Automated Valet Parking

Automated Valet Parking: Driverless to the Parking Space

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With its cost-efficient "Automated Valet Parking" solution, ZF helps to reduce the stress of finding parking spaces. The system is one of the first worldwide to function independent of a pre-mapped and instrumented parking garage infrastructure.
Lars Weitbrecht,
Lars Weitbrecht originally comes from the music and gaming industry, but in addition to holding a game pad or guitar in his hand, he also enjoys the power of the pen and the feel of the steering wheel.
The nervous look at the watch. The bead of sweat on the forehead. Whether it's an important business appointment, a job interview, or an upcoming flight: Why can't you find a parking when you really need it? And even if you can find a car park, it takes even more valuable minutes. First the stretch exercise at the barrier, then the elaborate and exhaustive search for a gap, finally the maneuvering into the parking space - parking is one of the less enjoyable aspects of motorized individual mobility.

Valet parking service, offered, for example, by some hotel chains, restaurants, or at airports, is much more comfortable. Driving the car to the gate, get out, press the car key into the hand of the available staff and continue walking. This luxury in a significantly modernized form, could soon benefit a great many. With the "Automated Valet Parking" system from ZF, a new solution for automated, driverless parking, the car is sent independently to a parking lot in the parking garage via a cell phone app where it will be parked without a driver.
"With our system, we can save the driver a lot of time," said Calvin Xing, Vice President Electronics Engineering China at ZF. This includes on the way back as well as the way there because the driver can send another cell phone command to return his car and the vehicle is chauffeured again independently from the parking lot to the driver.
Expert Calvin Xing explains ZF's Automated Valet Parking solution

Centimeter-accurate localization with vSLAM technology

Centimeter-accurate localization with vSLAM technology
The ZF system finds a parking space without a driver on board and maneuvers the vehicle into it - it is the first automated valet parking solution worldwide that only relies on the vehicle's sensors and functions independently of a instrumented parking garage infrastructure. "So far, similar technologies rely on connecting to the parking garage infrastructure," explains Xing. This means: Not only must the car be equipped accordingly, but also the parking garage, e.g. with cameras and corresponding connectivity.
"With our system, we can save the driver a lot of time"
Calvin Xing, Vice President Electronics Engineering China at ZF
The cost-efficient solution from ZF is based on the "Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping" (vSLAM) technology, which enables centimeter-accurate localization and real-time map generation. In doing so, data from on-board and environmental sensors are used to create a map of the environment and to determine the position and direction of movement of the vehicle within it. Sensors also scan the surroundings to detect parking spaces and obstacles such as pillars or other vehicles. The sensor set is mainly based on a front camera, a front radar, four surrounding cameras, and twelve ultrasonic sensors and is scalable with more advanced sensors as well as connectivity.

ZF's solution goes into volume production in 2022

ZF's solution goes into volume production in 2022
ZF's automated valet parking solution is a good example of how the company is driving vehicle intelligence and responding flexibly to the requirements of the respective market. First, Chinese customers will send their car by cell phone to search for parking spaces. At the end of 2022, ZF's solution will go into volume production at a Chinese car manufacturer. "This meets the demand of local customers for comfortable, automated functions," said Xing. However, stress in the search for parking spaces is not only widespread in China. Therefore, ZF assumes that the cost-efficient system is also an attractive solution for other markets and that customers around the world will soon be able to use the comfort of automated valet parking.