Automotive

Audi gets smaller and smarter with self parking

Audi gets smaller and smarter ...
Audi Q2 deep learning concept
Audi Q2 deep learning concept
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The 1:8-scale model Audi parks within a model parking lot
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The 1:8-scale model Audi parks within a model parking lot
The Q2 deep learning model has two cameras and 10 ultrasonic sensors
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The Q2 deep learning model has two cameras and 10 ultrasonic sensors
Audi demonstrates its expertise in machine learning
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Audi demonstrates its expertise in machine learning
Audi Q2 deep learning concept
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Audi Q2 deep learning concept
Audi Q2 deep learning concept
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Audi Q2 deep learning concept
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A little different from other self-parking research vehicles we've seen, Audi's Q2 deep learning concept is a 1:8-scale model that relies on machine learning to help it hunt down its mini parking space and maneuver itself inside. Cameras and ultrasonic sensors route data through a central computer, which controls navigation, and the car learns from trial and error, continuously refining its self-parking capabilities. This type of learning will be integral in giving real autonomous vehicles the ability to handle complex driving situations safely and efficiently.

Audi is showcasing its scale self-parking Q2 at the Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) in Barcelona this week. The car demonstrates Audi's ongoing research in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

A pre-development project of Audi subsidiary Audi Electronics Venture, the Q2 deep learning concept uses a sensor set of front and rear mono cameras and 10 ultrasonic sensors to navigate around the 3 x 3-meter model parking area, identify the parking space and maneuver itself inside. The sensors route data through the central computer system, which then controls the steering and electric drive motor.

"The model car's parking ability is made possible by deep reinforcement learning," Audi explains. "In other words, the system essentially learns through trial and error. To begin, the car selects its direction of travel at random. An algorithm autonomously identifies the successful actions, thus continually refining the parking strategy. So in the end the system is able to solve even difficult problems autonomously."

The 1:8-scale model Audi parks within a model parking lot
The 1:8-scale model Audi parks within a model parking lot

The car's parking ability improves over time through this process and errors decrease. Audi identifies this type of artificial intelligence as essential for developing autonomous cars that can effectively analyze and react to complex situations, such as urban traffic.

"In one year a 16-year-old driver might encounter 1,000 situations with a four-way stop," Peter Steiner, managing director of Audi Electronics Venture, was quoted in a Nvidia blog post earlier this year (Nvidia is one of Audi's technology partners). "But our systems will learn from hundreds of thousands, even millions, of such situations that can be stored, analyzed and improved from, so these cars can learn even better than a human being can."

Audi's next step will be to transfer this self-parking tech to a real research car. The next-generation A8 will feature deep learning-based software when it debuts next year.

Source: Audi

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3 comments
KaiserPingo
And finally VAG gets it...
Bob Flint
My driveway doesn't have white lines, most of our streets are riddled with ruts, potholes, rubbish, leaves, snow, slush, ice, etc. No amount of redundant cameras (which will get filthy in seconds of traveling anywhere in wet/winter conditions) can adequately capture all the data required. To currently manage the enormous amounts of data Uber alone has rack size servers that log the data. But each and every trip will be different with all the variables changing constantly, and therefore exponentially increase the data.
ljaques
After watching the weather videos this morning, I look at those sensors surrounding the autonomous vehicle and wonder, in bad weather, how long it will take for them to be obscured enough to no longer work. Cameras might last a few minutes, but I'm not sure about ultrasonic sensors. There is definitely a need for self-parking vehicles, as noted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wa4vXBakFs , and especially https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4swQ3wBFRI .