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Computer animation of the SF Shipyard

California dreamin’

The SF Shipyard project in San Francisco is putting smart urban living to the test

Reading time: 10 minutes

California has long been a place that inspires big dreams. After the gold rush in the 19th century, the state is now home to the digital gold rush. Today, “future history” is being written in a former shipyard in San Francisco – with the help of Bosch technology.

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I see you, San Francisco – the SF Shipyard

On a vantage point atop a hill next to San Francisco Bay, a man looks through a telescope
The “Overlook” vantage point offers a view of San Francisco Bay

Twelve thousand homes plus restaurants, shops, offices, parks, and an entire boulevard for innovative companies: SF Shipyard creates an impression of openness, connectivity, and sustainability. A sign proclaiming “Welcome, visionaries” stands at the entrance to the first residential streets, with houses that already have people living in them.

A glimpse into the future of smart living is afforded by one of those hefty coin-operated binocular viewers that have been around since the last century. Mounted on a pedestal, it swings 360 degrees to the left or right. This vantage point atop a hill next to San Francisco Bay is named, appropriately enough, “Overlook.” To the left is downtown, and the international airport is a few inlets over to the right. It’s prime real estate for building, the last such parcel within the city limits, and it covers an area larger than Monaco. Directly ahead is a huge gantry, a vestige of the sprawling shipyards that gave this area its name. The steel giant remains as a symbol of the city’s industrial might.

Smart dreamin’

Sign at the welcome center: The San Francisco Shipyard Established 1870
Lennar’s welcome center at the heart of the SF Shipyard

The term “smart living” has been coined to describe what happens when technology – and in particular, internet-based services – becomes so interwoven with everyday life that at some point, there’s no way to separate the two. “Modern communities define themselves via technology,” says Kofi Bonner, regional president of community developer FivePoint. “Connected technology is everywhere. It’s what drives us. And the way people use it is going to change. We’re paving the way for this.” FivePoint is a spin-off of Lennar Corporation, one of the biggest real-estate builders in the United States. For 15 years, they have been working together to build the city of the future on this brownfield site. The dream that Kofi Bonner is helping to shape is one of attractive, intelligent urban living – sustainable, flexible, and connected.

Expectations are high. Not just because the project is worth eight billion dollars, but also because of the pace of progress. Anything planned today has to meet people’s demands and the technological requirements of the future. Hence the project slogan: Creativity, Curiosity, Community.

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Kofi Bonner on the SF Shipyard project

Bosch comes to the Bay

On the SF Shipyard site, a construction worker carries trashcans across the road
Nearly ready for occupation: a row of houses at the SF Shipyard

Anyone who wants to build and sell houses and solutions now or in the future has to anticipate what lies ahead. It’s a balancing act that calls for a partner who doggedly and repeatedly pushes the boundaries of their own thinking: from smart solutions to the smart home, from the smart community to the smart city. Bosch develops such solutions and services and connects them: not just the products, but increasingly the services as well. Today, technology means more than simply offering new functions; smart living is an all-inclusive, integrated approach. As Bonner looks back on the first year of this collaboration, he says, “It’s better for us to be working with one partner instead of with many individual companies. I can tell that Bosch recognizes what potential this project offers.”

Computer animation of the project SF Shipyard in San Francisco
Computer animation: aerial perspective of the SF Shipyard project
Computer animation of the project SF Shipyard in San Francisco
Computer animation: aerial perspective of the SF Shipyard project
Computer animation of the project SF Shipyard in San Francisco
Computer animation: aerial perspective of the SF Shipyard project

Connected by smart technology

Motorcyclist in front of a completed house at SF Shipyard
Already occupied: completed houses at the SF Shipyard

Another thing that makes Bosch so attractive for companies such as FivePoint is the breadth of its services and areas of activity. Among these are the connecting of ideas, visions, and experiences — of bids, projects, and products. Some are still in the pilot phase, while others are ready for large-scale production. The two companies fit together like pieces of a puzzle. They are driven by a willingness to learn from one another, to continuously improve, take advice, work closely together, and be constantly innovative. But beyond this expertise, the vice president of community operations Sheryl McKibben was ultimately won over by the fact that “Bosch, too, understands the importance of focusing on the customer. We're not just building houses, we’re concerned with people and their lives. This is a sensitive area that has to be handled carefully and with a sense of responsibility. What’s more, the construction business has changed: where before you needed mortar, now you have smart technology as the glue that holds it all together.”

The future of smart living

Bosch can help make many of these possibilities for smart living reality. Some have already been tried and tested, while others are still being piloted.

The SF Shipyard app on a smartphone

Community app

Community app: customized connectivity at SF Shipyard

The SF Shipyard smart community app, which was developed by Bosch Software Innovations together with FivePoint and features technology provided by the start-up Flybits, communicates information in real time about what’s going on in the SF Shipyard. This includes a schedule of the shuttle buses into the city, special deals in the local shops, alerts and other notices from the community.

