LAS VEGAS – By 2025, highly automated driving will save almost 100 hours per year for the average frequent driver in the U.S., Germany and China, according to a study commissioned by Bosch, the world’s No.1 automotive supplier with expertise in electronics.

This 100 hours is time drivers will not have to monitor the road, handle the steering wheel, manage the pedals or fuss with any of the controls as the era of autonomous vehicles takes hold, says the study, “Connected Car Effect 2025.”

Conducted by Bosch and consulting firm Prognos, the study was released here today at the 2017 CES, an event all elements of the auto industry have identified as one that cannot be missed.

In the U.S., Germany and major cities in China, safety systems and cloud-based functions potentially can prevent about 260,000 injury accidents, save 390,000 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions and offer average drivers an extra 31 hours of free time on the highway, the study says.

Highly automated driving and available Internet connectivity will free up around 80% of time behind the wheel for things such as reading, composing emails, video conferencing and watching movies. Bosch says road warriors who travel up to 24,855 miles (40,000 km) annually could benefit from 95 extra hours of productivity during their journeys.

When cars are parking themselves and know where to find available parking spaces via advanced navigation systems, that function will save people 70 million hours of driving time in the U.S., Germany and China, the supplier says.

With community-based parking, cars locate available spots by detecting gaps between parked cars. The data gathered then is transmitted as a real-time digital street map, available via the cloud to other vehicles seeking parking spots.

Bosch says pilot parking projects are planned in the U.S. for 2017. In cooperation with Mercedes-Benz, the supplier currently is testing the community-based parking concept in metropolitan Stuttgart.

“Our study shows that the effects of connectivity will have a perceptible impact on every driver in 2025,” says Bosch Board Member Dirk Hoheisel. “Connected mobility will mean fewer accidents, less fuel consumption, less stress.”

By 2022, the global market for connected mobility is set to grow almost 25% annually, Bosch contends. In just a few years, the supplier says cars will become an active part of the Internet of Things and will be able to communicate with other modes of transportation and the smart home.

Personalized communication between the car and its driver also will be expanded: New functions are connecting the car to its surroundings and the repair shop, further enabling highly automated driving, Bosch says.

That’s because cars fast are becoming personal assistants rather than mere modes of transportation, says Bosch Board Member Werner Struth during its CES press conference, where the supplier presents a new concept car showing how different spheres of life will be seamlessly interconnected in the future.

“The vehicle will play a central role in cross-domain communication,” Struth says. “If the car is connected to the smart home or the smart city via the cloud, there will be measurable benefits. Connectivity is turning the car into an assistant on four wheels.”

Bosch’s concept car introduces a range of innovative technologies: The moment the driver sits down, facial recognition technology sets the steering wheel, mirrors, interior temperature and radio station according to the driver’s individual preferences. The system is controlled via a haptic touch display and gesture control, both of which give tangible feedback.

tmurphy@wardsauto.com