Bosch focuses on the future of smart cities at CES Vegas

Las Vegas, Nv

The city of the future will almost certainly include many aspects of smart technology

Bosch is working to equip cities and neighborhoods for the future, offering smart mobility, better air quality, more convenience, greater security, and many new services. In short, the aim is significantly better quality of life in cities and neighborhoods. “When it comes to smart cities, few other companies can match Bosch’s comprehensive portfolio, cross-domain knowledge, and outstanding expertise in sensors, software, and services – and all this from a single source,” Hartung said.

From January 9 to 12, the supplier of technology and services is presenting many new solutions that make cities smart at CES 2018, the world’s largest electronics show. These range from a new compact unit that measures and analyses air quality in real time, to a system that digitally monitors river water levels and gives early warning of flood risks, to a completely automatic parking space service that makes drivers’ lives easier.

Some of the world’s major metropolises are already synonymous with the term “smart,” among them Barcelona, Seoul, and London. Across the globe, cities large and small are investing in smart-city technologies. According to a study on behalf of Bosch, the smart-city market will grow 19 percent each year between now and 2020, reaching a volume of 800 billion dollars (680 billion euros). Bosch believes this is a great business opportunity: “For a long time, the smart city was a vision. We’re helping make it reality. Bosch is in an excellent position to make the connected city a technological and commercial success,” Hartung said. The company is currently involved in 14 extensive smart-city projects in places such as San Francisco, Singapore, Tianjin, Berlin, and Stuttgart. Others are planned to follow. Within the past two years, the company has doubled its sales from cross-domain projects to nearly one billion euros, and this figure is set to rise further.

In the Bay Area city of San Leandro, for example, the company has equipped roughly 5,000 streetlights with LEDs and supplied a system for remote management of the city’s street lighting. In this way, the lights are only switched on when they are actually needed. With this solution, San Leandro will be able to save roughly 8 million dollars over the next 15 years. At the Bosch CES press conference, Mike Mansuetti, the president of Bosch North America, said: “Whether cities are big or small, our smart solutions will help them save energy, and money too.” In the case of San Leandro and its 100,000 inhabitants, sensors can be used to measure and analyze air quality, and cameras can automatically re-route traffic in the event of congestion.

The internet of things (IoT) has laid one of the main foundations for the connected city. The IoT is finding its way into all walks of life: a Gartner study predicts that some 230 million homes worldwide – roughly 15 percent of all homes – will be intelligently connected by 2020. Here as well, the potential is huge, with market volume estimated to reach 250 billion dollars annually by 2020. By the same year, more than 20 billion devices worldwide will be connected with each other – smoke detectors, burglar alarms, electricity meters, home appliances, and many more. “Bosch recognised this potential early on,” Hartung said. “Even now, more than half our electronic product classes are web-enabled – and the aim is for this to be 100 percent by 2020. Not only that: for each of our products, we want to offer accompanying services.”

Another driver of the rapid development of smart cities is artificial intelligence (AI). Bosch intends to further expand its research in this field. Last year, the company opened a research centre for artificial intelligence, which now employs some 100 associates in Renningen, Germany, Palo Alto, California, and Bengaluru, India. By 2021, Bosch will invest some 300 million euros in expanding the centre. The company anticipates that, ten years from now, scarcely any product will be conceivable without AI.


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