The trend toward software-defined mobility goes hand in hand with a centralized vehicle and electric/electronic (E/E) architecture. While numerous electronic control units usually control different functions in the car today, in the future just a few central vehicle computers will unite multiple system functions from previously separate domains. To do this, new computers with a powerful processor, known as a system on chip (SoC), are necessary.
As an innovation and technology leader, Bosch is leading the charge and, at CES® 2024 in Las Vegas, will be the world’s first automotive supplier to demonstrate the fusion of infotainment and driver assistance functions in a software-intensive central computer on a single SoC. “We want to reduce the complexity of the electronics systems in cars and make them as secure as possible at the same time. With this demonstration of our new vehicle computer platform at CES, we are taking an important step in exactly this direction. Our goal in the medium term is to bring even more automated driving functions to the road, including to the compact and midsized car segments,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH and chairman of Bosch Mobility.
At the core of the new vehicle computer from Bosch – called the cockpit & ADAS integration platform – is a single SoC, which processes a variety of functions from the two domains of infotainment and driver assistance simultaneously. This includes, for example, automated parking and lane detection, paired with smart, personalized navigation and voice assistance. Advantages for vehicle manufacturers: less space and cabling required, meaning lower costs.
“Central vehicle computers are the heart of software-defined cars. In the future, they will control all the domains in modern vehicles and reduce the currently high number of individual control units”
says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH and chairman of Bosch Mobility.
Overall, Bosch is already doing good business with vehicle computers: in 2026, the company expects sales revenue of three billion euros just for vehicle computers for infotainment and driver assistance.
Modular system principle for maximum scalability
For its central vehicle computers, Bosch uses a modular system principle. Together with stand-alone software solutions such as video perception for surround sensing, vehicle manufacturers can modularly and scalably assemble their individual solutions in combination with hardware components. Software-intensive central computers play a decisive role here, since they enable manufacturers to implement driving and assistance features. Software integration is in strong demand here. Bosch brings integrative expertise and enables software components from various sources to be combined.
Bosch knowledge in all vehicle domains as a competitive advantage
Nearly every vehicle maker in the world is currently investing massively in software-defined vehicles. Bosch predicts that the market for automotive software will reach a volume of around 200 billion euros by 2030. In the field of vehicle computers for infotainment and driver assistance systems, the company expects a market volume of 32 billion euros in 2030. Bosch’s advantage is its extensive knowledge in all vehicle domains. This means that the company is an expert not just for software but also for hardware, and develops and manufactures key components of modern vehicles, such as for drives, brakes, steering, infotainment, and automated driving, under one roof.
Bosch’s approach allows maximum flexibility
Bosch pursues what is known as a multi-SoC approach. The company’s new vehicle computers are designed so that the required SoCs can come from different chip manufacturers. Therefore, depending on the customer’s wishes, Bosch can use exactly the SoC that is requested. “Our software runs on chips from different manufacturers. This allows software and hardware to be decoupled from each other,” says Heyn. Bosch is one of the few companies that can develop a centralized electronic architecture from start to finish and has mastered the interplay of automotive electronics, software, and the cloud. New features, such as for driver assistance, are simply and easily sent to the car through over-the-air updates. This provides drivers with a personalized digital driving experience – even long after purchasing the car.