Do you remember learning to park and taking on the task during your driving exam? Maybe your hands
were sweating as you imagined bumping a car or failing your test. Parking in our congested world
can be stressful. Densely packed parking garages, small parking spaces, the distractions of
pedestrians and the probability that a driver could be experiencing a garage environment for the
first time are formidable challenges. Luckily, Ford Motor Company has seen the future of parking
Taken Parking to the Next Level, with an Automated Valet that Does the Work for You.
Last week, at IAA in Munich, Ford worked with its partners, including NXP and Cohda Wireless, to
demonstrate how a connected vehicle can communicate with a car park’s infrastructure to find a
space and to park itself too. The benefits of this technology are clear. Aside from making parking
easy, the technology solution extends convenience that could enable a car to be washed, charged or
even become a depository for parcel delivery, all made possible with the simple connectivity
between cars and the garage. It’s all about anticipating our needs and automating to act, as I
like to say!
In Ford’s automated Valet Parking scenario, a cloud server takes control of the vehicle through
the FordPass App and manages the traffic inside the parking area. This is done via
automotive-grade wireless communications technology: vehicle-to-infrastructure communication (V2X)
provided by NXP Semiconductors and Cohda Wireless Technology. In the demo, a central computer
detects the cars in the parking lot based on data received from cameras which are installed in the
building, calculates the driving paths, and sends the driving instructions to the cars via the NXP
and Cohda Wireless 802.11p technology.
At IAA Motor Show last week, Joseph Urhahne, Technical Manager of Automated Driving, Research &
Advanced Engineering at Ford of Europe, said: “It is exciting to see a self-parking demo working
so smoothly as it takes on the thankless task of parking in a crowded garage. This is the
beginning of great things for consumers.”
We couldn’t agree more. Imagine arriving at the car park, exiting the vehicle and handing the
tough stuff over to the car and the garage, while you go for a Cappuccino. Safety and accuracy are
the key to converting this vision into parking bliss while helping the car avoid parking garage
hazards from pedestrians to other vehicles.
When you’re done with your coffee break, you can request the return of the vehicle through the
FordPass app on your phone so you can proceed to the next destination. No long scary walks through
an empty parking garage, or a crowded one for that matter.
It is possible that soon, vehicles which have automatic transmission, Electronic Stability
Control, an electric park-brake and assisted steering and a smart communication unit for Automated
Valet Parking can join the action. This is all part of a master plan by Ford.
I can’t wait to join with Ford and its many partners to be part of what’s next to take
self-parking to the next level!
For more information about V2X Communications, please find