As part of the move toward fully automated parking, over the next few years Bosch plans to launch a host of parking assistance systems. These systems help drivers park accident-free, or even completely guide them into a space at the touch of a button.
According to a Bosch evaluation of the 2014 vehicle registration statistics, of the nearly three million cars that were registered that year, half of them (52 percent) feature automated parking and parking assistant systems. The picture is fairly similar in other countries: in Belgium and the Netherlands, half of all new cars in 2014 (50 percent) came equipped with a parking assistant. In the U.K., the figure is 19 percent. These systems are mainly based on ultrasonic sensors, which Bosch has been making since 1993. Bosch has been making the ultrasonic sensors critical to these systems since 1993.
For Bosch, automated parking begins in the vehicle but it goes much further than that. According to research by Bosch in its home country of Germany, it takes an average of ten minutes to find a parking space. Bosch shortens this search in two ways: one, special occupancy sensors in parking lots or garages detect and report empty spaces. Two, Bosch uses the sensors that are becoming standard in an increasing number of vehicles and employs them in the search for curbside parking. The information is processed in the Bosch IoT Cloud to generate digital maps of parking spaces. Drivers can access the maps, for instance online or via their vehicle’s navigation system, and let themselves be guided directly to areas with free parking spaces.
Even before the end of this decade, cars will drive themselves to a space in a parking garage, thanks to Bosch technology. Drivers will simply leave their car in a handover zone outside a parking garage and instruct it by smartphone, for example, to search for a parking space. When ready to leave, they call the car back to the drop-off point in the same way. This innovation is made possible by smart Bosch technology present in the vehicle and parking garage as well as the communication between the two.