(Phys.org) —CES in Las Vegas, in full swing, has a number of gadgetry themes at this year's show, not least of which is automotive technologies that pave the way for driverless cars which, in the interim, complete tasks with driverless autonomy. Yesterday's highlight came from technology suppliers Bosch, which has been working on self-parking technology to shape the future of automated driving. What's not to like? Every year, says a Bosch promotional video, we waste an entire day on parking. Bosch has developed a way to give people that day back. That way consists of a parking function that can be remotely activated by the driver, The driver can activate the function outside the car by pressing a button on the key or via smartphone app. Press and the car drives itself into and out of parking spaces.
Robert Bosch LLC chairman Werner Struth spoke about the company's driverless parking developments in a presentation at CES on Monday, in the wider context of today's connected world—vehicles, smartphones, machines. "As early as 2015," he said, "more than six billion things will be connected to the internet. Amazing! Some people may be overwhelmed by this, but at Bosch, we feel that this is our time."
Their time is being leveraged at the show this week, where Bosch set up a "Driverless Car Experience" showcase of driver-assisting technologies, including automated park assist, paving the way as the next step toward driverless cars.
Bosch's "Automatic Park Assist" has sensors fitted to a car and hardware that enable it to park and pull out of spots. According to Struth, "A suitable parking space is identified using Bosch ultrasonic sensors. Even tight spaces will work. You exit the vehicle and command the rest of the maneuver with a special app on your smartphone. The system steers, accelerates, and brakes the vehicle into the space. When the vehicle is parked, the system shuts off the engine, sets the parking brake, shifts the transmission lever to 'park,' and locks the vehicle."
Bosch's Frank Suessenbach gave the BBC an early look at the function in action. Sure enough, the driver stood outside the car while a car parked itself nicely.
According to the company site, Automatic Park Assist is likely to be available from 2015, an evolution of the Bosch parking assistant that has been on the market since 2008. The function is supported by Bosch ultrasonic sensors that are integrated into the side of the vehicle, which scan the area to identify suitable parking spaces. The system electronics compute the most favorable steering maneuvers and automatically guide the vehicle in and out of the space.
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