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Bosch pools software & electronics expertise in new Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division; 17,000 associates

The market for software-intensive automotive electronic systems is expected to grow by some 15% annually between now and 2030. Bosch is now establishing a new division, Cross-Domain Computing Solutions. From the start of 2021, existing and new customers will receive electronics systems and the requisite software from a single source: a division with roughly 17,000 associates.

Even now, a vehicle contains some 100 million lines of software code. Only a company with wide-ranging electronics and software expertise will be in a position to shape the future of mobility.

—Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH and chairman of its Mobility Solutions business sector

The move toward ever more sophisticated electronics and ever more software is quickly picking up pace. The result is a considerable increase in the complexity of automotive engineering. For the new division, the goal will be to reduce this complexity through cross-domain software and electronics solutions. In addition, it will aim to get new vehicle functions on the road significantly faster.

To achieve this, Bosch has assigned software, electrical, and electronics engineers from the areas of driver assistance, automated driving, car multimedia, powertrain, and body electronics to the new unit.

Where a car included roughly 10 million lines of software code ten years ago, the software of automated vehicles will include between 300 and 500 million lines of code. To put this in context, just one million lines of software code are the equivalent of nearly 18,000 printed pages.

Bosch was quick to recognize the significance of vehicle software, and has been developing it in-house for nearly four decades, with a current annual spend of €3 billion. Traditional software engineering in individual, discrete units is increasingly coming up against its limits. This is why Bosch is pooling its automotive software engineering resources in the new Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division.

Supplying software from a single source is our response to the enormous challenge of making cars ever more digitalized.

—Harald Kroeger, member of the Bosch board of management in Bosch’s Mobility Solutions business sector

Kroeger will be responsible for the new division, which in the future will develop both the software on which the vehicle computers and control units are based and the software for vehicle functions ranging from park-assist and lane-keeping support systems to music streaming. The result will be the much faster release of new functions, brought to users by software updates. This will allow automakers to offer their customers a coherent, integrated driving experience.

In addition to cross-domain software development, Bosch is devoting much effort to future-proofing vehicles’ E/E (electrical/electronic) architecture. This is why the company is also making the new division responsible for the development of vehicle computers, control units, and sensors. Their smooth interaction will be crucial in the future.

The core task of Cross-Domain Computing Solutions will be to make the complexity of electronic systems controllable. In addition, the systems will have to be as reliable as possible.

—Harald Kroeger

Bosch is focusing in particular on powerful vehicle computers as the technical basis for the digitalization of modern vehicles. With more functions featuring in every part of the vehicle, these computers combine the tasks of individual control units.

Today’s premium vehicles feature more than 100 individual control units, and even compact vehicles have between 30 and 50. Such powerful computers will allow us to significantly reduce these numbers.

—Harald Kroeger

With vehicle computers—for cockpit and connectivity functions, for driver assistance systems, for automated driving, and for the powertrain—now being developed in a cross-domain unit for the first time, the result will be a consistent IT architecture throughout the vehicle. All the electrical and electronic components will thus be perfectly compatible. In addition, Bosch will be able to achieve valuable synergy effects.

From the start of 2021, the entire Car Multimedia division and parts of the Powertrain Solutions, Chassis Systems Control, and Automotive Electronics divisions that develop software-intensive, cross-domain electronic systems will be brought together in the new Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division. This means that the new division will employ some 17,000 associates at more than 40 locations in over 20 countries. The employee representatives responsible will be involved in working out the details of the future organization.

Bosch already pooled all the electronics manufacturing activities of its Mobility Solutions business sector in April this year. The Automotive Electronics division now coordinates the production of control units and vehicle computers across all vehicle domains. In this way, the company is also achieving synergy effects in its manufacturing operations. The new manufacturing network will employ some 24,000 associates across 21 plants in 14 countries.

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