Bosch's Mike Mansuetti is ready for a world of change
LAS VEGAS — Bosch North America President Mike Mansuetti has been leading the German supplier giant in the region for 10 years.
If the future that Bosch sees in artificial intelligence, electrification and connectivity comes to pass, the next 10 years will look remarkably different for Mansuetti than the previous 10 did.
Mansuetti spoke with Reporter John Irwin in January during CES. Here are edited excerpts.
Q: Bosch has placed a major emphasis on connecting its products to the Internet of Things and on using artificial intelligence. What technologies or capabilities does Bosch see that strategy enabling?
A: The “battery in the cloud” is a good example, monitoring the status and health of the battery and how far it can go, knowing the route ahead and the dynamics of the vehicle. Now we can start planning and predicting and maybe start suggesting a more economical route or the most ecologically friendly route instead of just the fastest route. Or maybe even the safest.
Software is defining the car and what you can do with it. That’s where we’re headed.
How does Bosch see the market for automated technology evolving in the coming years?
We see more Level 2 and Level 3 types of things. That’s why we’re doing automated valet parking. Everyone loves to drive, but nobody loves to park. Here’s a thing that I don’t like to do that you’ll automate for me? That’s pretty cool. But it’s an inroad to automation. People will say this is kind of a neat technology, and they’ll build trust in the technology and the product and what we’re doing with this stuff.
I think you’re starting to see a lot of our customers — the OEMs — look at where the right application for autonomy makes sense. I think everyone went too far, too fast down the fully autonomous path. It will come, but I think we all have a better respect for just how huge of a technical problem it is and how long it will take to overcome.
As Bosch looks to capture and use more data, how do you build trust with consumers who are wary of handing over more information to large companies?
I think it’s about creating a level of transparency. How are you writing the code? What kind of biases are you writing in there? That’s why we developed an AI code of ethics.
People want to be in control. Consumers are more savvy about how their data is being used, and they want to know more about it, not just signing away what’s in the fine print.
Our goal would be to have something like a trust label that is built into every product, device or service. You know how when you buy a device that’s energy star-rated? That means something. People understand. They know what they’re getting then.
How will artificial intelligence alter what the company’s manufacturing sites look like?
How can we use these tools to help make their lives and their jobs easier? Does AI mean we’re just going to replace everyone with a robot? No. Let’s help the people be able to do their jobs better.
Will their jobs change? Certainly. We’re transforming these roles and really taking technicians who used to be comfortable with a large toolbox — do they feel comfortable with a laptop as a data scientist? Their job isn’t going away, but their role is changing.
There’s a tremendous opportunity here, and I think it’ll be a big part in how we regain competitiveness as a country, to utilize people with what they’re good at and not offshore everything just because the labor was cheap.
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