Issue 62

Bye bye parking stress! Enjoy the Automated Valet Parking

Dr. Ionuț Muntean
Senior Manager Innovation @ Bosch Engineering Center Cluj


James Bond doesn't waste any time looking for parking spaces. In all the films, you see him getting out right in front of the hotel entrance or airport before throwing the car keys to a valet and continuing on his mission. Parking is just something other people do. Most drivers have had to do without a valet - but now that's about to change.

As a pioneer of automated mobility, Bosch has developed a driverless system that employs connected technology to save drivers not just the wearisome search for a parking space, but also the parking maneuver itself.

Manual parking is now a thing of the past. At the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart, Bosch and Daimler have made automated valet parking (AVP) a reality. Using a smartphone command, drivers can now automatically park cars in their assigned spots without having to monitor the vehicles' movements. Automated valet parking is an important milestone on the road to autonomous driving.

About the technology

This driverless parking is made possible by the interplay between the intelligent parking garage infrastructure supplied by Bosch and Mercedes-Benz automotive technology. The sensors installed in the parking garage monitor the driving corridor and its surroundings while guiding the vehicle. The technology in the car safely converts the commands from the parking garage infrastructure into driving maneuvers and, if necessary, stops the vehicle in good time. The sensors and the communications technology come from Bosch, while the privately-owned museum parking garage and pilot vehicles are provided by Daimler.

Connected parking garages enable additional services and new business models

Automated Valet Parking opens up a range of potential service offerings going far beyond parking alone. Fed up of waiting at the car wash? AVP can take your car to the car wash after you've parked and get it back to you freshly cleaned! The same goes for changing the windshield if you get a stone chip, and there is also the possibility of special services for business customers, for instance at the airport.

How Engineering Center Cluj contributes to the project?

The cars of the future are electric, automated and connected. Delegating responsibility for driving entirely to the vehicle places particular demands on many different systems such as sensors, brakes and steering.  Automated valet parking is only a first step in the road to converting partly assisted driving into fully autonomous driving, the highest level of autonomy.

To ensure maximum system stability in the event of the failure of one of the vehicle components, redundancy must be built into the system as a safeguard and, at the end, it will be a fusion of many different components and technologies.

Ultrasound, Radar and Video - The Bosch Engineering Center Cluj has all the sensor technologies needed for driver assistance and together with our Steering Systems and our competence in connectivity and vehicle integration, we have an excellent basis for developing new, even more powerful assistance and automated driving systems.

Ultrasound Sensors: based on the way bats find their way in the dark, this technology is cost-effective and has been successfully used in parking assistance systems to measure distances for two decades now. Ultrasonic systems are used for vehicle close surrounding detection and a high variety of parking assistance functions.

Radar sensors measure the distance and speed of other vehicles, very precisely, up to a range of over 200 meters, making them the ideal basis for adaptive cruise control and predictive emergency braking systems.

Video sensors are, along with radar and ultrasonic sensors, the sensory organs of modern cars. They have a high resolution and can also process high-contrast images. The camera's high-performance computer makes it possible to integrate other measuring programs and functions, and respond to market requirements in a flexible manner.

Electric Power Steering systems: Within these products, the degree of steering support can be varied using the system software. The steering system is capable of making automatic stabilizing interventions, and, in this way, it complements the ESP.

To create driver assistance systems, such as the automatic emergency braking for pedestrians, lane keeping support systems, and road sign recognition, sensors and actuators are becoming increasingly integral to modern cars. No longer does the British MI6 from James Bond movies work in fancy situations. At Bosch Engineering Center Cluj, we shape the future of driving.



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