Bosch unveils smartphone enabled self-parking system

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Fully-autonomous parking technology developed by engineers at Bosch in Germany could appear on production vehicles as soon as 2015.

Demonstrated to The Engineer last week at Bosch’s Boxberg proving ground, the “automated parking assist” system promises to enable even the most nervous drivers to get in and out of the tightest parking spaces.

As part of the trend towards more intelligent, autonomous vehicles, system uses 12 ultrasonic sensors mounted on the car to help the onboard computer first detect a suitable parking space, and then calculate the ideal approach.

Once activated, the system will then take control of the power-steering, gears, and pedals and park the car without any driver intervention. The technology can even be activated remotely via a smartphone app which connects to the vehicle’s wi-fi link.

The technology is an evolution of an earlier Bosch system that has been appearing on production vehicles since 2008. This earlier system - which is activated by a button within the car takes control of the steering, but still relies on the driver to control the pedals and gears.

Although Bosch wouldn’t comment on which OEMs are considering using the new system, the existing technology appears on over 200 different vehicles produced by a number of different manufacturers.