It’s about a century since consumer cars hit the roads and to this day the most difficult aspect of driving for a lot of people is parking. Almost every sitcom has an episode that involves a humorous parking incident, or accident. For example, checkout an episode of Seinfeld involving parallel parking.
As the market anxiously awaits the onslaught of autonomous vehicles, it can be said there are automated solutions that can take the effort, the angst, and potential physical and psychological dangers out of parking in general. Yes, that includes the dreaded parallel parking and the never-ending quest to fit a suburban assault vehicle, a.k.a., SUV, into a moped-sized spot.
Automated parking systems have developed and evolved nicely since they first appeared in certain cars in the late 1980s and early 90s. And as those autonomous vehicles start rolling, these systems will become more sophisticated and in greater demand. One example in point is Nissan’s ProPILOT Park, a comprehensive automated-parking system offered in its completely-electric LEAF vehicle.
At the heart of LEAF’s automated parking system is Renesas Electronics’ R-Car system-on-chip (SoC) for car infotainment and advanced driving assistant systems (ADAS) and the company’s RH850 automotive control microcontroller (MCU).
The R-Car SoC recognizes parking spaces of adequate size, looks for any obstacles and verifies none are in the way, then takes control of acceleration, braking, steering, and shifting. We can assume it performs without the vehicle in question denting any fenders and license plates of surrounding vehicles. We might assume it can also detect fire hydrants, maybe not alternate-side parking instruction signs.
A proprietary parallel image processor (IMP) is also integrated on the SoC. The IMP receives high-resolution images from CMOS cameras and performs high-speed, low-power signal processing. In conjunction, the RH850 MCU accepts the chassis control commands from the SoC and transmits commands to various electronic control units, enabling safe parking. For more details, contact Nissan and Renesas Electronics.