There’s something eerie about them: cars that park themselves and then return to their owners as if they were sentient. “Automated Valet Parking” (AVP) is a pilot project that takes a singular approach to parking. It offers a taste of what is to come.
Mr Hämmerling, how does automated parking work for me as a customer?
It’s simple, really. You just send a command from your smartphone and your car will drive from its parking spot to you, in the pick-up area of the car park. Then you can get in and drive off – and if you want to park the car again, just drive it to the drop-off area, get out, and send another command. The car will drive to the parking space on its own. The time you might have taken looking for a spot can then be better used elsewhere – and you will spare yourself the frustration of finding a spot.
How does the car navigate the car park?
Our project partner Bosch has developed sensors specially for this purpose, and these communicate with a central computer in the car park. The computer, in turn, sends commands to the vehicle’s interface, and the sensors steer the car. They are also able to detect objects and obstructions – such as a child who has wandered away from its parent – and bring the car to a halt.