In view of the rising number of people, especially in densely populated urban centers, the discussions about air quality in these areas has taken on a tone of greater urgency. In addition to the health aspect, climate protection has emerged as a key issue. In Europe, the extent to which road traffic contributes to the output of relevant emissions varies greatly (see picture gallery). Emissions of fine particulate matter, for instance, are also generated by the attrition of brakes, tires, and road surfaces and are completely independent of the type of engine. This example alone illustrates that all possible areas must be considered together in the search for possible solutions. Bosch has set itself the long-term goal of decisively reducing emissions. This can be achieved only by moving ahead one step at a time and by bundling actions.
Although technologies in vehicles are some of the elements driving this progress, there are other aspects beyond the single vehicle, including electromobility for all vehicle classes and flexible and automated solutions for the optimization of traffic volumes and reduction of driven distances. Vehicles with combustion engines will, in the middle term, continue to be an important component of the mobility mix in addition to electric and hybrid vehicles. There is still tremendous potential for improvement waiting to be exploited by innovative technology. By taking part in more than 300 customer projects, Bosch supports car makers as they implement the new Euro 6d standard. Bosch is traveling many paths simultaneously in its efforts to improve air quality in cities.
There are many options for reducing emissions and improving air quality. One of them is the steady expansion of electromobility. Given that a significant proportion of urban transport will be electrically powered in the future, Bosch is pulling out all the stops to drive forward this development.
Hybrid powertrains also provide future-proof solutions. The range of the locally emission-free, fully electric powertrain components is sufficient to meet mobility demands in the central city areas, while an optimized combustion engine is ready to spring into action as needed when driving longer distances.
To be sure, the rising electrification of powertrains represents major progress on the way to better air quality in city centers. But that by no means exhausts all of the possibilities for optimizing vehicles.
Work at Bosch encompasses more than just the powertrain – for instance, technologies that burn synthetic fuels and reduce brake dust. Moreover, the support provided by Bosch to car makers includes new methods for the measurement of emissions under real-life operating conditions on the road.
The high volume of traffic, especially in the large cities around the world, is one of the major causes of congestion and higher emissions, greater traffic density, and stress. Automated vehicle assistants help to make better use of available space and to optimize the flow of traffic, lowering further fuel consumption, emissions, and the stress hormone levels of road users.
Moreover, automated systems make traffic safer by helping to avoid driving errors and responding more quickly to dangerous situations than any human driver possibly can. A broad portfolio of automated solutions makes Bosch one of the innovation drivers behind mobility that is safe and saves resources.
When it comes to the future of urban mobility, Bosch goes beyond a narrow view of the vehicle in isolation to develop innovative and flexible concepts for related areas. New mobility services are about to transform fundamentally the way we move.
Bosch is already active in many different ways in this future field: thanks to connectivity, cloud-based technologies, and smart software, everyday challenges such as finding a parking space, charging electric cars, or car-sharing are met by new smart solutions from Bosch.