SF Motors Develops a Patented Autonomous Parking System
【Summary】SF Motors, the Silicon Valley-based electric car startup that will soon deliver its first electric vehicle to customers in China, hopes to take the frustration out of trying to park in tight spaces.
SF Motors, the Silicon Valley-based electric car startup that will soon deliver its first electric vehicle to customers in China, hopes to take the frustration out of trying to park in tight spaces. The EV startup was granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a fully-autonomous parking system.
The technology will allow vehicles to self-park safely and accurately in complex parking situations, without any intervention from the driver.
"Advancements in autonomous driving technologies are moving quickly, but fundamental user experiences such as autonomous parking have not yet received necessary attention," said John Zhang, the founder and CEO of SF Motors. "This patent represents our technological advancement towards making the autonomous parking experience more convenient, effective, and reliable."
The patent, which was granted last month, covers an advanced system architecture that was developed in-house by SF Motors. It includes a machine learning-based path generation method for fully autonomous parking.
The SF Motors self-parking system involves the fusion of multiple types of vehicle sensors, such the vehicle's camera and LiDAR, for more reliable operation in complex parking situations such as parking garages.
Vehicles with autonomous driving or driver assistant features can also use computer vision technology to provide parking assistance. These parking assist systems include parking sensors, rear-facing cameras, 360-degree cameras or fully automated intelligent parking assist systems.
"Our sensor fusion based solution enables fully autonomous parking through comprehensive real time processing of the multiple dynamic variables involved in parking such as surrounding vehicles, available spots, vehicle size, or parking angles," said Yifan Tang, SF Motors CTO and patent co-inventor. "Our approach to intelligent driving is to apply the optimal combination of advanced driver-assistance systems that offer passengers maximum safety and reliability in real-world environments."
Self parking technology is a relatively new feature in the auto industry. Tesla first made headlines with its own "self-parking summon" feature introduced on the Tesla Models S and Model X in 2016. The company announced in July that Model 3 owners would soon be able to use the feature.
In addition to self-parking, SF Motors says it will gradually introduce a suite of protective autonomous features in their electric vehicles only after rigorous safety standards have been met.
The company plans to deliver its first electric vehicle in China in Q3 of 2019, followed by Europe and the U.S. in 2020.
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