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Unikie and Valmet implement automated parking solution at factory

Finnish technology company Unikie and the automotive service provider Valmet Automotive are testing and validating an automated parking solution at a factory.

The two companies say the “Automated Factory Parking” technology, developed by Unikie, is being assessed in a “business-critical factory environment”, and is an important step in taking the new technology to the production stage.

Describing it as an “innovative logistics solution”, the technology is being applied at Valmet’s car plant site in Uusikaupunki, Finland.

The companies are publicising it as a prelude to the IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich and plan to showcase the technology at trade shows over the coming months.

In Uusikaupunki, Unikie and Valmet Automotive have run a test series for driving a vehicle from the plant to a logistics field for shipping aided by the infrastructure only.

The system does not require vehicles to have any autonomous capabilities or sensors, but only the basic capabilities for steering, changing gears, accelerating, and braking as defined by the ISO23374 standard.

Unikie is a member of the German Automotive Association (VDA) and is presenting an interoperable automated valet parking solution in a joint project of five automotive original equipment manufacturers – BMW, Ford, Merecedes-Benz, Jaguar Land Rover and Cariad, a technology subsidiary of VW Group; and four technology providers – Unikie, Bosch, Valeo and Continental/Kopernikus.

The Automated Valet Parking Showcase, running at the IAA Mobility 2021 from 6th to 12th of September, is the world’s first live presentation on how the solutions of different technology providers and major automotive OEMs work cross-functionally.

Vesa Kiviranta, chief business officer for automotive at Unikie, says: “At the Uusikaupunki plant, we have been utilizing the same automated valet parking technology as in Munich but in an industrial environment indoors and outdoors, which presents new challenges for the system.

“During our testing, we have had various weather conditions and have proven that the system can operate with reliability even in pouring rain. By taking our solution into use our customers can achieve remarkable improvements in efficiency and significant cost savings.”

Sami Kunvik, manager of manufacturing engineering at Valmet Automotive, says: “Valmet Automotive is interested in new technologies as a way to gain competitive advantage through improved efficiency and safety for our processes, and it has been interesting to see how the system can manage a production environment.”

Unikie is working currently with multiple OEM’s to validate its technology and is expecting first production installations during 2022.

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