Autonomous technology specialists, AiMotive, and indoor mapping and connected vehicle services leader, Parkopedia, are partnering to offer scalable, autonomous parking solutions that don’t rely on the presence of additional infrastructure within parking facilities. The “out-of-the-box” solution can provide navigational support for drivers within both indoor and outdoor parking facilities.
It uses AiMotive’s perception technology and localization information from Parkopedia’s indoor mapping service. The partners are pitching the solution to automakers looking to future-proof their navigation and deliver the driver convenience services expected today.
Within indoor parking facilities such as underground and multi-stories, the line of sight to satellites can get blocked, preventing access to GPS. So, an alternative form of localization is required to maintain navigation services for drivers and enable future MaaS (mobility-as-a-service) and convenience services.
The solution will provide indoor turn-by-turn directions to selected parking locations such as pre-booked parking spaces, EV (electric vehicle) charging points, or the closest available parking space to desired destinations or exit points. It could minimize overall journey time, maximize range, save time, and reduce driver frustration—while also enabling ‘find my car’ convenience and safety services.
The partnership will enable autonomous parking services within any parking facility without the need for prior training/testing or the addition of any location hardware. The Type 1 AVP (automated valet parking) function for automated vehicles is based solely on in-vehicle intelligence and integrated features. Once activated at a designated drop-off point, a vehicle can navigate structures to park itself, and when summoned by the vehicle owner, can return to a predefined pick-up point.
AVP is likely to be the first SAE Level 4 automation product made publicly available 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 localization and navigation within the entire area of operation. Parkopedia provides localization 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.
“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,” said Brian Holt, CTO at Parkopedia. “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.”
CEO Eugene Tsyrklevich founded Parkopedia in 2007 to help drivers find and pay for parking, EV charging, fuel, and tolls. It now operates in 15,000 cities across 90 countries and develops detailed parking maps and corresponding algorithms to help drivers and self-driving vehicles navigate to indoor parking spaces.
Privately held, Budapest, Hungary-headquartered AiMotive, founded by CEO László Kishonti, began developing technologies to support automated driving in 2015. The company is on a mission to develop scalable and innovative automated driving software and related tooling, and the parking solution follows that mindset. The company’s full-stack automated driving software, aiDrive, offers a highway assist solution with L2+ and L3 features.
“Relying only on in-house-developed vehicle-based intelligence and sparse HD maps, Parkopedia is a natural partner to us,” said Gábor Pongrácz, SVP of aiDrive. “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.”
Parkopedia has completed multiple proof-of-concept use cases for indoor maps with global automakers and has generated coverage of major parking facilities on a global scale. The partnership will allow automakers to distinguish themselves with highly valued convenience and comfort features that are simple to implement.