Electronic valet parks the car, no tip required

Jan 09, 2014 by Sophie Estienne
A Valeo representative swipes his finger across an iPhone to initiate a self parking demonstration at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 8, 2014

There is no one inside the Range Rover in a Las Vegas parking lot. But it still guides its way to a parking place, after what looks like some hesitation.

The self-parking is directed by an app which controls the vehicle, detects an available space and maneuvers into it.

The "automated parking valet" created by the French equipment maker Valeo is among the technology innovations for the sector on display at this week's Consumer Electronics Show.

While the idea of a fully autonomous car is a dream for some, this is a step which promises to alleviate at least some of the tedium facing motorists.

The system allows drivers to leave their car at the entrance of a parking lot and let it find a space to park itself. Drivers activate the feature from their smartphone, and can also use it to summon the car to pick them up.

"It's like a brain," said Guillaume Devauchelle, a Valeo vice president presenting the prototype system at the huge electronics expo.

"It acts step by step, with a certain latitude, to be able to adapt to the situation," Devauchelle told AFP.

"If it is put in the same position for a second time, it won't react the same way."

The system does not require garages or to have special equipment, the executive said. It relies on the kinds of sensors some cars already use, with some extra electronics.

A Range Rover Evoque equipped with Valeo self-parking technology backs into a parking spot during a driverless car demo at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 8, 2014

Devauchelle said the system may require a camera to recognize and avoid spaces designated for the handicapped or unusual features in a garage.

He said the system was designed to be as simple as possible so that it would not be only for luxury vehicles.

"We would like to make this available to the largest number of people," he said.

Even as automakers work on self-driving vehicles, a number of improvements can be made along the way, Devauchelle said, indicating the parking valet is not simply a matter of convenience.

It can help avoid the kinds of accidents frequent in parking areas and allow elderly people who find it difficult to make parking maneuvers to use their cars more often.

"As you age, turning your head becomes harder, so is very difficult," the Valeo executive said.

"Parking maneuvers, in our estimation, are the most difficult for motorists."

Valeo said three million cars already have its semi-automatic system, which can perform parallel parking but require the driver to remain at the wheel.

The company said it has also sold a system that uses remote control but requires the driver to remain in view of the car or the smartphone screen as a safety precaution.

Devauchelle said the automated valet is adapted well for rental car fleets but added that regulations about driver requirements "from the horse and buggy era" need to be reviewed.

Explore further: Bosch shows automated park assistance at CES

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bosch shows automated park assistance at CES

Jan 07, 2014

(Phys.org) —CES in Las Vegas, in full swing, has a number of gadgetry themes at this year's show, not least of which is automotive technologies that pave the way for driverless cars which, in the interim, ...

First Formula E car dazzles Las Vegas

Jan 07, 2014

The first Formula E car—part of an upcoming motor racing competition to put electric vehicles on the map—made its dazzling debut on Monday in Las Vegas.

IBM looks to take pain out of parking

Sep 28, 2011

US technology stalwart IBM and Internet startup Streetline on Wednesday will begin courting cities with a system designed to take the pain out of parking.

Toyota, Audi driverless demos will pull up to CES

Jan 06, 2013

(Phys.org)—While the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas starting January 8 will be full of mobile-computing gadgetry next week, autonomous driving demonstrations will also capture visitors' attention, ...

Recommended for you

China's Alibaba plans IPO for week of September 8

4 hours ago

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plans to hold its initial public offering on the US stock market the week of September 8, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Tablet sales slow as PCs find footing

4 hours ago

Tablets won't eclipse personal computers as fast as once thought, according to studies by market tracker International Data Corporation (IDC).

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

4 hours ago

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

FIXD tells car drivers via smartphone what is wrong

18 hours ago

A key source of anxiety while driving solo, when even a bothersome back-seat driver's comments would have made you listen: the "check engine" light is on but you do not feel, smell or see anything wrong. ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

_ilbud
4 / 5 (1) Jan 09, 2014
Audi have done this already.
ScottyB
not rated yet Jan 09, 2014
Audi have done this already.

Not with the driver out of the car :)