings (China: EUR 380 million, Germany EUR 450 million), smartphone integration alone will contribute over EUR 610 million.

• Nearly 400,000 tons of CO² will be spared thanks to connected mobility functions – as much as the Black Forest national park in Germany can process in three years. Concepts such as community-based parking and active parking lot management will reduce parking traffic by up to 380 million kilometers, while highly automated driving saves additional fuel.

• Approx. 70 million driving hours will be shed by connected parking functions in the US, China and Germany. That is as many hours as 40,000 employees work in a year.

• 31 hours of free time on the highway: US citizens spend 43 hours per year on interstates (China: 26 hours on expressways, Germany: 39.5 hours on highways). Highly automated driving and simultaneous Internet connection will make free around 80 percent of time behind the wheel to be used for something other than driving: reading, emails, video conferencing, films, for example. Frequent drivers who reach 40,000 kilometers of driving a year could benefit from 95 extra hours of productivity during their journeys.

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