The New Mobility World Track Partner Bosch is becoming a provider of mobility services for conurbations and is attempting to make urban transport emissions-free, accident-free, and stress-free. Here is a short statement by Dr Rolf Bulander, the chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector of Robert Bosch GmbH, on what the future of mobility might hold.
Transforming cities through traffic planning
New, bold traffic planning is needed for the world’s megacities. Traffic has to be as close to zero-emissions as possible, as well as accident-free and, not least, stress-free. These wishes are still visions, but they are visions that determine the path our development efforts will take. To explain what is driving us, I would refer to our strategic imperative: more than ever, it is technology “Invented for life” that is needed in our urban environment – an environment in which more and more people will be on the move. By de-congesting and improving urban traffic, we want to make it easier for those people to get around – this is the biggest challenge for mobility providers worldwide.
The smart megacities of the future
By 2050 at the latest, there will be more than six billion people living in megacities, twice as many as now. By then, urban traffic will have tripled – not least because online commerce will continue to generate ever more delivery traffic. It is scarcely conceivable that this growing traffic volume will be on four wheels only, and so we too are focusing on new solutions for transporting people and goods that go beyond the car. This is in line with urban planning around the world, which is moving away from the solely car-centric city to an idea of mobility that is both smart and multimodal. We have to develop a new concept of urban traffic: goods that are delivered from inner-city distribution centres by connected electric vans, people who switch from road to rail, and from four to two wheels, depending on congestion and need. Moreover, this changeover from cars to trains or bikes has to be managed smoothly, with a minimum of searching and waiting. And this, in turn, presupposes seamless connectivity – that all means of transport in the city are connected with each other. This shift has already begun. In Europe, London is becoming a smart city, just as Singapore is in Asia. As early as 2025, 80 of the world’s metropolises will be smart cities, and even now, Bosch is pursuing 14 beacon projects in this field, half of them concerned with urban mobility. Here, we are also opening up a future field of business and we expect this business to experience a boost over the next few years.
Smart city = Smart traffic
The challenges for urban traffic I have sketched out are considerable, as is the pressure on local authorities to deal with them. Our solutions offer them support, regardless of whether they are looking for parking apps or ways of keeping their air clean. Nine out of ten of the world’s megacities see the need for investments in multimodal mobility. This form of mobility depends crucially on connectivity. But there can be no smart cities without smart traffic. The more fluid the traffic, the smarter the city – the one is the key to the other. This challenge is the rationale behind the diversification of our mobility solutions. We will remain an automotive systems supplier, a strong and above all innovative partner of the automotive industry. But on top of this, we are evolving into a provider of services for road users. To come up with new concepts for mobility, we are also revising our conception of Bosch.
Bosch at the NMW
On Wednesday, 26. September, Dr. Johannes-Jörg Rüger ( President Commercial Vehicles and Off-Road at Robert Bosch GmbH) will be speaking on Automated Driving – Transforming the Commercial Vehicle Business . Afterwards, Gitte Bedford (VP of Robert Bosch Venture Capital) will be on the panel of judges that chooses the final winner of the NMW Lab18, the pitching contest for mobility, logistics and transport startups. Additionally, Dr.-Ing. Rainer Kallenbach (Chairman of the Executive Board of the Bosch division Connected Mobility Solutions) will be speaking on the future of mobility during the Masters of Digitization: Digitizing Businesses & Mobility Ecosystems session on Thursday, 27. September.
About Bosch Mobility Solutions
Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2017, its sales came to 47.4 billion euros or 61 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector pursues a vision of mobility that is accident-free, emissions-free, and stress-free and combines the group’s expertise in the domains of automation, electrification, and connectivity.