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Audi Piloted Parking (Audi's self-parking car)

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Published on Feb 18, 2013

Audi's self-parking car

Audi recently demonstrated a car that can park itself without the need for a driver.For Audi, one technology with which it hopes to leap ahead is a local Wi-Fi hotspot and integrated 3G/4G for internet access for passengers while on the road.

But the most impressive technology-led iniative for the company is still a way off: a self-parking car, or, as Audi calls it, Piloted Parking.

The idea behind it is rather simple: you exit your vehicle, pull out your smartphone, click a button and the car drives itself off to a parking spot at a nearby garage.

The car uses an array of internal and external sensors to get its position: Audi claims they can be as accurate up to 10cm, but only if they have access to special laser sensors inside the parking structure (four of those scanners had been set up in the parking structure to support the demo). These might be redundant in the future, as the car maker is working on a laser sensor that will be integrated in the car itself (think the sensor tower on top of Google's self-driving car, but completely integrated in the chassis).

The self-parking system also needs access to the car park's management system, in order to find and allocate a free parking space and transmit the route to the car. Since most modern car parks have more than one level or are underground, GPS-based positioning is not really an option, so instead the management system uses Wi-Fi to transmit the route.

The technologies that Audi is developing for its future piloted driving system have been highly acclaimed by US experts. The "Popular Science" magazine has named the Audi system for piloted parking in parking garages "Product Of The Future." The editorial team is thus recognizing the most significant developments presented by Audi at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 (CES) in Las Vegas.

The new Audi system was also commended as "Best Automotive Technology" at this year's CES by specialized media network "The Verge." Ricky Hudi, Head of Electrics/Electronics Development at Audi: "The awards acknowledge our development work and show that we are on the right track."

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