Urban mobility and air quality

Fewer emissions for better air quality: Bosch lets cities breathe

Towns and cities worldwide are plagued by polluted air. Swift population growth and increasing traffic are causing the concentration of pollution to rise in many places. The impacts of emissions such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and CO2 on people, the environment and climate are subjects of hot discussion. Particularly affected are the many inhabitants of densely-populated urban centers and also often those who live further away but who commute by car to polluted areas. Mega-trends such as advancing urbanization or increased online orders delivered to homes would intimate that air pollution is unlikely to improve by itself without suitable countermeasures. But how can urban growth, mobility and clean air be juggled and reconciled with each other?

Poor air quality has complex causes which means it cannot be remedied using simple methods. Bosch endeavors to resolve the aspects and correlations associated with the topic of air quality in an objective and comprehensible manner. Furthermore, Bosch is applying its unique knowledge and expertise in the area of mobility and technology in an effort to improve the current situation in the long run using well-conceived, innovative solutions.

Clean air concerns each and every one of us

Fewer emissions for better air quality

better air quality

with innovative solutions for vehicles and support for cities


reduced
emissions

with optimized technology for vehicles with combustion engines

zero local emissions

with scalable electric powertrain systems for many vehicle segments


adherence
to limit values

by measuring immissions for optimized traffic management

Emissions, emitters, wind and weather:
What influences air quality?

Emissions, emitters, wind and weather

The quality of the air around us depends on many factors and can vary widely from one location to another – sometimes even a few meters can make a difference. Emissions from many different sources (emitters) contribute to a deterioration in air quality. In this regard, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter are currently regarded as the most relevant types of air pollution, particularly in terms of air quality in large cities. However, natural factors such as temperature, wind conditions and solar radiation also have a major impact on air quality.

Road traffic is by no means the only source of emissions. Emissions from other sources are also responsible for increasing air pollution. The primary emitters of particulate matter, for example, are agriculture, industry, power stations, fireplaces and heating in homes, and road traffic. Emissions of particulate matter are produced independently of the type of vehicle powertrain, as a high percentage is caused by road and tire wear particles as well as brake dust.

For a better understanding of air quality: What is the difference between emissions and immissions?

In order to understand air quality, air pollution and their effects on people and the environment, it is important to distinguish between emissions and immissions. Emissions refer to output at its respective source, e.g. the nitrogen oxide output by a car directly at its exhaust pipe. In other words, what comes out at the back. Immissions, however, denote the volume of these emissions at a certain place with their corresponding impacts.

For example, particulate matter emissions do not have the same effect everywhere; a certain percentage sticks to the ground, is blown away by the wind or washed away by rain. Accordingly, only a small percentage is actually inhaled by people. Stations for measuring air quality do not therefore record all emissions in their entirety, but rather only the percentage which actually reaches them in the form of immissions. As they potentially record percentages of emissions from every conceivable source, they cannot be attributed to individual emitters any longer.

Difference emissions Difference immissions

Cause or effect of air pollution? Emissions do not equal immissions.

Connected measurements of air quality for improved adherence to immission limit values

Immission measuring system from Bosch

Immission measuring system from Bosch

In order to better understand the connections between emission sources and the environment, Bosch has developed immission measuring systems which constantly send their local measurement data to the cloud for analysis and further processing. This measurement data can be used to draw up precise immission maps, for example, and to make road traffic forecasts. If, for example, forecasts indicate increased traffic volumes, the infrastructure can be adapted in advance in such a way as to prevent the specified immission limit values from being exceeded – e.g. by changing traffic light settings.

The compact immission measurement boxes from Bosch are currently being trialed internationally, in the greater Stuttgart, Marseille and Nice regions. In such infrastructure, Bosch not only develops the required measurement technology, but also provides cities with traffic planning and management advice based on the respective measurement data.

“Clean air concerns us all. At Bosch, we recognize not only our global responsibility for climate action but also our local responsibility for combating air pollution. And to meet that, we need more technology, not less. With technology that is ‘Invented for life,’ we can help cities and make the world a better place.”

Dr. Volkmar Denner

Dr. Volkmar Denner

Chairman of the Board of Management at Robert Bosch GmbH

Working together for better air quality: one goal, many solutions

The best way to improve air quality is to reduce emissions in all areas as much as possible. For this reason, Bosch pursues a vision of ideally emission-free mobility with minimum impacts on people and the environment. Technology already available and new innovative developments by Bosch are helping to achieve more sustainability and improved quality of life, particularly in densely-populated urban centers subject to extensive pollution.

In the development of new solutions, Bosch goes beyond the actual powertrain and the car by including traffic management and planning as well as climate protection and the company’s own responsibility as a globally-operating corporation and employer. Bosch therefore makes an important and future-oriented contribution toward solving a complex challenge which affects each and every one of us.

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Vehicle technology for lower emissions Better traffic planning Bosch assumes responsibility in its capacity as an employer Climate protection does not start on the road

Vehicle technology for lower emissions

Bosch applies its comprehensive expertise and great innovative strength in an effort to make cars fit for the future. This includes new powertrain concepts as well as the optimization of widely available technologies. As yet, nobody knows when or whether a particular type of powertrain will assert itself in the future. Accordingly, Bosch is not only actively pushing zero-local-emissions electromobility but is also constantly improving combustion technology. The ambitious goal is to achieve IC engines whose emissions no longer make any noteworthy contribution to air pollution in cities. Thanks to Bosch technology, diesel engines are already available today whose emissions are well below the corresponding limit values. And no other company is as well positioned in the area of electromobility as Bosch – with solutions for bicycles through to trucks.

Better traffic planning

Bosch is not only working on solutions for vehicles but has also set its sights on the big picture in an effort to reduce emissions and improve air quality over the long term. This broad approach concerns the long-term development of mobility in cities and densely-populated urban centers. In this context, Bosch is currently exchanging information with around one hundred municipal authorities and regions to collaborate on finding new ways for improving air quality. This also includes traffic consulting for cities on the basis of data recorded using immission measurement boxes specially developed by Bosch for this purpose. Bosch can also reliably determine the emissions behavior of vehicle fleets based on the driving performance of individual cars and use this information to derive up-to-date traffic emissions.

Bosch assumes responsibility in its capacity as an employer

Congestion and increased emissions are particularly prevalent at rush hour, e.g. commuter traffic in the morning. For this reason and in its capacity as an employer, it is important for Bosch to show responsibility and commitment in making a direct contribution toward improved air quality. Car-sharing platforms, mobile working or shuttle buses: with its company mobility offers, Bosch offers its associates numerous solutions which help to improve air quality by reducing traffic during rush hour.

Climate protection does not start on the road

Taking climate protection seriously means considering emissions from the energy source to the wheel. In this context, striking a balance between an IC engine or electric powertrain is decisive. Electromobility on its own is not entirely climate-neutral and in the future, there will not be much to distinguish between these two powertrain systems in terms of their overall carbon dioxide footprints. It is much more important to ascertain the origin of engine power. For the future, this means that vehicles with IC engines will need to use more CO2-reduced fuels and that electric powertrains can be operated with a high percentage of energy generated from renewable sources.

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