Future of Mobility Summit gets cities moving

At Bosch Australia’s Clayton headquarters, industry and government representatives explored the future of urban movement.

Termed the Future of Mobility Summit, the event was part of the Victorian 2019 Digital Innovation Festival and brought together speakers from industry including Bosch, Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Volgren, Audi, as well as Matt Lowe from the Victorian government.

“The future will be electric, connected, automated and multimodal,” said Bosch Oceania president, Gavin Smith.

A key theme at the summit was the impact of automation on the automotive industry, as Bosch and others explore how cars will guide and navigate with minimal human input. Bosch has so far been able to test its automated systems on rural roads in Victoria, where fatal crashes occur five times more often than in cities.

Within these vehicles, the interfaces between humans and machines will have to communicate complex information simply and efficiently through effective visualisation operated through intuitive, user-focussed design.

Beyond individual transportation, the summit also explored how goods and groups of people will be transported by driverless shuttles, particularly in urban areas.

Driving these technological advancements will be changes to the powertrain of vehicles, whether that be through full electrification or fuel cells powered by renewable hydrogen. At the Summit Bosch explained its partnership with Swedish company Powercell, and how it is working to commercialise a fuel-cell stack that converts hydrogen into electrical energy.

Mobility need not only occur on four wheels, however, and part of the summit inquired into the growing popularity of electric bicycles, both for recreation and commuting.

The summit also was an opportunity for Bosch to demonstrate its commitment to local manufacturing in the region. Bosch employs 1,400 associates across Oceania, 230 of which are research and development positions.

“Oceania continues to be an important region for Bosch. We anticipate an increased demand for our products and services due to our expanding portfolio of automated and connected technology,” said Gavin Smith.