A light, airy, minimalistic design, a futuristic outer shell made of display screens and glass, and a spacious interior – that is how architects might describe a novel structure, but in actuality the description also fits a completely new class of vehicle and a new kind of mobility: driverless electric shuttles that glide almost silently through city centers and are seamlessly connected with their environment. These will soon be a common sight on our city streets – whether they are transporting goods or people. Bosch provides components and systems for automating, connecting, and electrifying the shuttles, but shuttle mobility won’t be possible without mobility services. In the future, the company will offer these services too, bundling them into a smart, seamlessly connected ecosystem. That will include booking, sharing, and networking platforms, parking and charging services, and software solutions for managing and maintaining the vehicles, as well as infotainment during the journey. “Bosch is developing a unique package of hardware, software, and mobility services for shuttle mobility of the future,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the world’s biggest electronics show, Bosch will be presenting its solutions for this area of transportation with a concept shuttle, and visitors will be able to experience its full range of services.
Bosch services for users and shuttle operators
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 (source: 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. “In the future, every vehicle on the road will make use of Bosch digital services,” Heyn says. These services allow users to book the vehicles, share rides with other passengers, and pay for the journey. Charging, repairing, and maintaining the vehicles, plus route planning and administrative activities, also call for services that Bosch will offer shuttle fleet operators in a seamlessly connected ecosystem.
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