As the Indian mobility sector undergoes a unique transition, developing products suited for the local environment is imperative. We have systematically invested in powertrain solutions geared for BS-VI emission norms and electromobility. We also intend to make every new product connected by 2020. Transformation is the new normal and must be incorporated in our very DNA as an organization.
Bosch’s Mobility division is playing a vital role in the transformation of the Indian mobility sector. As established OEMs prepare to leapfrog from BS-IV to BS-VI emission norms and new players and business models emerge in the domain of electromobility, Bosch is creating a world where vehicles become the third living space. With its manufacturing heritage, Bosch can leverage its cross-domain expertise for success of its stakeholders.
Bosch is driving this transformation by revamping powertrain solutions and augmenting them with a comprehensive localized portfolio. Further integration of IoT technologies is ensuring that there is seamless transition to the next level of mobility in India.
In November 2017, as PM 2.5 (Particulate Matter that enters lungs) levels hit the 999 mg mark during the “Great Smog of Delhi”, thick toxic smog caused by thermal plants and rapid industrialization enveloped the city. Schools and highways were shut down, but cab driver Ravi was forced to continue his daily schedule. Driving his 5-year old diesel cab through the smog and congested streets, Ravi’s eyes soon started burning, his breathing became labored and he started feeling nauseated on course for his next pickup. PM levels over 300 are considered ‘hazardous’, and people like Ravi were being forced to continue in the world’s most polluted major city at that moment.
In a parallel universe, Ravi was driving a hybrid cab alternating between diesel and electricity in a city Green Zone. Smog levels were below the recommended 60 mg mark and as far as Ravi could tell, he saw greenery, no air pollution and his daily cab rides were hassle-free. His hybrid cab released minimal noise and emissions and it was connected to a central traffic management and route navigation system.
The changing face of Indian mobility
Such a future is already in the making thanks to recent government policies regarding BS-VI emission norms and policies encouraging electric vehicles. Over the next decade, the Indian automotive industry will change completely to impact manufacturers across the value chain. This will see new players enter the market, new service-based business models transform the industry and it will change the very way in which India travels. Bosch views vehicles as the 21st century’s third living space as boundaries between the office, home and automotive interiors disappear. At the heart of this transition is connectivity and safety, and we at Bosch are prepared.
Bosch’s Powertrain Solutions division is gearing for the shift to BS-VI emission norms with a comprehensive localized portfolio funded by systematic investment into R&D and manufacturing. April 2020 is the timeline for BS-VI implementation, and Bosch has already partnered with several OEMs.
The newly formed Mobility Services division is also integrating IoT technologies into the ecosystem by deploying AI-driven sensors, software and services inside vehicles. This is achieved on a global telematics platform running on cloud-based technologies and operated by local engineering talent.
Thanks to its manufacturing heritage in end-to-end services, Bosch can ride the transition from a product to a technology company with cross-domain expertise. Bosch is driven by the motto – “Performance with Efficiency” and is utilizing resources and competencies from diverse business units to enable an organization-wide collaborative approach. The envisaged result is an accident-free, emission-free and stress-free mobility market.
Electrified and ICE solutions present the way forward
The Agile Project House for electrification commenced operations in 2018 to address the market. Designed to utilize Bosch’s global platform, it is tailoring electrification solutions to meet India’s unique requirements. The Agile Project House is co-located in Bengaluru, Karnataka and consists of cross-functional specialists working on innovative localized solutions with an unrelenting focus on the customer. With more than 800,000 vehicles globally fitted with Bosch components for electrified driving, there are tons of lessons and expertise to draw from.
As existing powertrain solutions evolve, Bosch believes that the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) will continue to be the mainstream solution for freight and commercial vehicles.
India’s unique terrain, traffic patterns, roads and driving habits also ensure that ICEs will never be fully replaced. This results in a scenario where hybrid solutions and a mix of fuels including diesel, gasoline, gas, blends and e-fuels will co-exist.
While Bosch’s electrification initiatives transform urban mobility, co-existence of traditional ICEs and electrified solutions is being pursued. Highlighting its progress, Bosch demonstrated an all-electric car embedded with connected mobility solutions at the Bosch Technology Exposition (BTE) in New Delhi during Auto Expo 2018. Integrated systems including the motor, control unit, battery, charger, display and smartphone application were successfully showcased.
Driving transformation through Bosch
Bosch’s transformation to an IoT (Internet of Things) company and connected services provider is also changing how it does business. For instance, the two-wheeler division has successfully undergone an internal restructure to reduce complexity for customers. IoT solutions are also being used to remotely test and validate technologies to shorten the launch time for BS-VI enabled vehicles. This is proving to be highly beneficial for the two-wheeler and three-wheeler segments.
Organizational changes are also causing cultural and mindset shifts. A key component is making Bosch a great place to work. Suresh B R, Senior Vice President and Country Head, Human Resources, Bosch India says, “Employees are our lasting assets and we are focusing on their well-being more intensely than ever. No financial target or mobility goal can be achieved without their active participation and satisfaction. This entails building a trustworthy and performance-driven culture, while also having fun at work. We do not view this as a destination, but as a journey.”
This journey began six months ago and includes four stages – ‘Diagnostics’ to assess people practices; ‘Design’ to highlight interventions needed; ‘Development’ to deliver the necessary skills; and ‘Harvest’ to measure effectiveness. In more ways than one, this roadmap is defining the sustainability of Bosch’s internal people practices, and the company’s transformation as a leading enabler in India’s mobility ecosystem.