Volvo has developed a system that allows you to pull up to the entrance of a parking garage, hop out of your car, and continue on into your destination while your car parks itself, and it may be available to consumers when the new 2015 XC90 debuts in late 2014.
“The autonomous parking and platooning technologies are still being developed. However, we will take the first steps towards our leadership aim by introducing the first features with autonomous steering in the all-new Volvo XC90, which will be revealed at the end of 2014,” said Thomas Broberg, senior safety advisor for Volvo Car Group.
Volvo has been contacted for a comment on what the “autonomous steering in the all-new Volvo XC90” will consist of exactly, but has yet to reply as of publication time.
As for the autonomous parking setup, it uses car-to-infrastructure communication to navigate the car to an open spot. Of course, it only works when the garage in question is outfitted with communicative sensors. If the proper sensors are found, the driver will be alerted by the vehicle, as which point he or she can exit the car and initiate the autonomous park with a smartphone app. Then when the driver returns, the app is used again, and the car will drive back down to the entrance of the garage.
An obvious limitation of this technology is that there needs to be the proper infrastructure in place in parking structures before it can work, though Volvo also uses cameras and sensors on the car itself, combined with the communication technology, to make sure that its autonomous vehicles are safe as possible.
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“Our approach is based on the principle that autonomously driven cars must be able to move safely in environments with non-autonomous vehicles and unprotected road users,” says Thomas Broberg.
Volvo has already proven that it is heavily invested in autonomous tech with the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project, which was the brand’s first public test of autonomous technology. The road train consisted of a manned vehicle in front, followed closely by four autonomous vehicles that took their commands from the lead vehicle.
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