German electronics giant unveils new touchscreen which can replicate the feeling of buttons on a flat screen, and reveals autonomous vehicle parking plan
5 January 2016

Bosch has revealed a new haptic touchscreen infotainment system at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The system is designed to help keep a driver's eyes on the road by using haptic feedback to guide fingertips around the screen surface. The keys displayed on the screen are claimed to have the feel of realistic buttons, and drivers push down to activate various functions. 

As well as its haptic elements, the infotainment system features visual and auditory signals. The system can also recognise the amount of pressure being applied to a button. Touching the screen lightly will activate the help function, for example, while varying degrees of pressure can be used to control other functions, including how fast users scroll through a list.

The haptic touchscreen concept is housed within a unique show car at CES. The show car's interior features an entirely digital dashboard with multiple screens for displaying infotainment information.

President of Bosch's car multimedia division Manfred Baden said: "The new touch screencombines the simple operation of mechanical buttons with the advantages of a touchscreen, significantly enhancing ease of operation.

"The innovative technology offers everything that is required to ensure its fast success on the market.”

As well as its haptic touchscreen, Bosch also revealed that it is working on bringing autonomous parking functionality to cars by 2018.

Speaking to Autocar, Bosch's chassis systems control boss Scott Winchip said the company was currently testing its self-parking technology in Germany and revealed that Bosch has already partnered with a vehicle manufacturer with a view to launching the technology in 2018, although he declined to name the brand.

At last year's CES show, BMW revealed its own take on self-parking cars, with a fleet of i3 electric cars which were capable of parking themselves in tight multi-storey garages.

"We're currently working with specific park houses which have a built-in infrastructure [and] bespoke sensors to make this happen," said Winchip. As we move beyond 2020 we'll have better technology and you'll be able to use different park houses."

Winchip also said the current target of having a fully autonomous vehicle on the roads by 2020 may be overly ambitous. He said while piloted driving on the motorway will indeed be possible by the end of the decade, it may take until 2025 for a fully autonomous car to make production due to the complexity of urban environments.

Bosch is also known to be working on a new cloud-based system that can alert drivers if they're going the wrong way along a road, and a system that allows cars to scan for parking spaces along a street.

Read more CES news

Our Verdict

BMW i3
Two versions of the BMW i3 are on sale: a pure electric model or a range-extender variant

BMW makes waves with Europe’s first premium-brand compact EV

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2017 Vauxhall Insignia prototype first drive
    First Drive
    25 October 2016
    We review the next-generation Vauxhall Insignia and find that, while still disguised and giving little away about its appearance, it's encouragingly good to drive
  • 2016 Ford Kuga ST-Line 1.5 Ecoboost 182
    First Drive
    25 October 2016
    The Kuga ST-Line is enjoyable to drive, but this version of the 1.5-litre Ecoboost engine doesn't suit Ford's SUV
  • Car review
    21 October 2016
    Can Seat’s first SUV impress, even with the heavy burden of expectation?
  • Car review
    21 October 2016
    The last hurrah for the current Aston Martin Vantage adds the track-ready GT8 to the range
  • Audi S5 Sportback
    First Drive
    20 October 2016
    New S5 Sportback is more spacious, better to drive and offers a calmer ride than before, but rivals offer greater involvement