Volvo Car Group, known for building safe cars, has been busy expanding its autonomous portfolio. Last year Volvo finished its multi-vehicle “Safe Road Train” (SARTRE) program in Europe with reasonable success. Next week Volvo will again bolster its autonomous program with its self-parking concept car.
According to Volvo, the new autonomous concept program would allow drivers to drop their car off near a parking lot in a designated zone, activate the autonomous smart phone app, and the car does the rest. Working off Volvo’s modified autonomous technology, the car then seeks out an open parking space and when identified, parks itself and waits for the retrieve command. Once the car has found a spot it sends the owner a notification of its location and that it has parked. Volvo's Vehicle 2 Infrastructure technology in-road sensors are required to inform drivers of drop off locations and activate the system.
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To avoid autonomous road rage and traffic incidents, Volvo has programmed the vehicle and its various sensors and cameras to interact in a safe and courteous manner with both pedestrians and competing vehicles. To retrieve the car, owners can either walk to where the car has located itself, or using Volvo’s smart phone app signal the car which will then autonomously make its way back to the owner at the designated pick up zone.
Although the system is still conceptual at this point, the accompanying video provides reasonable proof that the autonomous program can function in real world situations. Volvo claims autonomous steering will be available in the 2014 Volvo XC90. Self parking however will remain a hands-on responsibility until Volvo perfects the self-parking technology.
See Volvo's video below for more.
Source: Volvo Car Group