SHANGHAI – Bosch officially inaugurated a new Bosch Digital Cabin R&D Center in Zhangjiang, Pudong District here on July 31.
With a size of 2,500 square meters, the new R&D center from its Car Multimedia business unit will be the third of its kind in China, besides the Bosch Car Multimedia R&D centers in Suzhou and Wuhu. The engineers at the newly opened Shanghai center will mainly develop smart digital cabin products, such as information domain computers, driver and passenger monitoring systems and 5G-V2X vehicle connectivity control units. This will further enhance the comprehensive software R&D capability, providing fast and quality engineering services to local customers.
The fast transformation of the internet combined with a relatively high acceptance and penetration of digital services in the Chinese market fosters solutions for connected mobility in China. This development provides a solid foundation for the localization of the Bosch Digital Cabin R&D Center. “Looking at the automotive market in China from a global perspective the country has been transforming into a pilot ground of technology innovations,” said Dr. Steffen Berns, President of Robert Bosch Car Multimedia GmbH. “China is an absolute pioneer, especially in the field of smart connectivity. Our new Bosch Digital Cabin R&D Center will help us strengthen Bosch’s global competitiveness in this area.”
With the new Bosch Digital Cabin R&D Center, Bosch is continuing its successful strategy of utilizing local partnerships and R&D dedicated for the Chinese market. Furthermore, the center strives for innovation that can be brought to the global market.
The development path of connectivity and personalization turns vehicles into the “third living space” beyond people’s life and work circles. Bosch’s core concept behind this evolution is the smart digital cabin. For years already, touchscreens and speech recognition have been gradually replacing conventional mechanical buttons and switches. However, controlling the navigation system, the on-board computer menu, or the in-vehicle app on the head unit is a distraction, and compromises road safety to some extent. The smart digital cabin technology developed by Bosch ensures that drivers focus more on driving itself. For example, the display system developed by Bosch simplifies the operation of in-vehicle apps, and with its haptic feedback, drivers can pay more attention to traffic conditions. In addition, the driver monitoring system can enhance driving safety by issuing an early warning while it recognizes driver’s fatigue and distraction in real time.
The development of smart digital cabin technology puts higher demands on processing power and the architecture of on-board networks. Currently in mass production vehicles, over 100 electronic control units (ECU) operate and regulate the functions of the car, thereof up to 15 ECUs for displays and electronic cockpit devices. Thus, developing a powerful processing instead of several ECUs to show coordinated information on all displays is essential. In the future, Bosch will run the entire HMI through an information domain computer, and will integrate more functionalities in a single central processing unit. This will enable the convergence and synchronization of the infotainment system, the instrument cluster, and other displays so that any given information can be orchestrated, managed and displayed anywhere in the vehicle at any given time. Moreover, over-the-air updates ensure that the infotainment computer and the entire HMI can also be updated in real time like smartphones.
For the future of connected and automated driving, vehicles need the ability to communicate smoothly both among themselves and with their environment. To this end, Bosch has developed a universal connectivity unit for all WiFi-based and wireless-based transmission technologies used in vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication. This enables vehicles to communicate with each other and with traffic infrastructure, regardless of the country or manufacturer. Also, the software in the control unit enables complex data connection management by constantly seeking the best transmission approach for each condition and freely switching between all available network connections. As one of Bosch’s key strategic markets, China has unique strengths in promoting smart connected vehicles with its V2X intelligent infrastructure and its emerging 5G technology. Together with these Chinese strengths, Bosch will utilize its expertise in connectivity to continuously develop smart cockpit technologies and services, including 5G vehicle connectivity control units, to meet the domestic auto market’s rising needs.