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The road goes online: Bosch makes parking easier and more convenient

Bosch ConnectedWorld 2015

Web-enabled sensors on asphalt pavement report available parking spaces

- Cars also automatically identify and report available parking spaces
- Real-time parking map shortens nerve-wracking search
- Stress-free search for parking spaces in downtown areas and parking garages

Stuttgart, Germany – WEBWIRE
MEMS sensors: The “senses” of modern technology Schematic diagram of a networked MEMS sensor. (See complete Image Caption below)
MEMS sensors: The “senses” of modern technology Schematic diagram of a networked MEMS sensor. (See complete Image Caption below)

Today, looking for a place to park is often a time-consuming and frustrating process. In the future, Bosch sensors – installed on the road’s surface and in passing cars – will automatically identify and report available spaces. With the help of a real-time online parking map, drivers will be able to find an available parking space conveniently and without any hassle.

The search for an available parking space in downtown areas and parking garages is a nerve-wracking and time-consuming daily chore for drivers. But it could soon be a thing of the past. Bosch has developed solutions to create real-time maps of available parking spaces with the help of wireless sensors installed on the pavement. These sensors recognize whether a parking space is occupied or not, and share this information via the internet. In the future, even cars passing by available parking spaces will be capable of reporting them. The ultrasonic sensors installed in many modern cars to support their parking assistance functions identify gaps along the side of the road. Since many vehicles are now online, this information can also be transmitted over the internet and displayed on a real-time map. Transmitting this real-time information to users’ smartphones or directly to their cars’ navigation devices can help shorten drivers’ often taxing search for parking spaces.

“With these solutions, Bosch is demonstrating how sensors and internet connectivity can make many people’s everyday lives significantly easier, even when it comes to parking. Our solution offers drivers more convenience and saves them time,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the Bosch board of management and in charge of automotive electronics. The solution will be unveiled at the Bosch ConnectedWorld conference in Berlin. The international industry meeting takes place in Berlin on February 17 and 18, 2015 and showcases solutions for the connected world.

Search for parking spaces: nerve-wracking, expensive, and bad for the environment
In Germany, the average search for a parking space takes ten minutes, according to a survey of drivers on behalf of Europe’s market leader in the field of parking management. The survey reveals that Germans drive 4.5 kilometers when looking for somewhere to park, resulting in vehicle costs of 1.35 euros per search. In short, the faster people find a parking space, the less nerve-wracking, expensive, and environmentally damaging the experience. The solution developed by Bosch could make a major contribution to changing things. The wireless sensors installed on the pavement are built into stable, semicircular plastic housing similar to the kind often used to mark lanes on roads. The wireless sensor is capable of recognizing whether a car is parked over it. A tiny, energy-saving radio transmitter in the sensor reports this information to a receiver (similar to a home wifi router) that is capable of gathering data from hundreds of sensors. “The status information is then transmitted over the internet to a database. A software program creates a parking map of the respective area practically in real time,” says Dr. Rolf Nicodemus, head of the Connected Parking project at Bosch. “Depending on the application, we could be talking about a level of a parking garage, a street, or an entire downtown area.”

Energy-saving wireless technology
Another advantage of the new development is that the sensors can remain in place for several years, doing away with the time and expense needed to change batteries or sensors. The power supply lasts for such a long time because the sensors require extremely little power for data transmission and feature an advanced energy management system, eliminating the need for elaborate and failure-prone cabling. “Connected parking shows how Bosch will actively shape the connected world. Sensors, software, and services – this is our ‘3S’ program for the connectivity business. We use sensors to record the environment and software to convert information into usable data. The resulting service offers users a concrete benefit,” Dirk Hoheisel says.

Drive-by parking space recognition
Another solution developed by Bosch allows cars to recognize parking spaces as they drive past them. “Many cars already feature parking assistance functions, which means they are also equipped with Bosch ultrasonic sensors,” Nicodemus says.

“As the vehicle drives past, these sensors identify spaces between the cars parked along the side of a road. Because more and more cars are also online, this information can be transmitted to a database at a high speed.” The more cars participate in this system, the more detailed and up-to-date the map.

Information on Bosch’s ConnectedWorld conference:
Information on Dr. Dirk Hoheisel:
Study on the search for parking spaces:
Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions:
Bosch Sensortec:
Bosch Software Innovations

MEMS sensors: The “senses” of modern technology Schematic diagram of a networked MEMS sensor

Bosch is helping to build the internet of things and services one tiny sensor at a time. In future, many objects will report their status over the net, and this makes a range of new functions and business models possible. They contain microscopic structures that are capable of measuring acceleration, air pressure, sound, temperature, or the earth’s magnetic field. Fitted with a miniature battery and a tiny radio interface, these MEMS sensors can for instance send their readings over the internet to a user’s smartphone.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, its roughly 290,000 associates generated sales of 48.9 billion euros in 2014. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2014, Bosch applied for some 4,600 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s strategic goal is to deliver innovations for connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

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PI8798 - February 13, 2015

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