Introduction to one of our founding partners - Robert Bosch
Robert Bosch, our founder, was an innovator. His driving passion was to improve people’s quality of life, and he quickly realised that the best way to do this was through technology. Bosch’s first major innovation, the spark plug, made the internal combustion engine possible and transformed the way we travel.
Bosch’s other great skill was in bringing people together. He realised that innovation doesn’t happen in isolation; he collaborated with other businesses, developed and nurtured a talented team, and was the first major businessman to think globally, operating on five continents half a century before many of his competitors.
More than 125 years after we first came to the UK, we are on the verge of another technological revolution in mobility; this time it is the advent of universal connectivity. The Internet of Things will drive vast improvements to our quality of life through safety, sustainability, energy efficiency, convenience and time-saving. The benefits will be enormous, but they can only be realised by working together.
Innovation and collaboration go hand in hand, and this is why Bosch is so pleased to be a founding partner in the Urban Mobility Partnership. The mobility challenges our cities face do not have simple solutions; there are no “silver bullets” and no single stakeholder, either in industry or local government, can resolve on their own an issue as complex as air quality or road congestion. We need to work together holistically across different transport modes, and a forum like UMP is perfectly placed to make a real contribution to this effort.
Bosch’s ambition is simple; we want mobility for everyone, with no negative side effects. We want to make mobility emissions-free, accident-free, and fascinating. It’s a theme we explored in detail in early July at Kensington Palace, where we showcased our technology along with our partners Aston Martin Lagonda and the German firm Wunder Mobility to an audience of mobility start-ups, industry partners and government.
The new generation of vehicles will make a massive difference to air quality in particular; the demonstrator vehicle we showed at Kensington Palace has a diesel engine that emits less than 10% of the 2020 legal limit for Nitrogen Oxide. It shows that the internal combustion engine has a vital role to play in the medium term as a transitional technology. It also demonstrates why it is so vital that we pursue fleet renewal and the retirement of older, more polluting vehicles from our roads.
One of the best ways to achieve this shift is through the employment of Mobility Credit, and the work that UMP is doing on promoting this policy is a great example of how the Partnership can drive positive outcomes in cities.