Autonomous Valet Parking By Volkswagen

An autonomous valet parking system was demonstrated last weekend by Volkswagen. A product of a partnership between Stanford University and the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory (VAIL), a modified Passat can drive into a parking lot, find the first available space and neatly back up, parking the car autonomously.


(Volkswagen's autonomous valet parking demonstration video)

The system uses mostly off-the-shelf parts, including a front radar (already available as part of an adaptive cruise control system) a camera mounted in front of the rear view mirror (also available equipment on Passats) and LIDAR units mounted on the sides.

So why aren't you seeing cars happily backing themselves in while being taunted by parking valet union members? A slight hitch - the car cannot discern "obstacles" like human beings.

Interestingly, VAIL envisions special parking garages for cars that can autonomously park themselves. Once left at a drop-off area, the car would proceed to a "cars only" part of the garage.

Cars that park themselves have a curious history in science fiction. Cars that can drive themselves on special highways (like the Heinlein's Camden speedster were not smart enough to park themselves. SF writers much more commonly wrote about automated parking garages.

In his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children, Robert Heinlein wrote about an automated parking garage called a robopark:

Outside her friend's apartment [Mary] dropped down a bounce tube to the basement, claimed her car from the robopark, guided it up the ramp...
(Read more about Heinlein's robopark)

Frank Herbert briefly refers to a robotic parking garage in his 1977 novel The Dosadi Experiment and identifies a key element that makes it work - namely, grapple tracks.

These parking garages are starting to appear; see Skypark Robotic Parking Garage and a fun home version, the PhantomPark Secret Agent Parking System.

Can you think of an example of a self-parking car in sf?

Via BotJunkie.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/26/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Vehicle ")

Jet-Powered Hoverboard Works!
L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

Mojipic Smart Voice Vehicle Emojis
KITT, your move!

AVAS Noisemakers Required For EVs By EU
'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'- Robert Heinlein, 1985.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'

Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.

Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'

'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'

France's 'Red Team' Of Science Fiction Authors
'They're the only experts we have.'

Dim The Sun With Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment
'Those twin volcanoes; d'ye see them, Mr. Renner?'

Mashambas Skyscraper Farm Design Wins
'...a towering eighty-story structure like the office In-and Out baskets stacked up to the sky.'

Self-Driving Tractors From China Plan Ahead
'Machines that seemingly with full consciousness walked out into the fields to do their daily work.'

Jet-Powered Hoverboard Works!
L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.