May 19, 2020

Meet Bosch’s new connected car

Bosch
Real GDPR
3 min
Meet Bosch’s new connected car

“The connectivity of cars with their surroundings and with the internet is a key challenge for future mobility. In this way, we are making connectivity a personal experience and giving people more time for actual living, even while driving their car.”

This is the bold statement made by Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Bosch, which has just unveiled a new show car.

The German company is seeking to create a vehicle that genuinely knows its driver in a bid to offer more convenience and comfort. And the features are numerous…

The driver monitor camera recognises the driver and adjusts the steering wheel, mirror, and temperature accordingly. The car also sets the colour scheme of the display and automatically loads appointments, favourite music, the latest podcasts, and the navigation destination that the driver programmed while still at the kitchen table.

The driver monitor camera even detects fatigue and microsleep at the wheel, both of which are often the cause of serious accidents. It is usually possible to spot the onset of these early on from movements of the eyelids. The system determines the driver’s ability to concentrate, or degree of tiredness, and issues a warning if necessary.

If this fails, the driver tiredness detection system constantly monitors the driver’s steering behavior so can intervene directly in the event of abrupt movements.

The human machine interface (HMI) turns cars into personal assistants on four wheels. This interface between people and vehicles provides drivers with important information when it is needed and is an attentive alert companion in every situation. It uses ultrasonic sensors that produce a noticeable resistance whenever the driver performs a gesture in precisely the area that the camera records. This makes gesture control even easier to use and less distracting for drivers, since they can change the information on the display, accept phone calls, or call up a new playlist without touching it.

Driverless?

The show car also demonstrates how cars are turning into people’s third living space thanks to automation and connectivity.

According to Bosch’s “Connected car effect 2025” study, automated driving could enable people who drive a lot to make better use of some 100 hours of their time each year. Once the car detects that automated driving is possible and the driver agrees to hand over control, the car takes over.

What’s for dinner?

The car also talks to the house. Mykie, the Bosch kitchen assistant, can suggest recipes online in the car, and a glance from the car into the connected refrigerator will show whether the necessary ingredients are ready at home.

Connectivity between cars and smart homes comes into play before the journey starts: as soon as drivers enter the car, a display shows them the status of their own home. Has a window still been left open? Is the door locked? It takes just a gesture or a fingertip on the display to automatically lock the doors and monitor the status at home.

Moreover, the connected car is also linked to the repair shop. It notifies drivers when an inspection is due, it schedules an appointment at the repair shop upon request, and it can ensure the necessary spare parts are in stock when it gets there.

The future, now?

Bosch certainly believes that the future of driving is becoming a reality at rapid speed. Numerous companies are demonstrating that the technology is there to be implemented. Governance and legislation is what many commentators are saying will need to catch up if we are to see cars like this commonplace on our roads.

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May 28, 2021

Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work

Automation
UiPath
technology
repetitivetasks
Kate Birch
4 min
As a new report reveals most office workers are crushed by repetitive tasks, we talk the value of automation with UiPath’s MD of Northern Europe, Gavin Mee

Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.

Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.

Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.

When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”

And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.

Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work

By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.

“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”

These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.

Repetitive tasks that can be automated

Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”

These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.

“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”

Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.

Five business areas that can be automated

Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.

  1. Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
  2. Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
  3. Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
  4. IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
  5. Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.

“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”

 

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