German automotive group Continental has developed with the help of Romanian programmers and engineers from its unit in Iasi an automated driving technology to provide vehicles with a “memory” for recurring parking procedures.
Through Trained Parking, the drivers can teach their vehicle routine parking tasks. Once they have been learned, the vehicle can then independently perform parking procedures at the touch of a button.
In Romania, the Continental Iasi team is working on system development: it implements algorithms and covers this technology’s software implementation.
The Trained Parking function records and stores the sequence of a parking procedure. When learning, i.e. the first time the route is driven manually, the system generates a precise map of the surroundings from the sensor data and then stores this map.
Using Trained Parking, the car records all 360 degrees of its surroundings using the standard sensors installed in the vehicle. This includes short-range radars and surround-view cameras but other sensor technologies, such as LiDAR, can also be used.
When the vehicle is in the area covered by this map, it can determine its precise position and automatically drive the learned route. The driver can exit the vehicle before activating the parking procedure as the vehicle parks without driver assistance.
In doing so, Trained Parking not only relieves the driver from a tedious routine, but it also allows vehicles to park in tight spaces in parking garages without the driver having to stress about getting out.
“Parking procedures, such as from the house door into the garage, show how effective automation already is in vehicles today,” explained Alfred Eckert, head of Advanced Technology in Continental’s Chassis & Safety division. “When it comes to repeating processes, automation is already unbeatable in terms of reliability. Furthermore, the technology is getting ever better at detecting and handling changing situations.”
For the Trained Parking function, Continental uses sensors already available in the vehicle, such as cameras and radars, to detect the surroundings.
Trained Parking function will be available in two versions. The variant that will be presented as part of the New Mobility World at the IAA in Frankfurt is partially automated and still requires supervision by the driver. It works according to the dead-man’s switch principle, meaning that the function is only active as long as the driver continues to press a button on a key or mobile phone. This is expected to be in series production in 2020. The next development step is the fully automated variant, which does not require any driver supervision.