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Volvo Demonstrates Self-Parking Car

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On: Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 2:47PM | By: Chris Weiss

Volvo Demonstrates Self-Parking Car

Volvo has been working to make itself an automotive technological leader. Over the past few months and years, it's demonstrated or discussed upcoming technologies like car-to-car communications, the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment), and self-charging EV highways. In its latest demonstration, Volvo shows us a car that can park itself.

"Autonomous Parking is a concept technology that relieves the driver of the time-consuming task of finding a vacant parking space. The driver just drops the vehicle off at the entrance to the car park and picks it up in the same place later," said Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor Volvo Car Group.

Volvo's autonomous parking system uses a combination of a smartphone app and vehicle sensors. Transmitters within the parking infrastructure let the driver know that the parking lot offers autonomous parking. The driver pulls up to the entrance and activates autonomous parking with his phone, allowing the vehicle to find an available space and navigate itself into that space with its built-in sensors. When the driver comes back, he activates the car with his phone and waits for it to pull up and greet him. Other existing systems like pedestrian detection and auto brake work in conjunction with the autonomous parking system to safely navigate the car around the parking lot.

While autonomous parking might seem like a lot of technology for a little benefit, it is a step on the way toward cars that can drive themselves on highways, as well as parking lots. Volvo isn't the only car manufacturer working on such technology. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Audi showcased its own autonomous parking technology. The German manufacturer announced this month that it is trialing an RFID payment system that allows drivers to pay for public lot parking automatically without having to collect and submit a time card. Eventually this system could work in conjunction with self parking, allowing Audi vehicles to pay and park themselves.

Volvo's technology remains just a concept for now, but Volvo does plan to introduce some form of autonomous steering system on the new XC-90 next year. "The autonomous parking and platooning technologies are still being developed. However, we will take the first steps towards our leadership aim by introducing the first features with autonomous steering in the all-new Volvo XC90, which will be revealed at the end of 2014," said Broberg.

Volvo hasn't yet provide any details on that new system, but it could perhaps work with the Volvo Lane Departure Warning system, automatically steering the car when it drifts outside of the lanes.

Volvo plans to showcase its self-parking concept car at a media event this week, but you can see a sneak peek in the video below.



Dan Tole | 9:11AM (Wed, Oct 23, 2013)

All I can think about when watching this is that video of Volvo testing its city safe technology. It was a press demo that was suppose to show how the S60 would stop itself before hitting a parked car. Instead of stopping the S60 just plowed into the back of the parked car. I could see something similar happening with this system.

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