Driverless navigation to charge spots ‒ thanks to Bosch and CARIAD
Bosch and CARIAD are now testing driverless parking and charging on the basis of automated valet parking.
Testing commences for automated parking and charging
- Bosch and Volkswagen subsidiary CARIAD are testing driverless parking and charging based on automated valet parking.
- Automated parking service now includes automated charging of electric vehicles.
- Aim is to create additional benefit for automotive customers by combining automated parking and charging services.
- Automated charging will smooth the way to electromobility.
Stuttgart, Germany – Finding a parking space can be tiresome and time-consuming, especially in labyrinthine parking garages – and finding the vehicle again later is no different. The search for a free charge spot is a similar story. Together with the Volkswagen subsidiary CARIAD, Bosch is now testing automated valet charging. This solution, which is based on Bosch’s automated valet parking system, guides electric vehicles driverlessly to an unoccupied parking space furnished with a charge spot, where a charging robot recharges them automatically. Once recharging is complete, the vehicle maneuvers driverlessly to another parking space. Bosch and CARIAD are now testing the necessary technology in two in-house parking garages in Germany: in CARIAD’s staff parking garage in Ingolstadt, the two companies are testing driverless parking with automated valet parking, while driverless charging with automated valet charging is being tested in Bosch’s development parking garage in Ludwigsburg. And at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, Bosch is also currently showcasing the technology needed for automated charging.
Electromobility: automation to allay misgivings about range
Easy, straightforward charging is at the top of the wish list for electric car drivers. But their everyday experience tells a different story: long queues at charge spots, blocking fees for disconnecting the power cable too late, and manhandling the cable. By addressing these challenges, automated valet charging greatly increases customer convenience when charging electric vehicles. What’s more, the technology offers a range of advantages for automakers, charge spot operators, parking garage operators, and energy suppliers. And for the environment, electric vehicles mean a reduction in carbon emissions from road traffic.
“Making it straightforward to recharge electric vehicles allays people’s misgivings about range, and is essential if electromobility is to find widespread acceptance. With this in mind, Bosch and CARIAD can make parking and charging even more efficient and convenient.”
Rolf Dubitzky, head of parking at CARIAD, also sees great potential in this collaboration: “We’re particularly pleased to be shaping the future of automated parking and charging together with Bosch. Our collaboration allows us to test the technologies at an early stage of vehicle development, so that the end product is reliable and offers customers the best possible user experience.”
Charging service: the automated route to even more convenience
The infrastructure guides the vehicle to the parking space, where a robot opens the charging flap and automatically inserts the charging cable, removing it again once the vehicle battery is fully charged. The car then drives back to a regular parking space, freeing up the charge spot for the next electric vehicle with a low battery. All this makes it possible for several vehicles to be recharged and parked without human interaction. This increases the efficiency of the charging infrastructure, optimizes the use of charge spots, and saves customers the bother of long waits at the charge spot.
Automated valet parking is the world’s first driverless SAE Level 4 parking service, and has been in operation in the P6 parking garage at Stuttgart airport for about a year now. Bosch has also started to equip other parking garages throughout Germany with the infrastructure technology.