Volvo demonstrates a self-parking car
June 21, 2013 by John Day
Volvo Car Group has developed a concept car that can find a vacant parking space and park itself in the space without involving the driver. According to Volvo the car also interacts safely with other cars and pedestrians in the car park.
“Autonomous Parking is a concept technology that relieves the driver of the time-consuming task of finding a vacant parking space,” says Volvo senior safety advisor Thomas Broberg.
“The driver just drops the vehicle off at the entrance to the car park and picks it up in the same place later.”
Vehicle-2-Infrastructure (V2I) technology – transmitters in the road – informs the driver when the service is available. The driver uses a mobile phone application to activate the Autonomous Parking feature and then walks away from the car. The vehicle uses sensors to localize and navigate to a free parking space. The procedure is reversed when the driver comes back to pick up the car.
Combining autonomous driving with detection and auto brake makes it possible for the car to interact safely with other cars and pedestrians in the car park. Speed and braking are adapted for smooth integration in the parking environment.
“Our approach is based on the principle that autonomously driven cars must be able to move safely in environments with non-autonomous vehicles and unprotected road users,” says Broberg.
“The autonomous parking and platooning technologies are still being developed. However, we will take the first steps towards our leadership aim by introducing the first features with autonomous steering in the all-new Volvo XC90, which will be revealed at the end of 2014,” Broberg concludes.
The Autonomous Parking concept is one of several development projects related to autonomous driving. Volvo also participated in the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project, which included a lead truck followed by four Volvos driven autonomously at speeds of up to 90 km/h – in some cases with no more than a four-meter gap between the vehicles.