Robert Bosch would commence producing an automatic parking system in 2015 for an anonymous customer. Dirk Hoheisel, a management board member at member, disclosed last week at the SAE International's World Congress that fully autonomous vehicles are expected in the next decade.
Bosch's parking assist maneuvers a vehicle into or out of tight parking spaces, even if no one is driving it. The driver just can get out of the vehicle and commence the parking maneuver through a smartphone or key fob. To stop the maneuver, the driver just needs to take his finger off the button.
Bosch’s parking assist also works wonders during parallel parking. Hoheisel told Automotive News that automated parking is the next logical step for autonomous vehicles. He remarked that the system employs ultrasonic sensors and cameras to track the vehicles movements.
Bosch’s next goal will a system that allows lane-changing maneuvers on the highway, which may employ three types of sensors -- most likely cameras, radar and laser. Hoheisel said that the vehicle would use data from the cloud for updates over upcoming road construction, traffic conditions and other variables.
He noted that the communications link from the cloud to the vehicle is crucial, since updates about road conditions must be "very, very fresh data." According to Hoheisel, Bosch is working on an automated lane-changing system that should be available by 2020. Hoheisel said that Bosch has prototypes that can do this.
Even the technology is proven as reliable, carmakers still must resolve liability issues with government, the insurance industry and suppliers. For instance, in Europe, the Vienna Convention mandates that the motorist remain in charge of the vehicle at all times. This is the reason that Bosch's parking assist system will have an "interrupt" function on the key fob to allow the driver to remain in control of the car.