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Research on digitalization and connectivity

The next stages of digitalization: Connectivity and artificial intelligence

By researching digitalization, connectivity and artificial intelligence (AI), Bosch Research allows secure and efficient digital systems.

Symbol for digitalization and connectivity at Bosch Research: A large connectivity icon with connected circles is shown in the center. The background is blue and shows a server room. Six smaller icons are arranged around the connectivity icon. They represent various aspects of digitalization and connectivity.

From cars to rechargeable screwdrivers, everyday objects nowadays are connected to each other and the Internet and increasingly use artificial intelligence. They communicate with users and with one other. In the process, they connect and synchronize with each other and aggregate the data necessary for operation in accordance with legal requirements. These data can improve the interaction of machines with each other as well as interaction between humans and machines. A similar development is taking place in industrial automation: software-defined manufacturing represents the factory of tomorrow — with production machines that communicate with each other and the entire supply chain.

Digitalization and connectivity are therefore key areas at Bosch — and they build on each other. Bosch Research carries out research in both areas and also develops artificial intelligence methods which only achieve their full potential when combined with digitalization and connectivity. After all, digitalization turns data into information, connectivity makes it available in real time and AI generates knowledge from it.

Together with the Bosch divisions, we combine expertise from the fields of mechanical engineering, electronics and software development to implement digitalization, connectivity and AI solutions — from the idea to the finished product. And we always think one step ahead: we develop new connectivity technologies, define standards for connectivity and work on innovative, data-driven business models — for products and services which make the lives of our customers easier, more comfortable, quicker and safer. All in keeping with our “We innovate for life” mission.

A world of zeros and ones

A key aspect of digitalization is software, which allows ever more complex, faster and more efficient processes and applications in everyday devices as well as machines. Bosch Research is researching ways of making software development per se even more efficient and sharing this methodical knowledge with Bosch business divisions.

In materials simulation and materials research for example, software-based virtual development methods are opening up completely new approaches. Modeling is where virtual engineering and digital development actually begin. In this area, Bosch Research is among other things researching ways of using digital twins and AI solutions to make the virtual development of products and services even more efficient.

Quantum computing is an important next step in digitalization: classic materials simulations often fail as a result of the computers which are simply too slow and do not offer the necessary capacity. Quantum computers in contrast can calculate complex relationships in specific use cases very quickly — in hours or even minutes instead of days or weeks. Bosch Research looks far into the future and is already developing algorithms which can run on quantum computers.

New business models thanks to connectivity

The graphic illustrates Web 3.0 in simplified form: one of the many technologies Bosch Research is researching.
Bosch Research is focusing on new business models and technologies, such as Web 3.0 applications, that enable secure and efficient non-proprietary transaction platforms.

Connecting products with each other and the Internet opens the door to new functions and business models. All electronic Bosch product classes have been connectable since 2022. At Bosch Research, we are carrying out research under the heading of the Economy of Things (EoT). This research looks at digital applications such as automated parking via the Web 3.0 or non-proprietary transaction platforms as part of the “Catena-X” automotive alliance.

New product properties thanks to connectivity

The basis for connected products and services is first and foremost the connectivity technologies into which Bosch Research is carrying out basic research. These include standards such as 5G/6G and mobile networks with much higher transmission rates and lower latency.

Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), physical objects equipped with sensors can exchange data with other devices and systems via the Internet. On the application side, Bosch Research is researching a range of areas including the connectivity of consumer products.

If artificial intelligence (AI) is now added to IoT, the result is AIoT, a closed value creation cycle. This addition enables us to draw the right conclusions from huge amounts of data in seconds and adapt the product development accordingly. This puts the user even more at the center. The AIoT cycle explains exactly how the value creation cycle is structured:

The AIoT cycle consists of four steps – product development, product and customers, data processing and artificial intelligence.

Reliable Distributed Systems (RDS) are the next stage of connectivity and thus also a central field of research at Bosch Research. Essentially, it is a question of moving software functions reliably and in real time between different computers. Depending on the computing power required, these computers can be sited locally in the factory or vehicle or, if necessary, in the edge or cloud.

With Reliable Distributed Systems, Bosch Research bundles together the computing power needed in the Factory of the Future in a central on-premises cloud solution.

Schematic representation of distributed systems for the mobility of the future. The foreground shows cars connected to each other and to cameras via a cloud.
The connected, automated mobility of the future is another area of application for distributed systems. For driving functions that are reliably outsourced by RDS technologies, hardware no longer needs to be kept in the vehicle.

Connectivity plays a key role in the automotive sector too. Connected chips and sensors are the basis for connectivity in vehicles. Communication with the cloud, between vehicles (Car2X) and with infrastructure are all areas of research which Bosch Research is pursuing. RDS comes into play here as well. In the future, they could enable complex, data-intensive operations to be detached from the vehicle and the “embedded device” and executed centrally on a cloud.

Connectivity in industrial automation is becoming more and more important. Under the heading Software-Defined Manufacturing (SDM), Bosch Research bundles together its research work into connected machines and systems as well as connectivity developments in car production for example. These are geared to versatile production lines and supply chain connectivity – enabling a rapid and flexible response to changing product and market requirements as well as fluctuating supply capacities.

