Manufacturing giant Bosch has found its voice getting increasingly louder when it comes to digitisation and the Internet of Things (IoT) – and now the company is advocating distributed ledger technologies as key to restoring trust online.
Bosch spent two days last week hosting its ConnectedWorld event in Berlin, and in the aftermath the company touted it was at the ‘next milestone’ on the road to becoming a global IoT supplier. Indeed, achieving the next step was a theme not just for Bosch but for the industry at large, with the event’s tagline being ‘from the Internet of Things to the economy of things.’
This desire to integrate blockchain and IoT can be seen in two recent initiatives focused around electric car charging and smart parking management respectively. The first, a partnership with energy provider EnBW, enables customers to select, reserve and pay for recharging services with the process fully automated on the blockchain, while the second, put together alongside Siemens, will aim to help solidify the automation process around parking.
“In the future, DLT will make parking considerably less of a chore,” the company wrote. “Cars will communicate directly with parking facilities in their vicinity and negotiate the best terms. As soon as the car reaches the entrance to the chosen parking garage, it will identify itself at the entry barrier, which will then be raised without the driver having to remove a ticket from the dispenser. The driver will also be able to leave the parking garage without further ado, since the vehicles will have already communicated with the exit barrier and settled the parking fee in a virtual transaction.”
This all sounds very grand, and can be ultimately seen as one part – if successful of course – of this utopian vision of a smart city which also encompasses fully driverless cars, smart traffic management, connected buildings, and much more. Bosch does however appear to be aware of this element, and is looking towards various standards bodies for assistance in joining the dots. Last week saw the first meeting of eight associations, including the IEEE, ETSI and the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) to explore how to build and safeguard trust in digital systems.
Bosch has had a particularly strong game when it comes to pushing out its IoT-ness this year. In January, the company launched its ‘Like a Bosch’ advert to great success – 22 million views and a 95% like rate is almost unheard of for a B2B campaign – with the ‘clear message’ of the campaign being ‘where the Internet of Things is concerned, all roads lead to Bosch’, in the words of head of brand management Boris Dolkhani.
The link between IoT and blockchain is a strong one – a recent industry report tallied the combined market at more than £2.3 billion by 2024 – but ultimately the need to assuage fear in consumers is a driving force. “We cannot accept a situation in which the overwhelming reaction to digital innovations is mistrust and fear,” said Dr. Michael Bolle, Bosch CDO and CTO.
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this? Attend the IoT Tech Expo World Series events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London, and Amsterdam.