Volvo reveals driverless self-parking car
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20th June, 2013
Volvo Car Group has developed an ingenious concept for autonomous parking.
The concept car, which will be demonstrated next week, finds and parks in a vacant space by itself, without the driver
inside. The driverless car also interacts safely and smoothly with other cars and pedestrians in the car park.
“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,” says Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor Volvo Car Group.
Vehicle 2 Infrastructure technology, in other words transmitters in the road infrastructure, informs the driver when
the service is available. The driver uses a mobile phone application to activate the Autonomous Parking and then walks
away from the car.
The vehicle uses sensors to localise and navigate to an available parking space. The procedure is reversed when the
driver comes back to pick up the car.
Interacts with other vehicles and road users
Combining autonomous driving with detection and auto brake for other objects makes it possible for the car to interact
safely with other cars and pedestrians in the car park. Speed and braking are adapted for smooth integration in the
“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,” says Thomas Broberg.
Pioneering autonomous technologies
Volvo Car Group’s aim is to gain leadership in the field of autonomous driving by moving beyond concepts and actually
delivering pioneering technologies that will reach customers. The Autonomous Parking concept is one of several
development projects in this field.
Volvo Cars has also been the only participating car manufacturer in the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment)
project, which was completed in 2012.
The project involved seven European partners. It is the only one of its kind to focus on technology that can be
implemented on conventional highways on which platooned traffic operates in a mixed environment with other road users.
The SARTRE platoon included a lead truck followed by four Volvos driven autonomously at speeds of up to 90km/h – in
some cases with no more than a four-metre gap between the vehicles.
Autonomous steering in the next XC90
“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,” concludes Thomas Broberg.