IPAS – modern parking assist system
Rearview camera is a modern option, which helps to make parking in reverse much easier. Nowadays more and more cars are being equipped with rear view cameras. Progress does not stand still, so manufacturers are trying to keep up. Parking marking is a plate which is superimposed on the rear view camera image. This marking (plate, grid) allows you to orient in the distance to any objects and calculate your maneuver. Parking markings are of two types: – static, – dynamic. Static parking lane markings are geometric lines set on the video from the parking camera, with the help of which you can roughly calculate the distance to other objects when parking. For example:
There can be any number of variations in appearance, color display. Every camera manufacturer can easily do it. It all depends on the customer and the imagination of the manufacturer. This kind of static parking marking will allow you to navigate the distances when driving in reverse only in a straight line. In other words, you will be able to calculate distances when driving straight ahead only. When the wheels are turned, the marking will no longer be relevant. Dynamic marking – a marking that can change the position of parking lines depending on the position of the front wheels. For example: A case where the position of the front wheels is parallel to the rear wheels:
The front wheels are turned:
As a result, when the wheels are turned the parking line changes its position and allows the driver to see the trajectory. Convenient especially for novice drivers as well as experienced motorists. How does it work? Dynamic marking or smart parking system is a unit that can draw a parking plaque depending on the position of the front wheels. This unit reads data from any of the following systems: – ESP (Electronic Stability Program), – VSC (Vehicle Stability Control), – VSA (ABS + TCS), – DSC (Dynamic Stability Control). The main requirement for compatibility is the presence of one of these systems in the vehicle. The IPAS system reads these data either from the OBD2 interface or from the CAN bus. How it works! The line drawing unit reads wheel rotation data from the system and uses them to calculate and draw the parking lanes. Wheel position data is transmitted on the CAN bus, namely CAN+ and CAN-. After the data is processed you see on the video from the rear view camera the parking lines turning or moving. Example of how a dynamic parking lane marking works:
This option (dynamic parking markings) is currently available only in the top versions. But you can also install this option yourself for cars that do not have a rear view camera from the factory. There are two options to get IPAS (Intelligent Parking Assistant): – Purchase any rear view camera for your car + drawing unit, – Purchase camera with built-in IPAS system (drawing unit is installed in the camera body). If you buy the first option, the cost will be: rear view camera plus $ 50-70 for the rendering unit. In the second option you get a quality rearview camera with Sony CCD sensor and extended warranty of 2 years. This development (rearview camera with built-in IPAS) to date applied only in cameras BGTpro. Other manufacturers are only planning to equip their cameras with this useful feature. We hope this article was useful for you.
How the automatic parking system works
The emergence of the first parking sensors was perceived by the majority of drivers frankly skeptical. In those days the ability to park your car in a row of similar ones was taken as a given, and the ability to feel the dimensions of the car – as a vital necessity. But over time, the number of cars began to increase rapidly, which was reflected in the density of urban parking lots. As a result, even professionals today risk to be unable to park their cars in conditions of an ordinary city street, where, as a rule, cars are parked as if by chance.
In these conditions, the presence of assistants, especially intellectual ones, does not look like a redundancy any more. Moreover, most experts are convinced that such parking control systems are the future.
What is COI
While passive parking assistants appeared in cars quite a long time ago, the intelligent parking assist system began to be actively implemented only in the XXI century, and at first it was a privilege only for elite car models.
But gradually, with the development of micro-element and software base, these systems began to be developed and implemented by many automakers. As another component of the many different electronic devices that facilitate the management of the vehicle, such a system allows you to perform parking in semi-automatic (automated)/automatic mode. The latter kind, in fact, does not require human participation.
Modern parking systems are designed for different schemes of parking a car. The most common are perpendicular (transverse) and parallel parking, with the parallel scheme being much more difficult to implement, but it allows you to optimize the road space in the best way. No wonder that most of the active systems are designed to use parallel parking.
The functionality of such parking systems may differ significantly, but what they have in common is the possibility to disable and perform such maneuvers only in manual mode.
It is fair to say that those drivers, who are already used to using a lot of sensors, turn off the parking system only when they are absolutely certain that the car is safe to park/stop (in the absence of cars).
But such in the modern metropolis is found only in the middle of the night.
What an intelligent parking system consists of
Since precision in parking maneuvers is paramount, there must be perfect communication between the sensors that monitor the position of the vehicle and its surroundings and the control unit, all at a very high communication rate.
Usually a solid pool of ultrasonic sensors (IPAS) is installed on the car and transmits the data to the computer control unit. The latter is engaged in the analysis of the received information and making decisions in the form of commands, which in turn arrive at the executive devices.
It is impossible to say that the sensors used in automatic parking devices are completely identical to the sensors of the passive systems such as parktronic. For their normal operation requires a much larger view, so their radius of action is increased to 4.5 meters.
