The future of Bosch is in the Mobility division, which is already worth 56 of the group’s 88 billion in turnover. By 2029 it will reach 80 billion, when however the multinational should exceed 120, with an estimated growth rate of between 6 and 9% per year. Revenues from the electrification of vehicles alone are set to quadruple to break through to 6 billion by 2026.
Bosch, which in the family circle is known above all for its household appliances, strengthens its link with the automotive supply chain by reorganizing the Mobility division, the largest of the four of the group (230,000 employees out of 421,000) and at whose helm Markus Heyn has confirmed. The restructuring includes “intensification of cross-divisional collaboration” to facilitate the creativity and competitiveness of automotive engineering. The new ESP10 is the latest technology developed by Bosch: “It is much more than a new generation of stability control”, assures Stefan Hartung, CEO of the German multinational. Combined with Vehicle Dynamics Control 2.0, the system no longer only intervenes on the brakes, but also on the engine and (electric) steering. The result is a reduction in braking distance, “so that the corrective action required of the driver is greatly reduced and, consequently, road safety is increased”. What’s more: the technology does not necessarily have to be part of the ESP electronic control unit because it can also be integrated into the vehicle’s central computer. In the future, they say from Stuttgart, it will also be available as a separate software package.
Computer engineering is tomorrow: software applications will increase by three times (200 billion at the end of the decade) and those that will be able to access the cloud will be ten times more. After all, even today the most advanced premium vehicles have over 100 electronic control units, compared to 30/50 of the most modern compacts. More than 250 million ECUs are configured every year with Bosch’s proprietary software. For this reason, the company continues to invest in research and development and to hire highly specialized personnel.
“In the future, software will not only change the way we use and experience our cars, it will also transform the way they are designed,” Heyn assures. The evolution of the sector will not only accelerate their development, but will help keep them always up to date thanks to the potential offered by OTAs, updates for which there is no need to go to the dealer. Bosch is sure of the growth, but does not comment on how it will happen: “What we don’t know is how many cars will be sold and in which geographical areas”, summarizes the manager. Also because consumers only partially influence market trends: “Legislators, especially in Europe, have a lot of influence”, Heyn points out.
Hydrogen remains an option: “In the world and also in Europe it is clear that this technology is needed and we believe we have valid solutions”, he adds. On the one hand there are fuel cell systems, on the other hydrogen as a fuel used for repurposed combustion engines: “We will see both things – explains Heyn – even if their adoption depends on the type of use. Fuel cell systems, for example, are suitable for long journeys and constant effort”. In July, Bosch has already scheduled a major event to anticipate the options in this sector: in the Old Continent, at least at present, hydrogen is also envisaged as a fuel, but only for industrial vehicles.