Somewhat after the event, Bosch presents its entry into the digital era as a logical progression. “We made car radios, then navigation devices. Real-time navigation then meant we could connect up vehicles,” explains Franck Cazenave, director of marketing and business development at Bosch. Sensors, one of Bosch’s main specialties, were the main thing that opened the door to?further opportunities. Werner Struth, member of Bosch’s board of directors, sums up this basic trend with the abbreviation “3S” (sensors, software and services).
A few years ago, Bosch decided to use this business as a starting point for offering services. This was a good springboard for getting into the new connected objects business. Since the car industry represents 66% of Bosch’s turnover, this field is logically leading the way. The first use was in an e-call system for vehicle emergency phone?calls. Some automobile manufacturers have been installing it for about the past ten years and it will become an EU?requirement for all manufacturers from October?2015. The e-call system works via a?SIM card, which connects cars to mobile networks and turns them into connected objects. Bosch offers an e-call service connected to an emergency response call center, which talks to drivers directly. A direct link is therefore established between the sub-contractor and the consumer, even though the e-call system is installed in cars. On-board connectivity is not just linked to SIM cards. “Nowadays, it’s smartphones rather than car systems that provide on-board connectivity,” explains Franck Cazenave. Bosch has developed technical solutions, MEMs (micro-electro?mechanical systems) to integrate all new smartphone functions and gradual developments to vehicle automation in general. These sensors manage several functions simultaneously and are gradually extending to other sectors, such as domestic robotics.
Although smartphones are connected, Bosch did not want to leave the added value for Google and associates. “There are two ways forward for connected vehicles,” explains Cazenave. Either connected cars use a closed manufacturer’s system, or they operate with Android Auto or CarPlay. With mySpin, Bosch is providing a third option.” This solution, launched in 2012, provides developers with a development kit so that manufacturers can design their own application store. Drivers control the system from a central application?on their smartphones. Jaguar Land Rover is the first automobile manufacturer to use it.