Gear up vehicle powernets for future mobility

Automotive megatrends such as the software-defined vehicle are driving the change in E/E architecture away from today's domain-specific architecture towards a cross-domain and centralized E/E architecture. In the course of this change, need for advancing the vehicle’s technical infrastructure is becoming increasingly important. Bosch supports vehicle manufacturers in the implementation of this new infrastructure with components and solutions for increased system safety and reliability. New reliable and safe power supply solutions are the foundation for enabling higher driving automation levels, introducing new technology platforms, e.g., for x-by-wire systems, and responding to the increasing power demand of subsystems such as automated driving, driver assistance, and infotainment. Additionally, the transition to purely electric E/E architectures is providing new opportunities for cost-efficient architectures by taking advantage of the ubiquitous high-voltage power supply.

More than

50 %

of all vehicle breakdowns being accounted to powernet failures


To about

5-6 kW

the average power consumtion in a vehicle‘s low-voltage power supply network is expected to increase by the end of the decade

48 volts in low-voltage power supply

Infotainment and ADAS features lead to an increasing power demand in the low-voltage power supply network. With more computing performance, larger displays and comfort functions (“living space on wheels”) as well as a safety-capable power supply for automated driving, the average vehicle power consumption is expected to reach 5 – 6 kilowatts by the end of the decade.

Due to the ongoing centralization, more energy must be transferred into fewer ECUs, which results in larger wire gauges and bigger semiconductor switches to carry the required currents. From a power distribution perspective, a request to raise the low-voltage level for the power supply is thus natural, as it allows for the reduction of the overall wiring harness weight, effort and cost for semiconductor switches.

Whitepaper: Gear up vehicle powernets for future mobility


New exciting functions in all vehicle domains bring the requirements on the powernet architecture to the next level. With the increasing demand for safe and reliable electrical supply, it is necessary to advance the designs of powernet architectures significantly.

Find out more about the future of vehicle powernets in our whitepaper.

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Bosch as a reliable partner and expert across all vehicle domains

To build reliable, safe, and cost-efficient vehicles, it will require close collaboration between vehicle manufacturers and suppliers with full system competency like Bosch. We are positive that the future E/E architectures will provide the right infrastructure and great opportunities to build outstanding and attractive vehicles based on great engineering.

Moving towards electronic power distribution solutions like Bosch’s powernet guardian will enable manufacturers to bring more safety-critical loads to the vehicle for functions such as x-by-wire and automated driving. Zonal architectures will be pivotal for improved placement of powernet infrastructure and increase overall maintainability and reliability.

The smart energy supply with the powernet guardian

Powernet guardian is a functional safety solution for all levels of assisted driving and powertrain scenarios as well as for different 12V battery technologies that separates low safety-level loads from high safety-level loads by isolating them. ​

The powernet guardian is enabling a smart energy supply. It ensures a safe power supply for all safety-critical functions at all times. To do this, the solution conducts powernet diagnostics of battery state, power distribution, and component faults in real time. In doing this, it can not only detect malfunctions, but also predict a voltage drop in advance.

In the event of power failures due to electronic power switches, low-safety loads are isolated from driving-related high-safety loads to ensure overall vehicle safety. This provides freedom of interference and ensures a safe ride.

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Redundancy in electronic braking and steering systems

Redundancy in electronic braking and steering systems

In steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire systems the mechanical connection between steering wheel and steering rack actuator as well as the mechanical connection between brake pedal and the brake actuators are replaced by electrical signal lines. This imposes high safety and fail-operational requirements onto the powernet because failures cannot be compensated for by non-electrical force transmission.

Furthermore, end users naturally expect the same overall availability as with conventional systems. In such setups, safety and non-safety related availability in the powernet needs to be guaranteed, usually by introducing more redundancy. In addition to that, equally relevant technical recommendations and norms, as well as legal requirements, reduce the solution space of such setups.

Why Bosch?

Overall system understanding

With its products and services across the entire technology stack, Bosch is your partner for innovative hardware, software and system solutions.

Our network of experts draws on decades of experience to provide customers with the best possible support in the realization of cost-efficient, scalable and secure solutions across all vehicle domains.

Simulation capabilities

Simulation capabilities will be a major asset for powernet designers in the future. With sophisticated modeling capabilities of faults, transients, and external effects it is possible to assess the upcoming evolutionary and revolutionary steps in the powernet architecture economically and with fast feedback loops.

With our sophisticated simulation tools, we give our customers the opportunity to model the influence of software logic and communication paths between wiring system components in such complex systems in addition to classic wiring system analyses, for example.

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