Audi's Piloted Parking Technology Wins Acclaim
By Jeff Youngs, February 04, 2013
After demonstrating its new Piloted Parking technology at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in early January, Audi is receiving accolades for the system, with Popular Science magazine calling it "Product of the Future" and specialized media network The Verge naming it "Best Automotive Technology."
Currently, Piloted Parking is designed to operate in large parking garages equipped with the proper technology. Pulling into a garage and then stopping, vehicle owners activate Piloted Parking by using a smartphone application or a remote key fob. Using 12 ultrasonic sensors, and up to four camera systems in planned future versions of the technology, the Audi autonomously drives into the parking space.
A central computer inside the garage employs lasers to record both the Audi's movement within the garage and to map parking spaces that already contain vehicles, and guides the vehicle to the nearest empty parking space. When the car is safely parked, the engine shuts off, the doors lock, and the vehicle sends a confirmation to its owner.
Upon return to the garage, the owner activates Piloted Parking once again, and the vehicle autonomously drives to the exit, where the driver gets into the vehicle and departs.
According to Audi, this application of Piloted Parking is just the beginning. The automaker says it is working on a variety of piloted driving systems, including those that work in outdoor parking areas, in personal garages, and in traffic jams. Ricky Hudi, Head of Electrics/Electronics Development at Audi, said about the reaction to the company's Piloted Parking technology: "The awards acknowledge our development work and show that we are on the right track."
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