Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen cars will soon park themselves

vw autonomous parking

In just a few years the hassle of parking will be long forgotten, says Volkswagen

Volkswagen Group’s Audi, Porsche, and VW are currently running an autonomous parking pilot project inside the Hamburg Airport. Here’s what the carmakers are trying to achieve.

Using a car park map, Volkswagen Group is looking at how its cars can navigate a particular parking space guided by what the company calls pictorial markers installed in a pre-existing multi-story car park building. Think of a hiker guided by specific signs marked on trees or rocks, for example.

The testing phase finds itself at an advantage stage down on its timeline, with VW saying it will be ready to implement it in road-going cars from the start of the next decade. So let’s take 2020 as a deadline here.

However, the technology won’t be fully available at once. VW is looking at a cascade-like way of implementing it. Firstly, drivers will be able to use the autonomous parking functions in just some car parks that provide so-called exclusive traffic flow, which are basically areas where people can’t access.

The next step is letting the system work in mixed traffic, in an environment that includes pedestrians and people parking their car the traditional way. From here, Volkswagen wants to set autonomous parking free to such an extent that it will be possible in all sorts of car parks and even outside supermarkets.

For that to happen, cars will have to wear an extra set of sensors – including the ultrasound sort but also a radar and cameras that would send data to the car’s central control unit.

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