Honda has developed a low-cost, automatic valet parking system that uses parking lot surveillance cameras to help park cars automatically.
In this demonstration, when a car is left in the drop-off area of a parking lot, it receives information about which spaces are available, then drives itself to an empty space and parks. This system can automatically park multiple cars efficiently. Honda sees a lot of potential in a system such as this, especially if it is implemented in the large parking lots of suburban shopping centers.
“If a store introduces this system, customers can drop their car off in front of the store, and the car will go to a parking space automatically, in cooperation with the parking lot. Then, when customers come out with all their shopping, they can just wait in front of the store, and the car will come to them. That’s the situation we’re demonstrating here.”
“As the number of cars increases, it’ll become essential to move them around efficiently. So, we think this kind of system will become increasingly necessary.”
As cars equipped with rear cameras only are the most common type in Japan, Honda decided to use them in this first prototype. Vision from the rear camera is supplemented with that from surveillance cameras to create a system that can see more around the car.
“The information that’s used to move the cars, such as white lines, is sent to the cars as maps. Here, we’re demonstrating that kind of concept, and showing that it could actually be implemented as easily as this.”
Honda plan to create a specification which combines car cameras and parking lot management systems, and develop ways to operate them smoothly. Honda believe that this system could be practical by or before 2020.