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The SF Shipyard app on a smartphone
Shopping mall as seen by a security camera

Retail solutions

Security systems for the retail sector

A sense of safety and security when shopping is more than a mere feeling. Bosch offers multiple digital solutions in this area, many of which could be used in the shopping mall planned for the Shipyard site. The smart community app for smartphones will play a key role here. Other promising options include security systems for retail units and for more complex shopping and entertainment centers.

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Shopping mall as seen by a security camera
Micro-climate Monitoring and Sensing System by Bosch

Micro-climate monitoring system

Micro-climate monitoring: a system for good air

How clean is the air in your neighborhood? This is just one of the questions that the micro-climate monitoring system’s database can answer. Right at the beginning of the project, it is being used to monitor air quality during construction work. Having the right analysis and receiving predictive tips or warnings make it easier for residents to plan their daily activities.

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Micro-climate Monitoring and Sensing System by Bosch
The web-enabled air/water-heatpump Supraeco SAO-2 from Junkers

Energy solutions for ecodistricts

Energy solutions: efficient heat pumps and control sensors

Internet connectivity helps make Bosch Thermotechnology heat pumps and control sensors efficient. This efficiency matches the ecological approach taken by FivePoint, and helps reduce emissions and make energy management more intelligent.

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The web-enabled air/water-heatpump Supraeco SAO-2 from Junkers
Screenshot from the mobility app Polygo

Mobility solutions

Mobility solutions: one service-card for all

Easily navigating public transit with just one service card is part of the dream of seamless future mobility. All this could be taken care of by database or software solutions provided by Bosch.

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Screenshot from the mobility app Polygo
Tablet showing a vehicle and the additional information provided by augmented reality

Augmented reality

Augmented reality: complex correlations easily explained

Augmented reality can take complex correlations and a wide variety of data and quickly present them in an attractive and graphical way. The Bosch Common Augmented Reality platform, or CAP, is already being used in the automotive industry; with a few modifications, it may well find its way into other engineering areas and the real estate sector.

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Tablet showing a vehicle and the additional information provided by augmented reality
Solarthermic collectors from Bosch installed on a roof

DC microgrid

DC microgrid: self-generated energy

As part of their joint project, Bosch and FivePoint will supply power generated in the Shipyard directly to residents, rather than sending it to the public grid first. Instead of transforming the direct current generated by solar panels into alternating current, it’s put directly to use — a much more efficient method. A Honda factory in California serves as a large-scale model for this project.

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Solarthermic collectors from Bosch installed on a roof
Smartphone showing the app for automated valet parking from Bosch

Parking solutions

Parking solutions: connected driving changes everything

A broad range of Bosch solutions for connected parking will change the way people live and drive – solutions that include active parking lot management and automated valet parking. That’s why construction companies such as FivePoint also have a strong interest in connected mobility solutions.

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Smartphone showing the app for automated valet parking from Bosch
Smartphone showing an app with which the room temperature at home can be contolled

Smart homes

Smart homes: connected convenient living

North America is still awaiting the introduction of Bosch smart-home solutions. These applications would make life in private households more convenient and fit perfectly into the smart homes at the SF Shipyard, where most of the dwellings are already equipped with Bosch home appliances.

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Smartphone showing an app with which the room temperature at home can be contolled
App of Bosch showing the charging stations for electric vehicles on a map

EV charging

EV charging: charging stations at a glance

The adoption of electromobility will depend heavily on the time it takes to charge the vehicle and the availability of charge spots. The better the infrastructure, the greater the benefits. A central role is played here by the kind of smart apps offered by Bosch Software Innovations.

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App of Bosch showing the charging stations for electric vehicles on a map
An associate monitoring security solutions such as cameras, motion detectors, smoke alarms, and access control

Security/connected buildings

Security/connected buildings: control of a platform

Connected buildings offer the greatest possible security with the greatest level of convenience. With its integrated and connected security solutions, Bosch provides both. These solutions include video surveillance systems, access control, alarm signaling, public address and voice alarm systems for evacuation, as well as intrusion alert systems.

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An associate monitoring security solutions such as cameras, motion detectors, smoke alarms, and access control
Mountainbiker on his e-bike off-road

E-bikes/e-scooters

E-Bikes/e-scooters: convenient and eco-friendly

In a city like San Francisco, e-scooters and e-bikes are attractive and convenient solutions that make a lot of sense. For this reason, Bosch has already offered FivePoint tailor-made e-bike solutions as part of a range of ideas for getting around the city.

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Mountainbiker on his e-bike off-road

Summary

The SF Shipyard, a new living and working community in San Francisco, is the epitome of smart living. To make connectivity reality, the community is integrating Bosch technology from a wide variety of divisions.