Ford has partnered with technology companies like Bosch for instance, to demonstrate the Automated Valet Parking system, which basically enables the car to go find a parking spot and park itself.
The system enables drivers to use an app to send the vehicle into an automated parking manoeuvre – all from outside the vehicle.
Still in Demo phase
The technology, currently in the research and demonstration phase, takes the stress out of parking and could be extended to enable drivers to send the vehicle to a car wash or charging station; or even have parcels delivered to the vehicle in the car park.
In Europe, a standard parking space is 2.44 metres by 4.88 metres. But while vehicles have become increasingly larger over the years, many parking spaces have stayed the same size.
The Automated Valet Parking could enable up to 20 per cent more vehicles to be parked in a car park – without the potential for damage resulting from vehicles parking too close to each other or occupants opening doors against other vehicles.
Sensors in action
The car park sensors recognise and localise the vehicle to guide its parking manoeuvre. If the infrastructure senses something in the vehicle’s path, such as a pedestrian, vehicle or hazard, it stops the vehicle immediately.
Upon arriving at the car park, the driver leaves the vehicle in a designated area and uses the FordPass app to start the automated guidance to a free parking space.*
When the car is parked, it could also become a personal parcel drop-off point, with delivery companies accessing the vehicle to leave parcels in the boot.
Drivers can use the FordPass app to request the return of the vehicle to the designated area, expediting the pick-up experience and enabling the driver and passengers to comfortably enter the vehicle.
This saves any long walks through large car parks or the potential problem of trying to find the vehicle again.
The solution can be deployed by installing sensors into established car parks or with embedded infrastructure planned into the construction of new car parks that enables optimised design for maximum capacity.
It would be suitable for vehicles already on the road which have automatic transmission, Electronic Stability Control, an electric park-brake and assisted steering. All that the vehicle additionally requires is a smart communication unit for Automated Valet Parking.
This follows Ford’s announcement on August 4, 2021, of the opening of the Detroit Smart Parking Lab (DSPL) next month; a unique facility providing a physical environment for testing advanced technologies in parking, logistics and electric vehicle charging. It will be open for collaboration with pioneers in these areas to simulate real-world scenarios.