The search for available parking has now become increasingly simple for drivers in big cities. This is because the community-based parking system developed by Bosch for this purpose guides drivers directly to the nearest empty parking space. Here’s how it works: multiple vehicles take part simultaneously in the search for isolated parking spaces scattered throughout the city – and ultimately find them more quickly.
The transmitter vehicle identifies empty parking spaces on the street as it drives past them. This data (location and size of the space) is anonymized sent to the cloud. There, it is collected, aggregated, and processed further into digital parking maps.
Based on the processed data, the receiver vehicle is given precise information on where empty parking spaces are.
Using their on-board sensors, transmitter vehicles identify parking spaces on the street. The data is anonymized and then sent over connectivity hardware to the cloud, where all the gathered information is subjected to special algorithms and then provided to receiver vehicles. In this way, the transmitter vehicle takes over the search on behalf of others – and essentially becomes an additional set of eyes and ears. Once in the cloud, individual data points are compared with those that have already been stored and or have been sent by other transmitter vehicles.
The algorithms use this to generate digital parking information in various forms: a parking are map, parking prediction, real-time occupancy maps, and additional parking information.
It is precisely this data that benefits receiver vehicles: kept continuously up to date in this way, it transforms their display instruments into a parking navigation system that quickly guides all those looking for parking to the next available space.
A simple display of available parking spaces is not enough. Usually these spots are occupied before drivers can reach them, especially in heavily frequented urban areas. That's why the real challenge lies in providing a comprehensive and highly precise snapshot of the current parking situation. Here the unique “community” aspect comes into play: As a cross-manufacturer platform, the community-based parking service is responsible for collecting and processing the data received from the network.
This information is then subsequently reprocessed for parking seekers. Through its analysis of the empty spaces found, the cloud system is constantly learning. It also employs data mining techniques, for example to distinguish driveways from parking spaces. Based on the parking area map, Bosch offers a parking prediction plus a real-time occupancy map.
As a result, the more drivers who participate in community-based parking, the more accurate and relevant the collectively generated parking information becomes for all users.
Most modern vehicles already satisfy the minimum requirements for community-based parking right from the factory. A transmitter vehicle needs only parking sensors (ultrasonic sensors) and connectivity hardware, such as the connectivity control unit. Using this equipment, the vehicle can reliably transmit the collected and encrypted data.
The receiver vehicle itself requires no permanently installed connectivity hardware, as a typical smartphone is sufficient for displaying available parking spaces. More convenient is the presentation of the parking availability information over the on-board navigation system’s human-machine interface – which is easier to interpret.
The great advantage is that vehicles without sensor equipment can also use the community-based parking service, as transmitter and receiver vehicles do not necessarily have to have the same equipment.