Bosch diesel technology provides solution to NOx problem

Bosch CEO Denner also calls for transparency on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

  • „Unprecedented emissions: NOx 10 times lower than limits set for 2020
  • „New Bosch technology retains advantage with regard to fuel consumption and environmental impact
  • „Denner: “There’s a future for diesel. Soon, emissions will no longer be an issue.”
  • „Internal combustion engines equipped with artificial intelligence have almost zero impact on air quality
  • „Appeal to politicians: fuel consumption should be measured on the road and emissions analysed from well to wheel

Stuttgart and Renningen, Germany: “There’s a future for diesel. Today, we want to put a stop, once and for all, to the debate about the demise of diesel technology.” It was with these words that the Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner, speaking at the company’s annual press conference, announced a decisive breakthrough in diesel technology. New developments from Bosch could enable vehicle manufacturers to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) so drastically that they already comply with future limits. Even in RDE (real driving emissions) testing, emissions from vehicles equipped with the newly premiered Bosch diesel technology are not only significantly below current limits but also those scheduled to come into force from 2020. Bosch engineers achieved these results by refining existing technologies. There is no need for additional components, which would drive up costs. “Bosch is pushing the boundaries of what is technically feasible,” Denner said. “Equipped with the latest Bosch technology, diesel vehicles will be classed as low-emission vehicles and yet remain affordable.” The Bosch CEO also called for greater transparency with regard to the CO2 emissions caused by road traffic and called for fuel consumption and thus CO2 emissions to be also measured under real conditions on the road in the future.

Record readings under real driving conditions: 13 mg NOx per kilometre

Since 2017, European legislation has required that new passenger car models tested according to an RDE-compliant mix of urban, extra-urban, and freeway cycles emit no more than 168 milligrams of NOx per kilometre. As of 2020, this limit will be cut to 120 milligrams. But even today, vehicles equipped with Bosch diesel technology can achieve as little as 13 milligrams of NOx in standard legally-compliant RDE cycles. That is approximately one-tenth of the prescribed limit that will apply after 2020. And even when driving in particularly challenging urban conditions, where test parameters are well in excess of legal requirements, the average emissions of the Bosch test vehicles are as low as 40 milligrams per kilometre. Bosch engineers have achieved this decisive breakthrough over the past few months. A combination of advanced fuel-injection technology, a newly developed air management system, and intelligent temperature management has made such low readings possible. NOx emissions can now remain below the legally permitted level in all driving situations, irrespective of whether the vehicle is driven dynamically or slowly, in freezing conditions or in summer temperatures, on the freeway or in congested city traffic. “Diesel will remain an option in urban traffic, whether drivers are tradespeople or commuters,” Denner said.

Bosch delivered proof of this innovative advance at a major press event in Stuttgart. Dozens of journalists, from both Germany and abroad, had the opportunity to drive test vehicles equipped with mobile measuring equipment in heavy city traffic, under especially challenging conditions. The results recorded by the journalists, along with the route driven, can be viewed here. As the measures to reduce NOx emissions do not significantly impact consumption, the diesel retains its comparative advantage in terms of fuel economy, CO2 emissions, and therefore climate-friendliness.

Artificial intelligence can further boost combustion engines’ performance

Even with this technological advance, the diesel engine has not yet reached its full development potential. Bosch now aims to use artificial intelligence to build on these latest advances. This will mark another step toward a major landmark: the development of a combustion engine that – with the exception of CO2 – has virtually no impact on the ambient air. “We firmly believe that the diesel engine will continue to play an important role in the options for future mobility. Until electromobility breaks through to the mass market, we will still need these highly efficient combustion engines,” Denner said. His ambitious target for Bosch engineers is the development of a new generation of diesel and gasoline engines that produce no significant particulate or NOx emissions. Even at Stuttgart’s Neckartor, a notorious pollution black spot, he wants future combustion engines to be responsible for no more than one microgram of NOx per cubic meter of ambient air – the equivalent of one-fortieth, or 2.5 percent, of today’s limit of 40 micrograms per cubic meter.

Bosch wants to go further: transparency and realistic testing for consumption and CO2

Denner also called for a renewed focus on CO2 emissions, which are directly related to fuel consumption. He said that consumption tests should no longer be conducted in the lab but rather under real driving conditions. This would create a system comparable to the one used for measuring emissions. “That means greater transparency for the consumer and more focused climate action,” Denner said. Moreover, any assessment of CO2 emissions should extend significantly further than the fuel tank or the battery: “We need a transparent assessment of the overall CO2 emissions produced by road traffic, including not only the emissions of the vehicles themselves but also the emissions caused by the production of the fuel or electricity used to power them,” Denner said. He added that a more inclusive CO2 footprint would provide drivers of electric vehicles with a more realistic picture of the impact of this form of mobility on the climate. At the same time, the use of non-fossil fuels could further improve the CO2 footprint of combustion engines.

Product development code: ethical technology design

Denner, who also has corporate responsibility for research and advance engineering, presented Bosch’s product development code to the public. This lays down the company’s principles for the development of Bosch products. First, the incorporation of functions that automatically detect test cycles is strictly forbidden. Second, Bosch products must not be optimized for test situations. Third, normal, everyday use of Bosch products should safeguard human life as well as conserve resources and protect the environment to the greatest possible extent. “In addition, the principle of legality and our ‘Invented for life’ ethos guide our actions. If in doubt, Bosch values take precedence over customers’ wishes,” Denner said. Since mid-2017, for example, Bosch has no longer been involved in customer projects in Europe for gasoline engines that do not involve the use of a particulate filter. A total of 70,000 associates, mainly from research and development, will receive training in the new principles by the end of 2018, as part of the most extensive training program in the company’s more than 130-year history.

Technical questions and answers on the new Bosch diesel technology

What distinguishes the new diesel technology?

To date, two factors have hindered the reduction of NOx emissions in diesel vehicles. The first of these is driving style. The technological solution developed by Bosch is a highly responsive air-flow management system for the engine. A dynamic driving style demands an equally dynamic recirculation of exhaust gases. This can be achieved with the use of a RDE-optimized turbocharger that reacts more quickly than conventional turbochargers. Thanks to a combination of high- and low-pressure exhaust-gas recirculation, the air-flow management system becomes even more flexible. This means drivers can drive off at speed without a spike in emissions. Equally important is the influence of temperature. To ensure optimum NOx conversion, the exhaust gases must be hotter than 200 degrees Celsius. In urban driving, vehicles frequently fail to reach this temperature. Bosch has therefore opted for a sophisticated thermal management system for the diesel engine. This actively regulates the exhaust-gas temperature, thereby ensuring that the exhaust system stays hot enough to function within a stable temperature range and that emissions remain at a low level.

When will the technology be ready for production?

Bosch’s new diesel system is based on components that are already available in the market. It is available to customers effective immediately and can be incorporated into production projects.

Why is urban driving more demanding than extra-urban or freeway driving?

To ensure optimum NOx conversion, the exhaust gases must be hotter than 200 degrees Celsius. This temperature is often not reached in urban driving, when cars are stuck in gridlock or stop-and-go traffic. As a result, the exhaust system cools down. Bosch’s new thermal management system remedies this problem by actively regulating the exhaust gas temperature.

Does the temperature regulation require an auxiliary 48-volt heater installed in the exhaust-gas system or additional components of a similar kind?

Bosch’s new diesel system is based on components already available in the market and does not require an additional 48-volt on-board electrical system.

Will the new Bosch technology make the diesel engine significantly more expensive?

The Bosch diesel technology is based on components already in use in production vehicles. The decisive advance comes from a new combination of existing technology. It does not require any additional hardware components. So, reducing emissions will not make diesel vehicles any less affordable.

Will the diesel engine lose its comparative advantage in fuel economy and climate-friendliness as a result of the new technology?

No. Our engineers’ goal was clear: to reduce NOx emissions while retaining the diesel’s comparative advantage in terms of CO2 emissions. Diesel will thus remain a climate-friendly option.

Holographic lighting with 3D effects

Hella has designed holographic lighting with 3D effects for headlamps and taillights. Automakers could use the displays to communicate critical information to other drivers and autonomous vehicles. Image shows a concept static display. (Hella)

https://www.sae.org/news/2018/01/lights-communicate-hellas-autonomous-vehicle-messages

Bosch unclutters vehicle cockpit

How digital displays and voice-controlled assistants are revolutionizing driving

  • Rediscovering the driving experience with HMI.
  • Smart command center: the driver controls car functions using voice commands and a touchscreen with haptic feedback.
  • Artificial intelligence in the cockpit: HMI thinks ahead and prioritizes information in real time.
  • A central cockpit computer controls the complete HMI.

For years, touchscreens, handwriting recognition, and gesture control have been gradually replacing conventional mechanical buttons and switches in the car – to the detriment of road safety. After all, controlling the navigation system, the on-board computer menu, or the radio is a distraction. At CES 2018, in Las Vegas, Bosch is showcasing smart cockpit technology that lets drivers concentrate on driving. Eyes can be kept where they should be: on the road. “We are uncluttering the cockpit. The more complex the technology in modern vehicles, the simpler and more intuitive control systems need to be,” says Dr. Steffen Berns, the president of Bosch Car Multimedia. Artificial intelligence helps transform the human-machine interface (HMI) into a command center that thinks ahead. “Initial functionalities with artificial intelligence feed valuable information into the HMI about the driver, the vehicle, and the surroundings. That enables proactive adjustment of displays and controls to any given driving situation,” Berns says. Bosch also draws on this information for the development of automated driving. Here too, HMI is the core element that allows optimal interplay between people and vehicles.

„We are uncluttering the cockpit. The more complex the technology in modern vehicles, the simpler and more intuitive control systems need to be.“
Dr. Steffen Berns, the president of Bosch Car Multimedia

Artificial intelligence helps transform the human-machine interface (HMI) into a command center that thinks ahead. “Initial functionalities with artificial intelligence feed valuable information into the HMI about the driver, the vehicle, and the surroundings. That enables proactive adjustment of displays and controls to any given driving situation,” Berns says. Bosch also draws on this information for the development of automated driving. Here too, HMI is the core element that allows optimal interplay between people and vehicles.

Operating HMI, without getting distracted

According to Allianz Center for Technology, 63 percent of drivers in Germany operate their navigation systems while driving, 61 percent switch through radio stations, and 43 percent browse through complicated menus on their on-board computers. Distractions like these are among the most frequent causes of accidents. “Our job is to make HMI a reliable companion in every situation,” Berns says. At the heart of the HMI is a voice-controlled assistant that responds to natural speech and can even understand dialects. Thanks to natural language understanding (NLU), drivers can talk to the assistant Casey as they would with a passenger. Another virtue of Casey is her ability to think ahead. Drawing on artificial intelligence, she can learn to predict likely destinations depending on the time of the day; or if she is asked to switch on the radio, she knows the driver’s preferences, such as listening to the news in the mornings and music in the evenings.

Digital displays make driving safer

We perceive 90 percent of our sensory input through our eyesight. That means that, as drivers, we have to have important information directly in our field of vision at the right time. Digital displays are taking over the cockpit. Today, this means more than simply keeping an eye on speed, rpm, and driving range. Smart algorithms capable of learning filter and prioritize content. If the roads are slippery, drivers immediately get a warning signal directly in their field of vision, while less important information, such as the current radio station, is switched to another display. That helps keep the driver concentrated on the road. When it comes to operating infotainment, air conditioning, and radio, touchscreens and central controllers have a decisive drawback: the driver has to look to enter commands accurately. At a speed of 50 kph, the car will travel 30 meters while the driver’s eyes are taken off the road for two seconds; at 120 kph on the freeway, the distance increases to more than 60 meters – driving blind. “Car displays with haptic feedback are going to catch on. They allow easier operation of all manner of functionalities – for example radio and phone functions – faster, simpler, and, most importantly, safer,” Berns says. The keys displayed on the touchscreen feel just like real buttons. The haptic display thus conveys the feeling that the user is adjusting the volume using a real slide control. As a result, drivers can keep their eyes on the road for longer.

A central cockpit computer controls the HMI

Displays, infotainment, voice control: one consequence of the advanced cockpit technology is the increased demands on processing power, wiring, and the architecture of on-board networks. In current production vehicles, 5, 10, or as many as 15 electronic control units run displays and electronic devices. More processing power is needed to show coordinated information on all displays. In the future, Bosch will run the entire HMI through a cockpit computer and will integrate more functionalities in a single central processor. That will enable the convergence and synchronization of the infotainment system, the instrument cluster, and other displays so that any given information can be orchestrated, managed, and displayed anywhere in the vehicle at any given time. “It gives car drivers and passengers virtually unlimited possibilities for adjusting the air conditioning, controlling the navigation system, or changing radio stations, from anywhere in the vehicle,” Berns says. In addition, reducing the number of control units also frees up valuable installation space, lowers vehicle weight, and shortens the time needed for the development of new vehicles. And, in the future, over-the-air updates will ensure that the cockpit computer and hence the entire HMI is kept up to date with the same simple process used for smartphones.

Source: Bosch Media

OBD provision and data access

The IAAF and FIGIEFA have welcomed news that crucial provisions on the OBD connector and access to RMI [repair and maintenance information] have been included in the proposed EU legislation on Vehicle Type-Approval regulation.

The EU Council’s main preparatory body, COREPER, recognised the need for the aftermarket to maintain access to diagnostic and RMI-related data. It also clarified that access will be granted while the vehicle is in motion.

The new legislation intends to clarify that RMI and spare parts identification information shall also be provided in a machine readable and electronically processable structure. RMI information has often been made available to independent repairers in an unusable format.

FIGIEFA’s aim is that access to in-vehicle data remains possible, with the issue to be swiftly addressed in 2018 by the EU Council.

Hartmut Röhl, FIGIEFA president said: “The new vehicle type-approval and its RMI legislation, once approved, will represent a step forward and will have a positive impact for the entire automotive aftermarket and mobility services industries.

“However, the EU Commission must now find a solution on how to address the telematics access to the ‘connected car’, and we call upon it to start working in 2018 on the interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access platform.”

Full story: AfterMarketOnline

Car data and who has access?

There is much discussion around at the moment about access to car data and talk of the DLC being removed.

There are genuine arguments on all sides of course but the danger of unauthorised access is very real – particularly as we automate the driving further.

Here is some useful information from http://cardatafacts.eu/vehicle-data-available-service-providers/ which is part of www.acea.be

Interested service providers will be able to access the vehicle data they need through a secure remote server, on the basis of a contract with the vehicle manufacturer.

In addition, independently-managed neutral servers can be set up to make vehicle data readily available to interested third parties without the need to sign a contract with the manufacturer of a car, van, truck or bus. These servers are totally ‘neutral’, meaning that they are neither operated nor financed by the manufacturers but by an independent party. Of course, these neutral server operators are required to implement state of the art security and data protection measures.

Various companies have already shown an interest in setting up such independently-managed servers. IBM, for example, recently launched a service to make vehicle data accessible through their cloud platform to parties that want to develop new and innovative services.

The neutral server will also facilitate data access, in particular for small and medium-sized companies, by offering multi-brand data access on one server, rather than obliging them to use multiple servers of individual manufacturers.

Moreover, the neutral server ensures customer choice. With a neutral server, vehicle users are free to obtain services from the vehicle manufacturer, his network of authorised repairers or any other service provider of their choice.

Service providers can have fair and reasonable access to the data they need to offer their services to vehicle users. That includes independent repair shops, fleet operators, insurance companies, etc. Any information that is available to the vehicle manufacturer’s network of authorised repairers will be made available on the same conditions to independent third parties that offer competing services: the same type, amount and quality of data, at the same time, at the same price.

This concept for the transfer of vehicle-generated data ensures access in a fully transparent and anonymised manner. That is, the neutral server enables service providers (as well as the exact services they offer) to remain unknown to the vehicle manufacturer. Thus, it contributes to innovation and allows fair and open competition.

PTC Heater

BorgWarner has announced that it will supply its high-voltage positive temperature coefficient (PTC) cabin heating technology for an unspecified new EV model from a global automaker.

BorgWarner’s technology is designed to provide rapid cabin heating while making the most efficient possible use of energy in order to conserve battery power.

Unlike legacy vehicles, EVs don’t generate a significant source of waste heat that can be used to heat the cabin. BorgWarner’s high-voltage cabin heater relies on ceramic PTC components to warm the air stream coming from the blower. It self-regulates to ensure that high-power heating is available in cold temperatures, when it is needed most. As temperatures rise and heating demand decreases, the energy level is automatically reduced.

The heater offers up to 7 kW of power, provides dual-zone functionality for increased efficiency, and boasts nearly silent operation.

Source: BorgWarner

48V Hybrid Battery

Press release from Bosch:

Bosch’s new 48-volt battery for hybrids is in demand by automakers across the globe. Similar to the Bosch e-axle, this innovative 48-volt battery is standardized for easy integration into new vehicle models. Established manufacturers and start-ups alike can thus eliminate long and expensive development processes. “Bosch is an incubator of electromobility. We help manufacturers reduce their development times and launch their products faster,” says Dr. Rolf Bulander, chairman of the Bosch Mobility Solutions business sector and member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. This means that installation of the lithium-ion battery will benefit not only compact cars, but mini- and microcars as well. Production of the battery is scheduled to start in late 2018. Anticipating a large market for entry-level hybrids, Bosch offers other powertrain components for these models in addition to the 48-volt battery. The company estimates that some 15 million 48-volt hybrid vehicles will be on the road by 2025.


 

Automakers everywhere – whether in China, Europe, or North America – are all striving to cut CO2 emissions, which in practice means reducing cars’ fuel consumption. Bosch has systematically designed its new 48-volt battery to do precisely that. For instance, the lithium-ion cells Bosch uses are as compact as possible while still achieving a reduction in CO2. The 48-volt battery is in high demand, particularly among Chinese manufacturers, and the lithium-ion unit is poised to become a global success. Bosch is already in talks with over a dozen customers and has secured a considerable number of production projects.

The secret of the battery’s success is its sophisticated concept, which offers a comparatively inexpensive way to help reduce vehicle CO2 emissions. This is also due to the product design, as the battery requires no active cooling and its housing is made of plastic, not metal. Both these factors bring costs down still further. The plastic housing presents a real challenge, as lithium-ion cells expand when the battery is charging and over the course of the unit’s service life. As a result, the housing must withstand a certain amount of stress. Bosch engineers rearranged the cells in the 48-volt battery so that even plastic housing can bear the pressure.

With its new battery, Bosch is playing a key role in making the 48-volt hybrid affordable for the mass market.

Wireless electric car charging testing using a Renault Kangoo Z.E.

It’s long been an inspiring futuristic concept: electric cars that can recharge continuously at speed, driving along roadways with built-in inductive charging.

Think a modern-day version of slot cars, but at 1:1 scale.

Now French automaker Renault has demonstrated a prototype of just such a system, briefly recharging one of its electric cars at 60 miles per hour.

The French automaker that builds more electric cars than any other European maker partnered with electronics company Qualcomm to develop what it calls a “dynamic wireless electric-vehicle charging” system.

The prototype demonstrated last week allowed charging at up to 20 kilowatts at speeds up to 100 km/h (62 mph) and higher.

The demonstration cars were a pair of Renault Kangoo ZE electric small delivery vans, shown on a test track in Versailles, near Paris.

Qualcomm and a French firm, Vedecom, installed the charging equipment in the test track.

Renault, meanwhile, modified its electric vans with the system that permitted wireless charging.

The goal of the tests, the companies said, is to assess the “operation and efficiency of energy transfer to the vehicles for a wide range of practical scenarios.”

Among the communications between vehicle and track are those that identify the vehicle and authorize it to begin charging, negotiate over the level of power to be provided, and keep the vehicle aligned on the charging strip at an appropriate speed.

The test is part of a 9-million-euro project known as Fabric, partly funded by the European Union, to evaluate the technology feasibility, business models, and sustainability of wireless on-road charging.

Fabric began in January 2014, and will continue through the end of this year; it’s made up of 25 partners from nine European countries.