German engineering and electronics giant Bosch has announced its plans to open a new plant in the southeastern Chinese city of Changzhou.
The press release states that this move was undertaken to strengthen the successful localization strategy and underline "Bosch's confidence in the Chinese market". To that end, the firm is showing its confidence to the tune of 800 million CNY (100 million euros) in investments in the site by 2019. The 1,300 employees will produce a variety of electronic components as a reaction to "growing local demand for connected products and solutions", said Kalus Meder, the President of Bosch Automotive Electronics.
This 34,000 square-meter facility will manufacture "cameras and radar sensors for driver assistance systems, Electronic Control Units (ECU) for automotive steering systems, as well as Central Gateways for connected vehicles". The latter of the three mentioned is a sort of communication node on board the autonomous or connected vehicle.
Outside of Germany, China is Bosch's biggest market, with the firm already having 14 other plants in the country. The company projects that by 2019, 41 million Electronic Control Units are scheduled to roll off the production line of the Changzhou plant every year.
It's not too far of a stretch to imagine a better future for autonomous vehicles with production of parts ramping up like this, coupled with initiatives like IBM's cognitive system for self-driving cars.