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Image: Bosch

Bosch will display a driverless electric shuttle at CES 2019 in Las Vegas next month, to be offered fully-integrated with a full suite of hardware, software and related digital services. The concept shuttle, whose outer shell is constructed of display screens and glass, effectively comes with its own connected ecosystem – including software, platforms and user apps for booking, payment, sharing, parking, networking, infotainment, fleet management, maintenance and charging – as a white-label solution for city authorities or transportation operators.

Users can book their ride via smartphone, and the vehicle closest to their location can be deployed; other users wishing to travel a similar route can be identified, and the cost of the journey made cheaper the more passengers come aboard. Bosch’s Perfectly Keyless digital access service opens the vehicle for the registered users, who can reserve specific seats; infotainment screens can be used individually or in groups ­– for a family to watch a film together, for example, or for colleagues to work on a presentation – and there is in-board wifi plus a digital concierge service for recommendations, bookings, travel tips, weather reports or similar.

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The shuttle itself uses Bosch’s Convenience Charging software to monitor its battery range and dynamic energy usage, and to find and reserve the most convenient charging facilities in between journeys. Also integrated are a standardized charging access and payment system, predictive road-condition alerts, and a map-based localization service to precisely pinpoint the position of each vehicle. A camera-based system scans for lost or left-behind property – and sends alerts to the passenger – and to determine whether the shuttle needs cleaning; software is updated over-the-air and predictive diagnostics mean that the shuttle can take itself to a workshop before a breakdown occurs.

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All data is encrypted for security and Bosch plans a comprehensive cloud-enabled platform for vehicle manufacturers and operators to receive a constant overview of their fleet.

“Bosch is developing a unique package of hardware, software, and mobility services for shuttle mobility of the future,” said board member Dr Markus Heyn in a pre-CES statement. “In the future, every vehicle on the road will make use of Bosch digital services.”

Convenience Charging will also be demonstrated at CES 2019 in an Audi A3 e-tron, to include recommendations on charging stops based on a driver’s personal preferences and a service whereby drivers can pre-order takeaway food to eat while their car is charging. Bosch will also demonstrate technologies including a smartphone integration solution called mySPIN, which supports MirrorLink for in-car app use via the vehicle’s own HMI; a cloud-based rapid ‘wrong way’ warning system; its next-generation ‘electronic horizon’ providing data on road lanes and infrastructure; and predictive road-condition alerts with weather data, to be crowdsourced.

Bosch’s non-automotive CES exhibits – which could feed into in-car applications in the future – will include connected devices for refrigerators, to help optimize storage to keep food fresher for longer; touch-control surfaces for digital services in the kitchen; an AI-enhanced, connected and voice-controlled robot lawn mower; a ‘smart wardrobe’ module to recommend outfits according to weather or the user’s diary, book laundry services or place shopping orders, via a projected virtual touchscreen; a sensor for wearables with gesture recognition; a well-being sensor for the home, monitoring air quality, temperature and humidity; and a chatbot for voice control of heating systems.