A smartphone-based parking assist system has been introduced by German electronics company Bosh at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The app, connected to 12 ultra-sonic parking sensors mounted on the vehicle’s body, enables an insecure driver to park the car by simply swiping a virtual image on his smartphone.
"If a suitable parking space is found the driver can either stay in the vehicle or step out and, using the smartphone, let the vehicle do the rest, the system controls vehicle speed and the steering wheel and gear shift," said engineering manager of Bosh Fred Sejalon during the technology demonstration at CES.
The technology can be used in any car as long as it has the capability to allow control of the steering and gears and will be commercially available in 2015.
"This is good for everybody, especially for parking in a traffic situation or anybody who doesn't feel comfortable parallel or perpendicular parking, especially when the visibility is limited,” Sejalon added.
According to Bosh chairman Werner Struth, the technology represents one of important first steps towards driverless vehicles.
Among other technologies Bosh has unveiled at the show was a new voice-based system enabling users to make hands-free calls and enter driving directions, a technology relying on sensors to keep the cars within a lane on a motorway or system for automated braking upon detection of a pedestrian or an obstacle on the road.
The automatic emergency breaking system uses a sensor mounted behind the windscreen to sense dangers in the path of the car, and halt if the driver fails to.
"The sensors works in the manner of the human eye,” said Xavier Zhu, a technical manager at Bosch. "There is a camera that sees what the driver sees but can measure the distance of any obstacle, be it pedestrians or obstacles in the road, and can give a signal to the brakes to engage if the driver is not paying attention."
This technology will come pre-installed in cars and the reaction time can be adjusted according to manufacturer specifications, he added.