Bosch aims for feet-off auto parking

  • 20-Jan-2010 09:03 EST
Bosch Parking assistant 1.10.jpg

Bosch is developing a range of solutions to achieve fully automatic parking.

Bosch is planning to develop advanced systems that it hopes will make parallel vehicle parking completely automatic, with the driver just playing a supervisory role. However, the driver would have ultimate control; if he or she touched the steering wheel, foot, or park brake, the action would be deemed an over-ride and the automatic system would disconnect.

Dr. Rainer Kallenbach, Executive Vice President of Bosch Automotive Electronics, said: “We expect a wide range of new parking technologies. These include expanded convenience functions such as parking at right angles as well as assistance for driving out of parking spaces.”

Any fully automated system on a vehicle could present safety concerns, but the ability of the driver to take immediate control of an automatic parking maneuver, if necessary, may overcome those potential issues, both practically and legally.

Bosch has been a pioneer in the development of parking-support systems using ultrasound sensors. Some 200 models use the company’s systems for parallel parking.

But semi-automatic systems that interface with electric power steering, leaving the driver to use the accelerator or brakes, are regarded as only a step toward far more comprehensive applications.

A current semi-automatic system can speed a parking maneuver (and reduce traffic congestion in a city environment) and lower the risk of vehicle damage; a fully automatic system would improve these advantages still further.

The Bosch route toward achieving its aim will firstly see an addition to semi-automatic systems that would provide assistance to a driver leaving a parking space, completing all necessary steering movement but still leaving the driver to accelerate or brake the vehicle.

Then, via the use of longer-range parking sensors, will come parking assistance into a right-angle bay—the sort of maneuver typical in a multistory car park.

Bosch has Side Distance Warning in its parking portfolio monitoring space at front, rear, and side of a vehicle, particularly useful for objects out of the driver’s line of sight, such as a low wall or stanchion.

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