Volvo Car Group demonstrates the ingenious self-parking car
Volvo Car Group has developed an ingenious concept for autonomous parking. The concept car, which will be demonstrated at a media event next week, finds and parks in a vacant space by itself, without the driver inside. The smart, 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 a free 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 parking environment.
"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 the 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 successfully 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 90 km/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.
Volvo Innovation Brands – designing technology around you
Autonomous Parking technology is a perfect example of how Volvo’s Innovation Brands are all designed around you.
To put things in perspective and to help customers ensure their specific Volvo is equipped with features that perfectly compliment their lifestyle, Volvo has divided all its technology into three categories - or Innovation Brands - namely Drive-E, Intellisafe and Sensus.
This is a way of grouping and encapsulating Volvo’s features to simplify all the technical jargon and make it easier for everyone to understand which Volvo features would best compliment their driving styles and lifestyle.
Volvo’s Innovation Brands show that it is listening to customers and providing them with differentiated solutions that will make their lives easier.
Drive-E is Volvo’s all-encompassing approach to sustainable driving. It’s the innovative thinking behind a whole range of technologies that give you more power, more efficiency and greater driving enjoyment, while also respecting the environment. This thinking has led us to develop new, efficient and powerful engines, plug-in hybrids, high-output batteries, Start/Stop technology, energy recovery systems, even sustainable manufacturing. Planet-friendly mobility is central to our philosophy of intelligent, thoughtful luxury. It’s at the heart of every Volvo we make.
Note: South Africa and Electric Vehicles
Even though Volvo Car South Africa does not yet offer any of our Electric, Hybrid or Flexi-fuel vehicles on the local market, mainly due to insufficient infrastructure and SA’s ‘dirty’ electricity, we are proud to demonstrate our leadership and innovation in alternative fuels and mobility. In South Africa we offer the most advanced and viable solutions for customers who want to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum – this includes diesel engines emitting as little as 94g/km of C02.
We take pride in its dedication to reducing its carbon footprint through electrification and factories that run entirely on clean energy. Volvo Cars is continuously evolving and improving its eco technology. The Swedish company is a leader in environmentally friendly mobility and was one of the first international companies to adopt an eco-friendly approach to manufacturing.
Sensus refers to all Volvo’s information, entertainment and support solutions that give you a more intuitive, innovative, integrated way to connect with your car and the world around you. It’s a sensory extension of yourself: technology that’s new and natural, allowing you to effortlessly control and personalize every aspect of your drive, from the feel of the steering to the mood of your car’s interior lighting. But we won't stop there. More and more, our cars will be part of your digital world, so intuitive that you won’t even need a manual – you’ll just get in and drive. It’s all part of Volvo’s mission to simplify your life.
Volvo has been leading the way in safety since 1927, when our founders vowed that keeping people safe would be the guiding principle behind everything we do. Today, IntelliSafe is our complete approach to car safety, making your drive simpler, more enjoyable and less stressful. IntelliSafe actively supports your driving, using innovative technologies to let you drive smoothly and safely. Features like City Safety and Pedestrian Detection scan the area around you for the unexpected and help prevent accidents, keeping you always in command. Inside every Volvo, you’re protected by the high quality Boron steel cage and our innovative Side Impact Protection System. And now, with our revolutionary new Pedestrian Airbag Technology, even those around you are safer. Our IntelliSafe vision is to create cars that will avoid collisions altogether. Safety is, and always will be, Volvo's strength in every sense.
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