Continental automatic parking system threatens valet jobs
German firm presents a new fully automated valet parking function in a demo vehicle in Frankfurt
Continental Automotive Group has developed an automated technology solution, enabling cars to valet park without a driver.
The German company, which specialises in tyres and automotive technology, showcased the fully automated Valet Parking function in a demo vehicle at Continental’s premises during the 2017 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt.
With this new technology, once the driver has exited the vehicle, the car navigates independently through a parking garage barrier, detecting free parking spaces and parks fully autonomously on the first floor. Pedestrians and other vehicles crossing its path are detected and the driving strategy is adapted dynamically. The next stage of development, which Continental’s team of engineers in Germany are working on now, will mean the system can also navigate up and down ramps to other levels in multi-storey parking facilities.
A tap on a button on a smartphone returns the vehicle to the owner.
Continental’s latest innovative technology has been presented at a time when autonomous driving is an increasingly hot topic in the Middle East as a number of GCC governments have revealed their plans to develop smart cities and boost autonomous driving.
“With valet parking, we have presented a driverless function, which relieves drivers from a tedious procedure,” explained Alfred Eckert, Head of Advanced Technology in Continental’s Chassis & Safety division. “The valet parking function provides drivers with a beneficial service in terms of convenience and time. It is also a concrete step towards modern mobility based on fully automated driving.”
Continental has developed this software to enable vehicles to find a parking space regardless of the infrastructure in a parking garage. The demo vehicle detects its surroundings using four short-range radar sensors, four surround-view cameras and a forward-facing mono camera. Through the use of sensory data and a digital map, the vehicle will determine its exact position in the parking garage and navigate automatically. The sensory-based approach of the valet parking function with ramp navigation is expected to be available to the public by 2022.