Bosch is turning connected devices into your personal guardian angels
One careless moment is all it takes for someone to crash their e-bike or lose control of their motorcycle. In Germany alone, more than 38 two-wheelers are seriously injured in accidents every day.
That’s when every second counts. But what if the person involved is traveling alone when the accident happens or if they are no longer in a position to call for help? This is where Bosch’s connected emergency call solution comes in.
Help Connect accesses the sensors in the user’s smartphone and other connected devices and uses an intelligent crash algorithm to automatically detect accidents. In the event of an emergency, the app alerts the emergency services via the Help Connect emergency call centre and immediately directs them to the scene of the accident. This saves time, and potentially also lives. Two apps are now available for cyclists and motorcyclists and thus for several hundred thousand users: the COBI.Bike app from Bosch eBike Systems and the calimoto app for motorcycle navigation.
“Bosch is working flat out to integrate its emergency call solution into other products, including those of partners. We are leveraging the internet of things and algorithms and using Help Connect to turn connected devices into personal lifesavers in all circumstances – whether on the road, during sports, or at home,” says Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner. Bosch currently provides the Help Connect service for users with a German SIM card in eleven European countries.
One solution – triple benefit
Help Connect combines automatic accident detection, emergency call function, and personal emergency response system. In COBI.Bike and calimoto, for example, the crash algorithm evaluates smartphone sensor data about speed, acceleration, and rotation. Most of the smartphones commercially available today feature such sensors. The apps must be activated during the journey and the device must be attached to the handlebars. Help Connect works on all Android devices with version 6 or higher and all iOS smartphones with version 11 or higher.
In the event of an accident, the solution uses the smartphone’s mobile data connection to transmit the current location, the severity of the impact and, depending on the app, optionally stored health data to a Help Connect 24/7 emergency call centre. From the call centre, specially trained emergency agents attempt to make contact with the person involved in the accident.
Communication takes place in German or English, even in other European countries. If the person does not react and the sensor data indicate a serious fall, the emergency services are notified immediately. Likewise, relatives and friends are optionally informed. An emergency call can also be triggered manually at any time.
For motorcyclists, Bosch has also developed an accident detection that is permanently installed in the vehicle. Here, Help Connect uses the inertial measurement unit integrated into the Bosch motorcycle stability control (MSC). Via Bluetooth, it connects to the corresponding partner app and then transmits the data to the Help Connect emergency call centre, just as with the smartphone-based solution.
More partners – additional applications
Bosch wants to make life safer and is integrating its emergency call solution into as many connected products as possible – its own or those of partners. “Help Connect is designed as an open IoT ecosystem so that different products with appropriate sensor technology can become personal guardian angels,” Denner says. For example, the startup company Tocsen is currently integrating Help Connect into its crash helmet sensor solution. Bosch is also preparing its own smart home services and products to integrate into the Help Connect service. In addition to fire and burglar alarms, this will also include the topic of water protection in the home in the future.