APMEN is pleased to conduct an interview with Amine Kamel, Head of Urban Mobility Projects and Autonomous Driving at Bosch Southeast Asia to gain his insights on innovative solutions for vehicles and the future of the automotive landscape.
Q: WHAT IS THE MOST FULFILLING ASPECT OF BEING A PART OF BOSCH?
AMINE KAMEL (AK): Digital transformation is shaping the economic, technological, and social dimensions of the world we live in. Digitization will have deep implications in the corporate world and will define the winners of tomorrow. Today our company is engaged in a deep transformation leading to new business areas, business models as well as products and services. Such changes are historically the norm. Over the years, Bosch has continually been striving to be a catalyst for innovation and transformation. It is very exciting to be in the middle of the next wave and to be able to shape it.
We see how our technologies are tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time, such as population growth and urbanisation, to ensure a more sustainable living for all. This is in line with our mission as a company: to create solutions that are Invented for Life. We strive to make life better with practical technologies that eliminate pain points and pave the way for an improved quality of life for people and societies. That to me, is deeply rewarding and purposeful – and I am glad to be part of a team that makes this mission a reality.
Q: TELL US ABOUT THE SLIDING MITIGATION RESEARCH PROJECT AND WHAT PROGRESS IT HAS MADE THUS FAR.
AK: The sliding mitigation research project is something we embarked on to address an issue that is more serious and common widely perceived.
We realised that motorcyclists have practically no chance of righting their bikes in the event that their wheels begin to slide sideways if they can no longer apply sufficient lateral force in a curve. This is often caused by wet leaves, an oil spill, or gravel on the road surface, or everyday occurrences that motorists have to contend with.
Through this project, we aim to provide a solution which keeps the motorcycle on track and considerably reduces the risk of a fall. Essentially, sliding mitigation works through sensors, which detects sideways motion when the wheel slips. In such an instance, if a certain value is exceeded, gas is released from a gas accumulator of the type used in passenger-car airbags, which then flows into the tank adapter and is vented in a certain direction through a nozzle. This reverse thrust thereafter helps to keep the motorcycle on track.
Q: WHY IS MOTORCYCLE ABS TECHNOLOGY SO IMPORTANT?
AK: Our Motorcycle Anti-raking System (ABS) was designed to support the rider while braking, even if they encounter slippery roads and hard braking. This technology is crucial because according to our accident research study, we found that around 1 in 4 of all relevant accidents could be prevented if every powered two-wheeler was equipped with ABS. We recognise the importance of the technology in facilitating safer riding, significantly reducing the risk of falling and stopping distance by ensuring vehicle stability and optimal deceleration while braking.
We see motorcycle ridership on the rise – by 2021, approximately 160 million two-wheelers will be produced annually, with 90 percent of them built in the Asia Pacific region, particularly in China, India, and Southeast Asia. With the increase in production, it also presents the challenges of ridership – each year, 21,000 fatal bike accidents occur in Indonesia and Thailand.
As a result, motorcycle ABS is becoming standard in many countries. Currently, we see this in the European Union, applying to all newly registered vehicles from the beginning of 2017 as well as in Japan and India, and in Taiwan from 2019.
Q: COULD YOU IDENTIFY SOME OF THE DISRUPTIVE TRENDS THAT BOSCH IS AIMING TO TRANSFORM THE AUTO INDUSTRY WITH IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?
AK: One that I would like to highlight would be Autonomous Driving – this rising technology is set to be one of the biggest drivers of change in the mobility sector, not only helping to ease congestion but also to make mobility much safer for both riders and pedestrians.
An autonomous vehicle contains several innovative technologies. First, the car has to sense its environment using camera, radar, LIDAR and ultrasonic sensors. The vehicle has then toreconstruct the perceived environment and make sense of it. This implies the use of advanced deterministic software as well as artificial intelligence (AI). Finally the vehicle has to act based on these finding for example by steering and breaking. At Bosch we are one of very few companies in the world that master all three worlds: sensing, interpreting and acting.
Once again, automation in mobility is more than a buzzword, it has a huge safety benefit – if a critical safety function – such as steering or braking – fails. We require always another independent system that is ready to take over. We think that these innovations bring us closer to accident-free driving, changing the future of mobility.
Q: WHAT’S YOUR GUT FEELING ABOUT THE OUTLOOK FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2018 AND 2019?
AK: In the months and years to come, we expect to see a ramp-up of Smart Mobility initiatives across the world, and in the region. In fact, cities suffer from major problems such as pollution and congestion, which need to be tackled using new mobility solutions. Today, governments are working on creating the right regulation framework and eco-system for such solutions to be tested and commercialised. An excellent example for that is the ongoing autonomous driving initiative driven by Singaporean government.
Developing reliable autonomous vehicles will require several years of effort. On the way, we will see sub-solutions tested and implemented such as connected parking, advanced driver assistant functions as well as intelligent fleet management systems.