Using laser and ultrasonic sensors located around the vehicle, as well as a companion smartphone app, Audi Piloted Parking takes the legwork out of getting a car in and out of a tight parking space or garage – sans door-dings of course.
Unlike parking systems offered by various other automakers, however, Audi’s Piloted Parking lets drivers park their cars while using a smartphone app.
As we learned at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the process starts by pressing the Audi Piloted Parking button on the center console, which tells the vehicle’s MMI infotainment system start looking for a parking space. Once it finds one, it will provide you directions to the space, notifying you when you’ve reached the exact available spot.
At this point, the driver exits the car, opens the Audi Piloted Parking app on their smartphone and continues the self-park process by holding down the drive button. With a wide array of onboard laser and ultrasonic sensors, the car will identify how to park with near-perfect accuracy, keeping an equal distance between objects on either side of the vehicle. If at any point the driver releases his finger from the drive button, the vehicle will immediately stop. Re-pressing the button will resume the process where it left off, seeing the car through to perfect parking maneuver without a single door-ding or forcing the driver to exit from the trunk in a particularly narrow slot.
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Audi Piloted Parking can also handle the more mundane tasks of parking and pulling out of your garage. The process is nearly identical: Pull into a driveway, press the drive button on the console, exit the vehicle and open the app. From there, the vehicle automatically opens a garage door and, subsequently, drives in on its own.
Audi showed off a similar feature last year and the computing power to accomplish such a task took up nearly half of the trunk. This year, Audi has condensed the Audi Piloted Parking unit to the size of a mid-size laptop, giving consumers their trunk space.
Given that this technology is still a few years away, it’s likely we’ll see the features further condensed to a point where they take up no additional space at all.
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