Bosch’s newest autonomous parking technology, Home zone park assist, will make its North American market debut by 2019. With Home zone park assist, drivers will conveniently control the parking process by smartphone, even from outside the vehicle. The technology will guide the car, autonomously if needed, to parking spaces up to 100 meters away, where it then maneuvers the car into the space.
Home zone park assist is a partially automated function that still requires some monitoring by the driver. It was designed for repeated parking maneuvers—for example, at home or into an assigned parking garage space. The unique aspect about the technology is that Home zone park assist learns and saves individual driving maneuvers. Once it does so, it will perform them independently; all the driver has to do is press a button.
Parking is a natural step on the path to fully autonomous vehicles. With the expected production of this technology in 2019, Bosch continues to play an integral role in bringing autonomous vehicles to North American consumers. Home zone park assist is another example of Bosch technology that helps to reduce accidents and injuries.—Frank Sgambati, director of marketing and product innovation for Chassis Systems Control in North America, Robert Bosch
The Bosch system has to be instructed only once. The driver activates the assistant’s learning function when the car is in the desired starting position. Then, he or she drives the car slowly (walking pace) to a parking space no more than 100 meters away in a trial run. The system saves the starting position, destination and the route driven between them.
|Nationwide Insurance claims data: approximately 13% of auto accidents occur in parking lots. One of the main causes is vehicles with poor visibility.|
From then on, Home zone park assist can take over parking the car from the defined starting position. Drivers can choose to remain inside the car or to control the process from outside, either using a dead man’s switch on the ignition key or via smartphone. The Bosch system is capable of learning and retrieving up to 10 different driving maneuvers for repeated parking situations.
The system draws on a total of 12 ultrasonic sensors installed in the front and rear bumpers plus a stereo video camera mounted near the rear-view mirror. Instead of the stereo video camera, the solution also can use four radar sensors, one on each corner of the vehicle.
Home zone park assist uses the sensors for orienting itself for the drive to and into the parking space. It also can recall any objects noted during the trial run, such as posts or trees. The system is constantly comparing the position of the car with the stored position of objects in the vehicle’s surroundings.If the sensors detect an unknown static obstacle such as a garbage can left in the car’s path, the car automatically stops. If the obstacle can be avoided by deviating slightly from the preset route, the car will steer independently around it.
While parking, the Bosch Home zone park assist system also automatically corrects for inaccuracies. Even if the driver has not left the car precisely at the saved starting position before activating Home zone park assist, the system can still maneuver effortlessly. It also is not a problem if the driver parked the car incorrectly at the end of the trial run. Home zone park assist technology can correct for deviations of up to six-and-a-half feet when planning its route.
In addition, Home zone park assist also is capable of pulling out of a parking space autonomously. At the touch of a button on a smartphone or key fob, the system brings the car automatically to the defined starting position, so that the driver can simply step in and drive off. This saves the driver from having to squeeze in or out of the vehicle when it is parked in a tight space.