Automatic parking

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This article is about a feature for a vehicle to park itself. For the automated parking lot, see Multi-storey car park#Automated parking.

Automatic parking is an autonomous car-maneuvering system that moves a vehicle from a traffic lane into a parking spot to perform parallel, perpendicular or angle parking. The automatic parking system aims to enhance the comfort and safety of driving in constrained environments where much attention and experience is required to steer the car. The parking maneuver is achieved by means of coordinated control of the steering angle and speed which takes into account the actual situation in the environment to ensure collision-free motion within the available space.[1]

The car is an example of a nonholonomic system where the number of control commands available is less than the number of coordinates that represent its position and orientation.

One of the first assistance systems for car parking used four jacks with wheels to raise the car and then move it sideways into the available parking space. This mechanical system was proposed in 1934, but was never offered on any production model.[2]


One of the world's first experimental prototypes of automatic parallel parking was developed at INRIA on a Ligier electric car in the mid-1990s.[3] It was extended to an automatic perpendicular parking in the early 2000s.[4][5]

In 1992, Volkswagen proposed an automatic parking technology using four-wheel steering in its IRVW (Integrated Research Volkswagen) Futura concept car, allowing the driver to get out of the car and watch the whole process of parallel parking. However, no commercial version of this technology was ever offered.[6]

In 2004, a group of Linköping University students in Sweden working with Volvo developed a project called Evolve.[7] Evolve car can automatically cis-row parking. These students installed sensors and a computer to control steering, acceleration and brake pedals with the Volvo S60.

How it works[edit]

An automatic parking system uses various methods to detect objects around the vehicle. Sensors installed on the front and rear bumpers can act as both a transmitter and a receiver. These sensors send a signal that will be reflected back when it encounters an obstacle near the vehicle. Then, the carputer will use the time signal it receives to determine the position of the obstacle. Other systems mounted on the bumper use the camera or radar to detect obstacles.[8] But the result is the same: the car will detect the parking space size and distance from the roadside, then drive the car into the parking space. (See Omniview technology)


In 2003, Toyota began to sell their Japanese Prius hybrid vehicle with an automatic parallel parking capability offered as an option[9] named Intelligent Parking Assist.

In 2006, Lexus added a self-parking system to the redesigned Lexus LS sedan. It parallel parks as well as angle parks.

In 2009, Ford introduced their Active Park Assist beginning with their Lincoln models. It does parallel parking.

In 2010, BMW introduced a system called "parking assistant" on the redesigned 5-series. It does parallel parking.

Up to 2012, automatic parking systems were being developed by several automobile manufacturers. Ford and Lincoln offered active park assist on Ford Focus, Fusion, Escape, Explorer and Flex and Lincoln MKS and MKT. Toyota and Lexus had advanced parking assistant on Toyota Prius V Five and Lexus LS460 and LS460 L. BMW all-new sixth-generation 3 Series used a system called parking assistant. Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz also offered parktronic on their C-Class, CLS-Class Coupe, M-Class SUV, E-Class, S-Class, GL350, GL450 SUV (standard on GL550) and R-Class in different prices.[10]


See also[edit]