Whether for the smart home, automated driving, or manufacturing: artificial intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of everyday life. At their 2020 CES press conference, Bosch showcased how AI and the internet of things (IoT) can make life easier and safer for everyday consumers. Here, the slogan “Beneficial AI. Building trust together” sums up the company’s technology, services and approach. The focus is on safe and robust AI for the manufacture of smart products, which Bosch will be showcasing at this year’s CES. One of these products is the Virtual Visor: an AI-based digital vehicle sun visor that will be making its debut at the world’s largest trade fair for consumer electronics. The product has also won a CES Innovation Award, as has Bosch’s 3D display for the car.
Other Bosch AI highlights at the show include an application for predictive maintenance of the International Space Station, a system for monitoring vehicle interiors, and a smart platform for medical diagnostics. “The solutions we’re showcasing at CES make it clear that Bosch aims to become an innovation leader in AI as well,” says Bosch management board member Michael Bolle.
“As of 2025, every Bosch product will either contain artificial intelligence or will have been developed or manufactured with the help of AI.” The global market volume for AI applications is expected to be around 120 billion dollars over that same period, a twelvefold increase compared to 2018 (source: Tractica). Bosch wants to tap into that potential: the company already invests 3.7 billion euros each year in software development, currently employs more than 30,000 software engineers, and has 1,000 associates working on AI.
In addition, Bosch has established a comprehensive training program. “We plan to make nearly 20,000 associates AI-savvy over the next two years,” Bolle explains. “We must invest not only in artificial intelligence, but in human intelligence as well.” The program includes training formats at three different levels for managers, engineers, and AI developers and includes guidelines for using AI responsibly. To that end, Bosch has drawn up its own set of AI principles that address issues of AI security and ethics. With this in combination with its expertise, the company intends to build trust with customers and partners alike: “Anyone who has internalized technical and ethical principles knows how important data security and sovereignty are,” Bolle says. “In a way, trust is the product quality of the digital world.”
Smart Home Solutions /Residential IoT
Bosch is expanding the scope of its services for the residential internet of things (IoT). The highlight here is the open Home Connect platform, which is being showcased at CES. Starting in mid-2020, the platform’s app will also offer control of lighting and shade, entertainment, and smart gardening equipment from different manufacturers. The number of partner companies, which is currently at 40, is set to more than double, making life at home even more convenient and efficient.
In the future, Bosch believes one core area of expertise will be the industrial application of artificial intelligence. “We want to harness the power of artificial intelligence not for the purpose of creating models of human behavior, but instead to improve technology to benefit people,” Bolle says. “For this reason, industrial AI has to be safe, robust, and explainable.” According to Bosch, that means people should always remain in control, whether at home, on the street, or in manufacturing.
As a pioneer in the development of life-saving driver safety systems such as ABS, ESP, and airbag control units, the company has already proved in the past that people benefit from reliable machines. AI can also make driver assistance systems even more efficient and intelligent: when Bosch’s AI camera for automated driving identifies partially concealed pedestrians, for example, the automatic emergency braking assistant can react even more reliably. Bosch is creating learning technology that is “Invented for life.”
World-first Virtual Visor
Bosch has creative AI minds developing product innovations for mobility, the smart home, and Industry 4.0. Its AI world first for the automotive sector, which is celebrating its world premiere in Las Vegas, originated in the U.S.: the Virtual Visor, which is a transparent digital sun visor. A transparent LCD display connected to the interior monitoring camera detects the position of the driver’s eyes. Using intelligent algorithms, the Virtual Visor analyzes this information and darkens only the portion of the visor through which the sun would dazzle the driver. The Virtual Visor scored the highest in its category at the CES Best of Innovation Awards. Bosch’s new 3D display won its category as well.
Using passive 3D technology, the display generates a realistic three-dimensional effect for images and alerts. This allows visual information to be grasped faster than when displayed on conventional screens, increasing road safety. Additional safety comes from Bosch’s new interior monitoring system for vehicles. It detects when the driver is drowsy or looks at a smartphone based on eyelid movements, direction of gaze, and head position – and alerts the driver to critical situations. It also monitors the vehicle interior to determine how many occupants are present and where and in what position they are sitting. This makes it possible to optimize the operation of safety systems such as the airbags in an emergency.