It is difficult to talk about their exact number – different car manufacturers have different numbers. For example, the systems developed by the automaker Volkswagen, there are twelve, of which four IPAS involved behind, four are mounted in front, the rest – the sides of the car, allowing you to fully cover the surrounding space in a given radius.
Normally, the Intelligent Parking System is not activated. It starts to work only after pressing a button (or lever, depending on the developer), which in most cases is placed either on the dashboard or on the steering wheel.
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Recently, a mandatory component of such a set is an information display, located usually in the area of the center console. It allows the driver to see how the parking process is going on, and to make necessary corrections manually, if necessary.
How intelligent parking systems work
After pressing the key to activate the system, the CU begins to work, taking data from sensors and calculating the optimal trajectory of movement, taking into account its current spatial position. After that, the corresponding commands are transmitted to the actuators, which are part of the complex, called the autopilot.
The autoparking system cannot work without coordination with many other electronic systems (vehicle directional stability, power unit control, automatic transmission, electric power steering, etc.). The main control unit has assistants, which are responsible for interaction with other electronic systems.
Schematically, the automated parking system operation may be divided into two stages: searching for a free parking space and making a maneuver proper.
Parking space search
At this stage, the ultrasonic sensors are the main actor. Consider the same Park Assist from Volkswagen as an example. When slowly moving along the parking lot (or just down the street, where you want to park your car) at a speed not exceeding 40 km / h for a parallel arrangement of cars and not more than 20 km / h – if the machines are standing perpendicular to the sidewalk or at an angle, the side sensors record the distance between the parked cars, transmitting this data to the control unit. More advanced devices have advanced functionality. They can not only determine the distance, but also the orientation of cars standing at the edge of the road.
Then the control unit of the automatic parking system comes into play. If it determines that there is enough space to park the car, it gives the driver an audible signal, or demonstrates on the display that a free space is found and you can proceed directly to the maneuver.
Note that the algorithm of determining the “ideal” place for parking in different systems may vary greatly, so if you get used to one car model, you may get completely unexpected results, having moved to another. But it is a matter of habit.
For example, Park Assist determines the possibility of making a parking maneuver, if it detects that the distance between two neighboring cars in the row exceeds the length of the donor car by 0.8 meters.
The parking system installed in Opel cars considers a safe distance of one meter and not a centimeter less.
The process of automatic parking
Regardless of the manufacturer, all modern intelligent parking systems offer the driver to choose one of two options for further action after determining a convenient place to park the car.
One of them is to offer the driver a precise algorithm of actions, which helps to perform the maneuver quickly and without problems. In the second case, all parking actions will be performed without the participation of the driver (but under his direct control).
In the first case, a system of prompts (voice, visual or text) is launched, which helps the driver to perform the operation independently, and the proposed algorithm takes into account the actions already performed by the driver, that is calculated in real time, regardless of the brand/model of the vehicle.
The prompts themselves show the driver the order of the necessary actions (which way to turn the steering wheel, when to stop doing it, at what speed to move at the moment, when to slow down, etc.). Agree, even an absolute beginner can cope with such instructions.
However, more perspective is the second variant – when parking is realized in a completely automatic mode (the first variant is called semi-automatic, less often – automated). However, the driver at this time should not relax completely.
The process itself is carried out by activation of a cycle of actions, controlled by an electronic system, launching in action the required at the moment actuating mechanisms of the car. Such devices are:
- throttle valve;
- elements of the CG system (return pump, brake valves);
- valves of the automatic transmission.
These devices are sufficient to perform any maneuvers: turning the steering wheel, simulating pressing the accelerator pedal, shifting gears and braking.
At any time, the driver has the ability to interrupt automatic parking and complete it in manual mode, but if all of the above components are working properly, such systems practically do not make mistakes. Moreover, the latest generations of IPS are able to park cars even if the driver is not present – in this case, a corresponding signal from the key is enough.
The intelligence of such systems is not limited to this: for example, if you put the car in the garage without your presence, they will turn off the engine, turn off the light in the cabin and even turn on the alarm. If necessary, a parking report can be sent to your mobile device. So it’s safe to say that, despite the passive resistance of experienced drivers, the future belongs to such intelligent systems, given that the average age of drivers is constantly decreasing and the number of women behind the wheel is increasing.
On which cars COIs are installed
Parking in fully automatic mode was first demonstrated in 2003 when Toyota CEO Fujio Cho gave a personal demonstration of how the Prius does it.
European automakers also didn’t sit idly by, and in two years already Citroen presented automobile public C3 City Park equipped with intellectual system of its own development. Gradually, other car brands have mastered this technology. And, as usual, all these systems work according to their own protocols, focusing on the characteristics of specific car models. It is still too early to talk about standardization in this field, but in the future it will undoubtedly happen, and then COI will become a mass phenomenon. For now, let’s look at automated parking systems which are already in use today: