The new unit combines the company’s resources in software, electrics and electronics development from the areas of driver assistance and automated driving, car multimedia as well as powertrain and body electronics under one roof.
Vehicle computers are a fast-growing market - Bosch is talking about a total market of currently 20 billion euros and a growth rate of 15 percent per year. The market is driven by car manufacturers' efforts to replace the numerous electronic control units (ECUs) scattered throughout the car with more centralised domain computers and, eventually, a central computer. This will result in electronics accounting for up to 30 percent of the vehicle's value in the future - today, the value of all chips and sensors combined amounts to just 10 percent of the vehicle's value.
The centralisation of computer functions is also part of Bosch's strategy: the company, which has so far provided specialised ECUs and driver assistance systems as well as the associated sensors and actuators, intends to soon also produce central computers for cockpit functions and body electronics. To this end, Bosch is relying on a scalable modular approach that can be tailored to all requirements from small cars to premium vehicles.
In doing so, Bosch is careful not to go too far out on a limb by committing itself to certain strategic partners and thereby possibly giving away market potential. "We work with all relevant semiconductor manufacturers," a company spokeswoman confirmed. In any case, the choice of chip suppliers in this computer league is quite clear; at best, there are only a handful of suppliers such as NXP, Nvidia, Renesas or Texas Instruments. Unlike competitors, Bosch avoids the impression to be too closely aligned to one partner. “It always depends on the customer”, the spokeswoman said.