Bosch debuts new concept shuttle
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Bosch presented a concept shuttle. The concept is designed to use an electric powertrain and 360-degree surround sensors and has connectivity management and vehicle computers.
Bosch says it is developing the necessary software platforms for what it believes consumers will want with shuttles in the future. For example, when a shuttle pulls up to the requested pick-up point, users can use their smartphones to identify themselves using Bosch’s Perfectly Keyless digital access service. It recognizes the owner’s smartphone much like a digital fingerprint and opens the vehicle only for them.
The prototype uses Bosch’s electric axle, and the company’s Convenience Charging service is designed to keep track of how long the battery charge will last and where to recharge the vehicle. It also links vehicle information, such as the current state of battery charge or how much energy the heating and air-conditioning systems are consuming, with environmental data such as congestion and weather forecasts, to predict vehicle range with high accuracy. Convenience Charging finds the ideal charging station and can reserve it in advance.
For automation, Bosch develops and makes its own radar, video, and ultrasonic sensors, braking control systems, and power steering, for example. Additionally, Bosch predictive road-condition services let automated vehicles know in advance what environmental conditions to expect. They can thus adapt their driving style as needed to ensure maximum safety throughout the journey. The Bosch road signature is a map-based localization service with which automated vehicles can accurately determine their position in the lane down to a few centimeters.
Bosch has designed the interior of its concept vehicle to provide space for four passengers, seating them across from one another to maximize legroom and comfort. Infotainment is provided on screens that can be used either by each passenger individually or in groups. Smartphones use the onboard Wi-Fi and can integrate with the infotainment system. A concierge service can turns the shuttle into a "personal assistant." The shuttle can provide passengers with recommendations, advance bookings, weather reports, and travel tips at any time. Once the shuttle has arrived at its destination, the passengers can pay for their journey with Bosch’s e-payment service.
The company’s camera-based system for the vehicle interior checks whether anyone has forgotten their phone or handbag. If a passenger does forget something, the shuttle informs them directly via smartphone. The cameras can also detect gum on the seat or an overturned coffee cup, and, if the shuttle needs cleaning, it can make the necessary arrangements immediately.
Bosch’s service for over-the-air updates can determine whether the driverless shuttles have the latest software version. The service detects software updates as soon as they are available and executes them in the vehicle securely and reliably. Thanks to sensors installed in the vehicle, predictive diagnostics can monitor the condition of key components and notify the shuttle before a fault actually occurs so it has enough time to drive itself to a repair shop. In the future, Bosch says it will pool updates from the data cloud and predictive diagnostics into a comprehensive connectivity platform. Finally, the Bosch subsidiary ESCRYPT’s security solutions handle vehicle security—whether for keyless access systems, data connectivity with the outside world, or software updates.