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Bosch Talks The Future Of Freight: Automated, Connected And Electrified

With technology to automate, connect and electrify commercial vehicles, Bosch is aiming to improve efficiency and safety in logistics.

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Cutting costs, improving logistics chains, and making drivers’ lives easier: with technology to automate, connect and electrify commercial vehicles, Bosch is aiming to improve efficiency and safety in logistics. At the 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover, the company is presenting its innovations for tomorrow’s freight traffic at booth A01 in hall 16.

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New Connected Services Are Making Life Easier For Truck Drivers And Logistics Specialists

Connectivity platform for cloud-based services: Bosch uses a new connectivity platform to connect commercial vehicles throughout their service life, providing the technological foundation for such cloud-based services as predictive diagnostics and over-the-air software updates. The platform has two main components: the basic software module is the secure communication interface between the vehicle, the cloud and the services, while the data management module enables commercial vehicle manufacturers or fleet managers to organize vehicle data, analyze it and keep the vehicle software continuously updated.

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Predictive diagnostics: Vehicle downtime is usually unplanned and, particularly in the case of commercial vehicles, often results in significant economic damage. Bosch’s predictive diagnostics registers and evaluates vehicle component and system states and continuously reports them to the cloud. Based on this data, faults can often be predicted and thus resolved in time. This reduces maintenance and service costs for commercial vehicles, and the lower number of breakdowns increases their availability.

Electronic horizon: In the future, Bosch’s electronic horizon will become smarter with every trip. This service is based on high-definition maps with topographical data for the route ahead. Engine and transmission management then takes this data into account in order to select the most efficient driving strategy possible and further reduce consumption. The electronic horizon has been available for several years, but now Bosch says it is enhancing it. In the future, the function will determine whether the information stored in the map agrees with actual conditions on the road. For example, if the vehicle camera detects a speed limit sign on the road that specifies 30 kph, but the map says the limit is 50 kph, the truck’s navigation system will learn the new speed. In the future, this information also will be shared with other trucks via the cloud. The smart electronic horizon is set to go into production in early 2019.

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Freight monitoring: Where are my goods and how are they doing? These are questions logistics specialists and customers ask. Bosch’s Transport Data Logger provides answers and makes the goods supply chain transparent. Measuring around 10 square centimeters, the small box with integrated sensors monitors the transport of sensitive goods and measures temperature, humidity, tilt and shock events during transport. The measured values are displayed in a smartphone or tablet app and documented. If certain values are exceeded, the app triggers an alarm and potential damage to the goods can be detected early on and attributed to the person who caused it.

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Central gateway: The central gateway controls data exchange between the ECUs in the truck and the outside world across all bus systems, and is therefore the central communication node for connected commercial vehicles. Modern transmission and encryption technologies make the data exchange particularly secure. They prevent unlawful access to the vehicle network using firewalls or the intrusion detection system developed by Bosch subsidiaries ETAS and ESCRYPT.

Digital Side-View Mirrors And Displays Improve The Driving Experience And Enhance Safety

Digital side-view mirrors: The digital mirror camera system developed by Bosch and Mekra Lang for side-view mirrors is going into production in 2019. It replaces the two large mirrors on the outside of the vehicle’s cab with video sensors, which reduces drag and lowers fuel consumption by as much as 2 percent. Images from the cameras are displayed in real time on high-resolution monitors in the driver’s cab. The system adjusts the monitor display according to situation: long view on the freeway, large angle of view in city traffic and high contrast for night driving. And due to Bosch’s EasyFit camera system, existing truck fleets also can be retrofitted with digital side-view mirrors. This system is based on four ultra-wide-angle cameras that show a 360-degree view around the vehicle.

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Digital instrument cluster: To ensure easy and distraction-free operation of the ever-expanding connectivity, driver assistance and infotainment functions in trucks, Bosch is bringing digital instrument clusters into the cockpit. In addition to the conventional speedometer view, the display will show function information, route planning graphics, and images from the reversing camera or night-vision device, prioritized according to the driving situation. Drivers are always shown exactly the information they need at any given moment, which reduces complexity and allows them to focus entirely on the road.

Driver Assistance Systems Enhance The Driving Experience And Improve The Safety Of Commercial Vehicles

Turn warning: Especially in downtown areas, truck drivers need to keep an eye on traffic, traffic lights and road signs, all while also watching out for pedestrians and cyclists. In the future, Bosch’s turn warning will assist them with turning maneuvers in complex situations. Radar sensors detect crossing pedestrians and cyclists in ample time and warn truck drivers of an imminent collision, allowing them to promptly brake or take evasive action.

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Blind-spot recognition: Whether in the city or on the freeway, it is often difficult for drivers of commercial vehicles to maintain an overview of the areas next to and diagonally behind them. The blind-spot recognition uses radar sensors to monitor the areas next to the vehicle, detect other road users, and warn the driver. This function also alerts drivers of imminent collisions when changing lanes.

Predictive emergency braking: Systems for automatic emergency braking for commercial vehicles have been mandatory across the EU since fall 2015 for all trucks with a gross vehicle weight of more than eight metric tons. Bosch’s solution uses a combination of a multi-purpose camera and a radar sensor, both installed at the front end of the truck. The radar sensor detects objects in front of the vehicle and determines their speed as well as their position relative to the vehicle. If there is a risk of collision, the system warns the driver. If the driver doesn’t react, the system automatically triggers an emergency braking maneuver.

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Lane assistants: These use camera data to ensure trucks don’t unintentionally leave their lane. The lane-departure warning alerts drivers when they are in danger of drifting out of their lane by, for example, vibrating the steering wheel. The lane-keeping assistant keeps the vehicle in its lane by making gentle steering interventions.

Other Innovations at IAA 2018:

Many of the innovations below can be viewed at the event:

  • The Bosch Servotwin electrohydraulic steering system
  • Rear-axle steering
  • Cargo tricycle with 48-volt powertrain
  • E-cargo bike
  • Electric trailer axle
  • Thermal management for electric vehicles
  • Exhaust-gas treatment
  • Modular common-rail system
  • Baseline common-rail system
  • Variable oil pump
  • Natural-gas drive systems
  • Coach entertainment series
  • Coach head unit

More information on all of these innovations and more can be found here.

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