Parking is probably one of the downsides of driving. Besides the hassle of looking for a parking space — especially in highly populated places — there is a possibility of bumping or scratching other cars during your attempt to squeeze your car into a parking space. The latter is more common than you think — according to insurance company Allianz, this type of accident accounted for 40 percent of all car accidents with material damage in 2015.
Understanding these issues, Bosch has been working on a number of parking assistance solutions to eliminate the pain points associated with parking.
Bosch's automated valet parking. Credit: Bosch
Firstly, Bosch is working on an automated valet parking solution, which enables a vehicle to park itself. Drivers simply need to drop off their vehicle at the entrance of a parking garage before instructing the car to find itself a parking spot using a smartphone app. They can also instruct the car to return to the drop-off point in the same way.
However, fully automated parking will require several things, including an intelligent parking garage infrastructure, on-board vehicle sensors, and connectivity for both. The car and parking garage essentially needs to communicate with each other: sensors in the pavement need to identify where free parking spaces are located, and transmit this information to the car.
In an effort to realise automated valet parking, Bosch announced a collaboration with Daimler and car2go last June for a pilot project. Bosch will develop the necessary infrastructure for a car park, including parking space occupancy sensors, cameras and the communication technology. Furthermore, Bosch will account for the communication unit in the Mercedes-Benz vehicles, which also controls the parking process and defines together with Daimler the interface with existing vehicle components. Daimler will then adjust the sensor systems and the software in the car2go vehicles, thus enabling future innovation for the car-sharing model of car2go.
At Bosch's annual press conference yesterday at the company's research campus in Renningen, Dr Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bosch, said that the "automated valet parking will become a reality as early as 2018".
Automated recurring parking
Bosch Home Zone park assist technology makes anyone a professional parker. Credit: Bosch
Taking it a step further, Bosch is also working on the Home Zone park assist, a partially automated function for recurring parking maneuvers — such as at home or into an assigned parking garage space.
Drivers will need to teach the system the (parking) maneuver just once in a dummy run before saving it. Thereafter, the car will park itself independently in the preset parking space once the driver presses the parking button when the car is in the defined starting position (as per the dummy run). Drivers can either monitor the system from the driver's seat or from outside the vehicle, where they can use a smartphone to regain control.
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