Autonomous technology specialist, aiMotive, and indoor mapping provider and connected vehicle services company, Parkopedia, are now able to offer automakers scalable, autonomous parking solutions which minimise everyday parking hassles for drivers, without relying on the presence of additional infrastructure within parking facilities, thanks to a recent partnership.
The “out-of-the-box”, cost-effective and scalable parking navigation solution is able to provide navigational support for drivers within both indoor and outdoor parking facilities by utilising aiMotive’s perception technology, combined with localisation information provided by Parkopedia’s highly accurate Indoor Mapping service, which is described as “a unique, cost-effective, scalable indoor mapping solution for automakers looking to future-proof their navigation and deliver the driver convenience services expected today”.
Within Indoor parking facilities, such as underground and multistories, the line of sight to satellites is blocked which prevents access to GPS.
An alternative form of localisation is therefore required to maintain the navigation services which drivers have become accustomed to on the road, as well as enabling Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and convenience services of the future.
The partnership will see drivers provided with indoor turn-by-turn directions to accurately selected parking locations, such as to a pre-booked parking space or to electric vehicle (EV) charging points, or the closest available parking space to desired destinations or exit points, minimising overall journey time and maximising range – saving time and preventing frustration for drivers, while also enabling “find my car” convenience and safety services.
The partnership will also enable autonomous parking services within any parking facility, without the need for prior training or testing, or the addition of any additional hardware at the location.
The Type 1 Automated Valet Parking (AVP) function for automated vehicles is also based solely on in-vehicle intelligence and integrated features that are already present in the vehicle. Once activated at a designated drop-off point, the vehicle is able to navigate parking structures to park itself, and, when summoned by the vehicle owner, will return to a predefined pick-up point.
AVP is likely to be the first SAE Level 4 automation product made publicly available to drivers, due to the lower cost of implementation and lower risk profile of low-speed driving in a constrained environment, however, it requires consistent and reliable global localisation and navigation within the entire area of operation.
Parkopedia is able to provide the localisation required by using advanced robotics techniques combined with data from sensors present on most connected vehicles and landmarks that are already present in all car parks.
Brian Holt, CTO at Parkopedia, says: “We are delighted to partner with aiMotive to deliver cost-effective and innovative parking solutions of the future. Every car journey begins and ends with parking, and, as such, it remains a critical element of in-car navigation systems to reach final destinations.
“Unfortunately, the current navigation experience ends at the entrance to parking facilities, leaving drivers short of their intended end destination. By combining aiMotive’s technology with our HD indoor maps, we are able to extend and enhance the navigation experience and provide the bridge to autonomous parking and its associated benefits in the future.”
Gábor Pongrácz, SVP of aiDrive, says: “aiMotive strives to develop truly scalable and innovative automated driving software and related tooling. Our parking solution also follows that mindset. Relying only on in-house-developed vehicle-based intelligence and sparse HD maps, Parkopedia is a natural partner to us.
“The maps provided by Parkopedia were precise and detailed enough to be used in our AVP solution for localization and path planning right away. Jointly, we can greatly accelerate the adoption of AVP technologies, being able to deploy to any facility that is mapped.”
aiMotive’s full-stack automated driving software, “aiDrive” offers a state-of-the-art highway assist solution with L2+ and L3 features. Moreover, the stack’s unique Automated Valet Parking concept offers features from dropping off the driver, searching for and manoeuvring into a parking space and even returning to the driver when summoned.
This system relies on in-vehicle intelligence instead of infrastructure investment, enabling quick scaling in target markets.
To date, Parkopedia has completed multiple “proof of concept” use cases for Indoor Maps with global automakers and has generated comprehensive coverage of major parking facilities on a global scale.
The partnership will provide automakers with the opportunity to distinguish themselves with highly valued convenience and comfort features that are simple to implement and require no infrastructural change or specialist hardware to deliver indoor navigation or as part of full AVP delivery.