Bosch has unveiled a driverless electric shuttle bus at CES 2019, the annual consumer technology extravaganza taking place in Las Vegas this week, as part of a comprehensive push into the Internet of Things market.
The German tech giant used CES to launch a marketing campaign based around the ‘Live like a Bosch’ strapline accompanied by a music video showing its range of IoT products available or in development, from robot lawnmowers to remote-controlled ovens.
The company said of the driverless ride-hailing vehicle it intends to provide the necessary hardware, software, and new digital services that will enable users to book vehicles, pay for their ride, or share it with other passengers.
CES is attended by more than 180,000 people from 4,500 companies and features product launches from brands including Samsung and Sony and conference sessions on the latest big ideas.
Bosch said: “The emergence of the shuttle segment is a result of rising demand for ridesharing services: in Europe, the U.S., and China alone, about one million such on-demand shuttle buses will be on the roads as early as the year 2020, growing to 2.5 million by 2025 [according to German consultancy Roland Berger].
“Many of these vehicles, available 24/7, will be fully electric, and they will also be completely autonomous by the middle of the next decade at the latest. That’s why Bosch has packed every square centimeter of its concept shuttle with the appropriate technology – from electric powertrains and 360-degree surround sensors to connectivity management and vehicle computers. Yet these components and systems go only part of the way towards shuttle mobility. To make on-demand vehicles suitable for flexible everyday use, they must be connected to mobility services.”
Dr Markus Heyn, Bosch board of management member, explained: “Bosch recognised the huge opportunities of the IoT early on. We have been actively shaping the connected world for nearly 10 years now.
“Today, we are a leading IoT company. Step by step, we have extended our software and IT expertise.”
Using its own IoT cloud, the company has already carried out more than 270 projects in field such as mobility, smart homes, smart cities, and agriculture. The number of sensors and devices connected over the Bosch IoT Suite has risen nearly 40% since last year, and now stands at 8.5 million.
Bosch is currently advising Transport for London on research-and-development and has a ride-hailing service pilot in San Jose, California with Daimler.
The driverless shuttle concept features charging, repairing, and maintaining the vehicles, plus route planning and administrative activities, in a “seamlessly connected ecosystem.”
Click image to launch gallery of designs