Parking and driving autonomously without a map - Continental secures AI technology


Source: pixabay/Hans

Parking and driving autonomously without a map - Continental secures AI technology

The technology for autonomous driving is improving all the time and is coming closer and closer to driving on public transport. In Stuttgart, there is now already a fully autonomous parking service called "Automated Valet Parking". However, the technology used there is not suitable for everyday road use, as all lanes and parking spaces have been precisely measured beforehand and all taxiways are monitored. In other aspects, too, the previous techniques for autonomous driving rely on external high-resolution maps. But that's where the problem lies, because even in industrialized countries like Germany, not every kilometer of road has been measured to the nearest centimeter, and not every traffic sign has been digitized.

The Israeli start-up Imagry now wants to solve this problem. Imagry's software can capture video images in real time using a deep neural network. Based on these video images, the AI could then make driving decisions in real time. This would have the advantage of eliminating the AI's reliance on previously loaded maps and allowing it to make driving decisions in remote areas. The software has been tested in Germany, Israel and the United States over the past three years. Continental plans to use this technology.

In a first step, the Israelis' adaptive algorithms will enable automated parking as part of Continental's software platform for autonomous driving, even in parking lots for which there are currently no digitalized street maps. Unlike previous parking assistants, where the driver had to navigate to a parking space himself and the software only took care of backing into the free space, here the algorithms will also take care of the parking space search. This is a system for Level 3 journeys, as the driver still has to sit behind the wheel. However, Imagry emphasizes that the technology is also suitable for level 4 driving.

"Autonomous parking is just the first step on the road to fully autonomous driving," emphasizes Eran Ofir, Imagry's CEO, who is convinced that his algorithms will soon be used away from parking lots and parking garages. "The capabilities of our mapless system can be easily extended to the open road, allowing the vehicle to move freely in geographic areas previously unknown to it."

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