When it comes to developing and validating new braking systems, Bosch development engineers have a mountain of data to process and evaluate. To make that more streamlined and efficient, they are using Bosch IoT Insights, the cloud service for data management from the Bosch IoT Suite. As a project manager at Bosch.IO (formerly Bosch Software Innovations), I was involved in Bosch’s winter testing program in Sweden for the first time this year. It was an ideal opportunity to experience at first hand how it all works.
Conditions are harsh on Vaitoudden, a Swedish peninsula in the Lapland region: mountains of snow, acres of ice, and freezing temperatures as low as minus 32° Celsius. This is where Bosch carries out its winter testing each year, from the beginning of November to the end of March. Vehicles, their systems, and functions are all put through their paces under extreme conditions on special tracks prepared on snow-covered ground and a frozen lake. These tests yield valuable data and customer feedback that then help engineers to enhance products even further. Winter testing therefore forms a key part of the development program at Bosch.
When I arrived, what struck me first was the special atmosphere and the incredibly focused development work being carried out here. Bosch has more than 200 people from development, calibration, workshop, and sales and marketing here in Lapland, as well as associates from other Bosch divisions. In total, there are 17 highly demanding test tracks on the Vaitoudden peninsula, with a combined length of 32 kilometers. Demonstration events for major automakers involve around 20 test vehicles showcasing anything up to 25 different product features.
Bosch has been conducting endurance and cold-weather tests for its braking systems here for around 40 years now. Compared to the early days, the degree of connectivity in the development and validation of components and systems is now much higher. The key reason for this is the increasing complexity of driver assistance and braking systems, which generates ever-greater volumes of data. Staying on top of this increasing complexity poses a big challenge for development engineers. Bosch’s response has been to turn to cloud-based solutions for data management. This shortens development cycles, streamlines the validation process, and helps guarantee a high-quality product.
And this is where Bosch IoT Insights enters the frame. Our cloud service from the Bosch IoT Suite is used to gather, process, and store all the relevant data. Thanks to Bosch IoT Insights, engineers can analyze and evaluate data in the Bosch IoT Cloud quickly, accurately, and practically in real time. This makes it possible to predict failures more reliably and also to provide appropriate software updates – which means that connected braking systems in vehicles are able to react more rapidly and safely in dangerous situations.
In a new addition, Bosch IoT Insights now also comprises a master data management feature. Bosch needs to manage and track its fleet of test vehicles throughout the year. A new visualization widget was developed for winter testing in Lapland. This meant that customers and Bosch associates were able to track in real time the location of demonstration vehicles via a map display.
More efficient validation
At the end of six days, the moment had come to call time on my Swedish adventure. Customers of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division had traveled from right around the world in order to be in Vaitoudden. They were all delighted by the range of products and technical solutions on show – not to mention the professional organization.
Feedback from development engineers in Sweden was unanimous: using Bosch IoT Insights to process and analyze data simplifies validation and accelerates the development process. They found two features to be especially useful: the ability to visualize signal values and data from the braking system; and the fact that, unlike other systems, every authorized user can access the web application. In other words, version conflicts are now a thing of the past.
Despite the cold, it was great to be able to see our products live in action – and to return home with the knowledge that we, along with Bosch IoT Insights, are also contributing towards the success of winter testing.