Software development with security

Good and secure software is essential for digital and connected products and processes. Bosch Research is researching here too, focusing on “Safety” (operational safety), “Security“ (information security), and “Privacy” (data privacy). The trend towards ever smarter connected devices makes them more susceptible to faults and more vulnerable. As a result, security and privacy solutions are becoming increasingly important. Our research work in this area focuses on verification and validation, the automation of safety and security processes and “privacy preserving computing“, i.e. technologies for data processing which help to maintain privacy.

AI in connectivity and control

Artificial intelligence goes even further into the future. Ongoing digitalization results in data and these data are made available in real time thanks to connectivity. Using these data, AI can then extract and combine knowledge in new ways. Although AI is possible without connectivity, it is the availability of real-time data which allows it to achieve its full potential.

Bosch Research is for example researching learning algorithms. AI can help to identify objects and further improve recognition of patterns and outliers thanks to comprehensive data analyses. The aim is to predict actions and reactions reliably and to recognize anomalies on the basis of such data analyses.

Two experts from Bosch Research, one male and one female, stand in front of a PowerWall, analyzing numbers and graphs shown in various shades of blue and green. One expert turns to the other and stretches her arms upwards in parallel, as if she were explaining something to him. The male expert looks pensively at the PowerWall and also stretches his arm upwards.
With the help of AI, correlations and complex patterns in large quantities of data can be visualized.

AI now permeates all digital applications. This also applies in the private sector — from chat bots to AI-driven text and image recognition or audio classification. And the same is true at Bosch Research: in all areas of research, we use AI to make our systems even smarter.


Bosch Research's research in the areas of digitalization, connectivity and artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly important for the entire Bosch product portfolio and is being used more and more both in development and in the products themselves.

Our research on digitalization and connectivity

The world, seen at night, is connected by a network consisting of technologies such as mobile, 5G and the IoT.

Research on connectivity technologies

Automation, virtual reality and the Internet of Things require high-performance, reliable communication networks. In order to make digital processes fast, reliable and secure, Bosch Research is researching innovative connectivity technologies and working on connectivity standards: Whether it be 6G, conference systems equipped with artificial intelligence or automated driving using vehicle-to-everything connectivity (V2X) for the exchanging of data between vehicles and objects in the near vicinity as well as with the traffic infrastructure.

Virtual engineering, i.e. the development of technical systems, parts and components on the basis of three-dimensional models in digital, virtual space, makes a decisive contribution to shortening development times.

Research on virtualized engineering

Digital processes are changing the way we develop products. A detailed understanding of physical processes and the use of models in virtual space allow technical systems, components and systems to be created more quickly. At Bosch Research, we research solutions and processes for the entire product development process such as the “digital twin”, virtual testing and virtual approvals.

Research on the Internet of Things

Research on Internet of Things

Connected devices make life easier and safer for many people. Bosch Research focuses on people's needs in the areas of living, working, and mobility. This user-centric approach also shapes our idea development. Our solutions include sensors, devices, digital representations of things, and knowledge- and data-based services. The result is intuitive, interactive, and intelligent solutions that enable a seamless user experience for Bosch products and services.

Computer programming with white source code on a blue electronic background.

Research on software development

In today’s world, virtually nothing works without software. It enables us to connect, automate tasks and produce powerful products. Bosch Research is therefore researching software which reacts to changing conditions in real time. Another area of research is looking at how automation helps to efficiently secure, verify and validate self-learning systems. The focus is also on domain-specific modeling and programming languages – also with regard to the use of artificial intelligence.

Research on security and privacy

Research on security and privacy

Thanks to digital connectivity, people and machines can connect. This makes our lives much more comfortable and work easier. But it also means taking on great responsibility because products, systems and services must be secure and data must be protected. At Bosch Research, we develop software and technologies for security and data privacy: From automatic security tests and systems which detect cyber attacks to the encryption of data while the data are being processed.

The background shows a city at night. In the foreground, different icons are connected with lines, like synapses.

Research on distributed systems

Distributed systems are the basis for the digital transformation and the backbone for modern products and services from Bosch. Research into reliable distributed systems (RDS) is therefore a key area at Bosch Research. Through the use of cloud resources, these systems can significantly expand the capabilities of simple IT systems. With RDS, sensors and computing power are no longer tied to an individual technical system.

An abstract representation of quantum waves. With its excellent expertise in quantum physics, microelectronics and MEMS technology, Bosch Research is ideally placed to drive the development of quantum technologies for important applications.

Research on quantum technologies

Quantum phenomena show us how the world works on a small scale. Quantum technologies allow us to take advantage of these phenomena. Quantum sensors and quantum computing in particular offer great potential for industrial applications. The researchers at Bosch Research are developing quantum algorithms which will allow the use of quantum computers for materials development in the future. They are also looking at using quantum sensors for medical diagnostics for example.

Research on Economy of Things

Research on Economy of Things

When connected devices generate data values which they exchange with people and other machines, i.e. act on an economic level, we at Bosch Research talk about the “Economy of Things” (EoT). This is a permanently successful digital ecosystem. Artificial intelligence too plays an increasingly important role. We research key concepts and technologies which make the EoT possible: Self-sovereign identities, distributed ledger technologies or tokenomics.

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Bosch Research Blog

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