Bosch is Pushing for Safer Roads and Easier City Parking

Engineering giant Bosch is currently testing a lot of game-changing technology and one of them revolutionizes city parking.

At Bosch’s proving grounds in Flat Rock, Michigan, was invited to what the company termed the Mobility Experience for 2018, a full-day demonstration of Bosch’s ideal vision for vehicle connectivity and the future of safety technologies for automobiles.

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Although there were a host of new technologies that were being demonstrated at the event, two stood out the most due to their potential ability to positively alter city driving characteristics and normalize the idea of automated parking.

Making Roads Safer for Both Cyclists and Drivers

On hand at a road course within the facility fitted with multiple test dummy cyclist riders was a Jaguar F-Pace retrofitted with Bosch’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) hardware intended to minimize collisions with cyclists; a common concern in many metropolitan cities.

Bosch application engineer Derek Howard gave us a rundown on how the system should work in real time. With him also serving as our test driver, we set out to the main road test area with strategically placed dummy cyclists and simulated a potential crash situation with a cyclist dangerously veering into the path of our vehicle.

Sure enough, at around speeds of 35 mph, our demonstration vehicle stopped just within inches of hitting the dummy cyclist. Brake modulation from the system also felt progressive and natural.

Howard pointed out that factors such as vehicle stability and brake feel when the system gets activated will vary from OEM to OEM. “Every OEM manufacturer that we deploy this technology to is going to require specific tuning which meets all the requirements expected of the model it will be implemented in. The goal is to develop a system that universally effectively minimizes accidents safely despite whatever application it ends up being designed for,” he says.

Since this is all in prototype testing phases, one of the main areas Bosch engineers are watching closely as they develop this technology is avoiding false positive incidents with automatic braking technology. “Because the combination of cyclists and drivers sharing the same roads is very complex, we are setting reaction boundaries in the technology that ensure the system overreacts to scenarios as little as possible while also maintaining effective detection. Balance is the goal here,” said Howard.

Connected Parking Solutions

Bosch is also developing two advanced parking solutions aimed at alleviating the stress of finding parking in urban areas where space might be at a premium.

The first is dubbed community-based parking. Connected technology integrated with a vehicle’s navigation system is used to easily find available parking spots for drivers well before they arrive at their destination.

To demonstrate the technology, we hopped into a demonstrator vehicle to see how the technology effectively finds parking spaces. Although the vehicle did not have the full technology installed on it yet, we had a tablet configured with the technology guiding us as we drove around downtown Detroit’s major streets.

After a minute or so of driving, color-coded “P” parking markers started appearing on the map on the tablet. Two color codes indicated whether free parking was available on the right or left side of the street as we slowly drove by.

Final modifications to add the option to pay for parking through the system are still being decided, but the goal is to incorporate all parking needs into a singular process that enables the driver to quickly enter and exit the vehicle after parking.

The second system is an automated valet parking system, a fully automated and driverless parking system for parking garages that works through a smartphone app. We did not get a chance to test this technology on-site, but the expectations are high. Both parking solutions offer a seamless way for parking garage owners to better utilize parking garage capacity by ensuring the proper parking of cars closer together.

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Bosch hopes all these driving technologies being developed are quickly embraced by the industry as we all enter a phase of extreme potential for connected car technology to solve a lot of driving concerns when it comes to safety and convenience.