Bosch Innovative Car HMI
The Innovative Car HMI Program emerged in 2015 and is the result of the partnership between University of Minho and Bosch recognized since 2012. In the present Fibrenamics’ newsletter edition we have interviewed António J. Pontes, Program Director for IC-HMI Partnership, in order to know the outline of this program, which aims to “help to build the future of industry and motor vehicle mobility”.
What is the Innovative Car HMI program?
The partnership between Bosch and the University of Minho has opened a new path in the relationship between industry and educational institutions. The first Human Machine Interface Excellence Program (HMIExcel) has had a great national and international impact and its results, applications and innovations are at the level of what the best is being done in Europe and in the World. This partnership has already allowed the development of highly innovative technologies of extreme relevance for the automotive multimedia sector, including the development of new processes, products and solutions that allow the reinforcement and entry into new markets. The HMIExcel Program allowed the Bosch branch in Braga to accomplish its first patent applications at the National Institute of Industrial Property, reaching an important pattern in the company’s history in Portugal.
Following the success achieved, the R & D + I partnership between Bosch and the University of Minho has evolved to a new program called Innovative Car HMI, which is the result of two applications: INNOVCAR and iFACTORY. The main objective of INNOVCAR is the creation of knowledge and technologies to convert into global innovations in the future automotive solutions, potentiating the way to “zero vision”. The iFACTORY feature is based on an integrated innovation strategy that involves the research and development of new materials and devices for quality control, industrialization, manufacturing and set management and its main objectives are the generation of scientific and technological advances translated into a whole of processes, systems and tools that can give a high degree of flexibility and quality to the main operations related to the different phases of the industrialization projects at the Bosch branch in Braga.
How did you come up with the idea of creating this project?
With innovation as one of the cornerstones of its business culture, Bosch established a strategic partnership with UMinho in July 2012 to take a leading position within the group having in mind its industrialization capabilities and the development of the most advanced systems and components for the automobile of the future, in order to distinguish Bosch with International Competence in HMI (Human Machine Interface) within the Car Multimedia division in 2020.
The first steps in this direction were made through an unprecedented R & D & I investment in Portugal (approximately € 19 million) through the HMIExcel project, an analysis R & D around the development and production cycle of advanced multimedia solutions for automobiles, completed in June 2015. The results obtained are known in terms of relevance, solutions developed, patents registered and scientific-technological employment generated, as well as the affirmation of the Bosch factory in Braga in the development of world reference technology.
The Car Multimedia division intends to continue to be at the forefront of tomorrow’s automotive solutions and, in turn, Bosch intends to reinforce its position within the group, in order to continue to attract industrialization projects for the next automobile of the future’s solutions generations, and above all, to affirm itself as a source of creation of knowledge and technology made in Portugal.
How is the work developed by Bosch HMI related to the philosophy of Industry 4.0?
The Bosch Group was one of the founders of the philosophy of Industry 4.0, originated from Germany, being in its genesis from the beginning. Therefore, the activities and projects in progress under the iFACTORY program are based on an integrated innovation strategy that involves the research and development of new materials and devices for quality control, industrialization, manufacturing and plant management. The main objectives include the generation of scientific and technological advances to bring about a set of processes, systems and tools that can give a high degree of flexibility and quality to the main operations related to the different phases of the industrialization projects at the Bosch plant in Braga. In addition, the work will contribute to the design and development of intelligent materials and devices for quality control, industrialization, manufacturing and plant management; quality control tools; digital manufacturing processes and logistics systems.
What projects are being developed under this program?
The Innovative Car HMI program is based on two innovation projects — INNOVCAR and iFACTORY —, which began in July 2015. These are two major projects that seem irrefutable in building the knowledge-based future and will involve the hiring of more of 260 researchers and 54.7 million euros of investment, in the search for 30 new design solutions, systems and tools, namely:
Currently, 30 projects are being developed under INNOVCAR and iFACTORY.
What results are expected in the long term?
The UMinho / Bosch partnership, well-known by now as a national strategic interest partnership, has already allowed the development of projects related to Human Machine Interface (HMI), contributing to the development of products and solutions that opened new perspectives to the mobility of the automobile. This partnership allowed us to join and put in interaction two teams from two different worlds (academic and industrial), which is per se a huge challenge, beyond which has become the key to success.
The University of Minho is already recognized internationally for its capacity for innovation and production of knowledge and, when combined with an international reference company such as Bosch, expectations can never be less than trying to achieve excellence in the developed work, trying to accomplish the high-powered innovation. The partnership has already generated a very important socio-economic impact, assigning by now the creation of dozens of highly qualified jobs, ensuring the coming out of a new paradigm in the relations between University-Industry. The achieved results have exceeded in many dimensions all the initial expectations of the Partnership, by transferring scientific knowledge from the University of Minho to Bosch Car Multimedia, which has allowed the company to have a new competitive profile where creativity and innovation take on an important role.
The initial project HMIExcel was one of the largest and most ambitious research and technological development projects in Portugal, with an investment of 19 million euros; it allowed the registration of 12 patents and the publication of 32 scientific articles and the recruitment of more than 40 engineers to Bosch and about 100 research fellows to the University of Minho. It is worth mentioning that the partnership was fundamental for the Bosch Car Multimedia factory in Braga to have carried out its first application for industrial patent submission in the company’s history.
After the success of HMIExcel, the partnership has made history again with the signing of the largest R & D + I contract ever made in Portugal. Between 2015 and 2018, the Innovative Car HMI Program is reckoning upon a total investment of 54.7 million euros, looking forward to the generation of 22 patents and 72 scientific publications, counting on the collaboration of more than 400 people involved, among about half of which are research fellowships contracted by the University of Minho.
This long-term project will allow the University of Minho to strengthen its capacity to produce consolidated knowledge and state-of-the-art innovation according to the industry goals, which will also allow its students to end up more and more prepared and confident for the challenges that lie ahead in the labour market.
For all this, we are convinced that this partnership is a successful one. Together we are building the industry and the car mobility future.