Bosch to focus on cloud for connected car services

December 03, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Automotive supplier Robert Bosch group has announced to develop cloud-based services for the connected car, such as real-time traffic data or infrastructure data. In contrast to its competitors, Bosch offers two different types of gateways for the Internet connection. For the car-to-x technology, Bosch’s strategy might have interesting consequences.

While Bosch already has a number of services for the connected car in its catalogues, the company never really took stand on such services; instead it preferred to act as a development partner for its customers, providing custom solutions with no Bosch brand sign on them. Examples are enhanced eCall services and personalised concierge services available from several carmakers but not with great Bosch fanfare.

Now the company deviated from this strategy, albeit just a little bit, by announcing that it will intensify its development services. Like competitor Continental, Bosch will link its “electronic horizon” (the directly competitor technology to Continental’s eHorizon) to the cloud and offer real-time services providing data as to road conditions, weather or traffic situation. The latter is particularly valuable to drivers of electric cars since it enables the vehicle to optimise its charging management. Bosch plans to enhance these services by offering infrastructure data such as the topology of multi-storey car parks or the exact location of charging points for electric vehicles. To make these services available, the company does not rule out to establish their own cloud infrastructure, but “no decision as to the exact type and extent of such services has been taken yet”, a Bosch spokesperson said.

Unlike other vendors, Bosch offers two distinct platforms to connect the vehicle to the cloud. There is, first, the company’s MySpin integration solution that utilises the driver’s smartphone as connecting item. MySpin supports Apple’s iOS as well as the open world of Android and allows selected smartphone apps to run on the car’s head unit. MySpin is already in series production in several Jaguar and Land Rover models. In addition, Bosch has contracts in place with two albeit unnamed OEMs as well as a cooperation with Chinese Internet data service provider Tencent.

The other approach to establish the link between the car and the cyberspace is Bosch’s Connectivity Control Unit (CCU), a piece of hardware