Right time, right place
Bosch has long been at the forefront of this new wave of technology. By 2025, every product will either have intelligence itself or AI will play a key role in its development.
On the road in particular, the next generations of cameras will make a huge difference, both inside and outside our cars. Vehicles will be capable of recognizing their surroundings, including road users, different road surfaces and signs. And thanks to AI, these multipurpose cameras will be able to predict the behavior of road users, so, for example, they can work out the potential danger for and from pedestrians according to their body movements, and work out whether someone is about to step out into the road.
And when things go wrong smart connected cameras will help with finding and fixing issues and providing maintenance.
“We’re working on a solution like an Ipad camera with software that allows you to “see” under the bonnet of cars,” says Ralf Mårtensson, Business Development Manager, Nordic. “So, you can run your own diagnostics to sort out mechanical problems and if you can’t fix it yourself, they will be help mechanics solve problems on the roadside and help you get on with your journey.”
One step beyond
Beyond the automotive sector, residential applications, from smart ovens to security systems also represent an area of great potential, Mårtensson adds.
“Today, we can imagine cameras that are connected and can see under or behind surfaces. For example, we can “see” through walls, so you’ll know if there’s a cable or other obstacles before you drill into it. In future, on the back of machine learning, smart devices and robots will see, understand, make their own decisions and take actions, rather than today, where we get the information and base our actions upon that.”
In the Nordics meanwhile, on top of its own production, Bosch also participates in the Software Center in Sweden (https://www.software-center.se). This academic collaboration brings together several engineering and research partners with the aim of driving the AIoT sector forward.
The human factor
But while possibilities may seem endless, other factors must also come into play, not least ethical considerations and the need to build an element of trust into AI. “People and organizations will have to act responsibly over how we go forward,” says Mårtensson. “100 years ago, we had no internet, no public databases where you can see where your neighbor works and how much they earn and so on. My point is that the small steps will be accepted instead of the “giant leap” immediately.
It’s an opinion shared by Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner who proclaimed, “We have to not only develop AI, but build trust in AI as well.” This philosophy helped form the backbone of the company’s strict code of ethics around this sensitive area. Ultimately, the human angle is paramount, regardless of the technology. While we are creating robots to harmonize our work, humans will always need to take care of human capabilities and robots take care of technical issues. In other words, humans will always have to be at the centre. As Robert Bosch once said, “Robots should be our tools. They should be an extension of our capabilities and they should serve our purposes.”
From ensuring cleaner air in our offices to leaving our cars to park themselves, we know that AIoT will create new markets, help protect the environment and fundamentally change what we know as our everyday. But how, and just how much is really the question. Back to the original point, we may not know exactly where we are heading, but with the help of AIoT we can be safe in the knowledge that we will have the technology to point us in the right direction.
*2021 Global AIoT Developer Ecology White Paper” – Graffiti Intelligence and Gartner