German engineering company Robert Bosch has indicated that its fully automated parking assist system will make its market debut in 2015 – reports indicate that the company is in the midst of producing its Automatic Parking Assist (APA) for an automotive manufacturer, which Bosch did not identify.
The system – which was showcased at the CES earlier this year – works autonomously, with the operation being controlled through an app on a smartphone. The user simply gets out of the car in front of the parking spot, open a Bosch app on the phone (or through a dedicated button on the keyfob), press and hold the button to start the parking process.
The vehicle will then drive itself into – and back out of – the spot without anyone at the wheel. For safety reasons, one can abort or interrupt the operation by simply taking the finger off the button.
A set of ultrasound sensors integrated into the side of the vehicle scans the surrounding area to identify a suitable parking space, and the system’s electronics then compute the parking maneouvre process and automatically guides the vehicle in and out of the parking space. Supposedly, it’s not just able to do parallel parking, but manoeuvre a vehicle in and out of garages too.
It’s an evolution of the company’s parking assistant that has been around since 2008 – where the current version still needs the driver to control the car by accelerating and braking, the new APA is fully automated.
The reports also say that the technology can aid lane-keeping on highways, and adds that Bosch is working on an automated lane-changing system that should be ready for market use by the end of the decade.