That frustrating search for a free space in your local shopping centre car park could become a thing of the past after Volvo revealed a concept vehicle that will perform the task without a driver.
Volvo will demonstrate the self-parking concept car in Sweden next week, previewing autonomous steering technology that will debut on its next-generation XC90 SUV in late 2014.
The technology combines transmitters placed in relevant locations with the Volvo concept’s onboard detection and auto brake collision avoidance system already available in the company’s current models.
The vehicle-2-infrastructure transmitters tell the driver when the self-parking service is available, when they can hop out of the car and active the system via their mobile phone.
The car then uses its sensors to locate and manoeuvre into an available parking spot safely, making allowances for other cars or pedestrians. The car will also return itself to the owner at a designated spot when they’re ready to pick it up.
“Autonomous parking is a concept technology that relieves the driver of the time-consuming task of finding a vacant parking space,” says Volvo’s senior safety advisor, Thomas Broberg. “The driver just drops the vehicle off at the entrance to the car park and picks it up in the same place later.
“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 XC90.”
“Our approach is based on the principle that autonomously driven cars must be able to move safely in environments with non-autonomous vehicles and unprotected road users.”