Audi has showcased “automatic intelligent parking” at Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) – an artificial intelligence conference at Barcelona, Spain. A 1:8 scale model of Audi Q2 called “Audi Q2 deep learning concept” is being used to demonstrate the technology. On an area measuring 3 x 3 meters, it automatically searches and finds a suitable parking space in the form of a metal frame, and then parks itself there. Not to be confused with parallel or perpendicular park assist, this technology is fully automatic.
The Audi Q2 deep learning concept’s sensor technology consists of two mono cameras, facing forward and toward the rear, along with ten ultrasonic sensors positioned at points all around the model. A central on-board computer converts their data into control signals for steering and the electric motor. On the driving surface, the model car first determines its position relative to the parking space. As soon as it perceives the position, it calculates how it can safely drive to its targeted destination. The model car maneuvers, steers and drives forward or in reverse, depending on the situation.
The Audi Q2 deep learning concept is a self learning car. The model car’s parking ability is made possible by deep reinforcement learning. In other words, the system essentially learns through trial and error. To begin, the car selects its direction of travel at random. An algorithm autonomously identifies the successful actions, thus continually refining the parking strategy. So in the end the system is able to solve even difficult problems autonomously.
The Audi Q2 deep learning concept is a pre-development project of Audi Electronics Venture (AEV), an AUDI AG. In the next step, the developers are transferring the parking-space search process to a real car.
The company is working with partners including Mobileye – an image recognition company. Audi hopes with this partnership, the two companies can develop a deep learning-based software for environment perception systems. Audi will use the software for the first time in 2017, in the central driver assistance controller (zFAS) in the new generation of the Audi A8.
zFAS is Audi’s self-driving technology’s mother board, developed with NVIDIA. Audi says, these technical solutions will enable the customer to enjoy piloted driving in traffic jam situations as well as piloted parking.
Audi is further intensifying its collaborations with partners from high-tech industries through an increasing degree of integration of components with artificial intelligence (AI). These forms of artificial intelligence are important for dealing with challenging situations such as urban traffic. It enables piloted driving cars to evaluate their complex surroundings and perform necessary driving maneuvers accordingly.
See it in action here