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Cars That Look and Listen to Find Themselves a Parking Spot

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One route for parking a car.

A new system under development not only will park a car, but will help find a space in which to park it.

Credit: Randi Kletti

South Korean researchers affiliated with Hanyang University are developing a system to fully automate the parking process, including helping the car find a parking space.

The system combines the car's ultrasound sensors, cameras, and odometer to create a completely automated parking system.

The researchers say the sensor-fusion system can keep the computational time to just 32 milliseconds, compared with 82 milliseconds for a vision-only system. "These results reveal that the proposed system can surely operate in real time," they say.

The odometer tracks the car's position, enabling the system to determine a new angle of observation and use it to update its earlier estimate. The continuously updating system improves accuracy and helps the system handle roads that are not perfectly flat.

The system offers a selection of possible parking spots to the driver, who selects one by punching a touchscreen.

The researchers note the current system cannot work at night or in dimly lit parking lots, but they are developing new algorithms and testing cameras with greater range to overcome those problems. The researchers also note they are developing separate programs to work in daylight and at night or in closed spaces.

From IEEE Spectrum
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