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Parking Assistant 2

The popular opinion of most men, is that women simply can't park properly. If however, I take a look at the very modest attempts of most men, myself included, I have my doubts that there are really any significant differences in this respect. What has the modern automobile technology done for us? It has relieved us of this problem. The vehicle itself now takes over the steering. We are indeed, still responsible for the gas- and the brake pedal, so if you do damage the car when parking, you can't blame your parking-assistant.

The parking-assistant differs from the parking-aid in that it actively intervenes in the the driver's activity. The realisation of this system would probably be very difficult without the electro-mechanical steering. An electric motor overlays the movement of the steering wheel and, not only can it amplify the action of the steering wheel, it can also turn the wheel by itself. In fact, in the event of automatic parking, one must allow it to work and not hold onto the wheel tightly.

The second favourable prerequisite for the introduction of the parking-assistant was the introduction of the CAN-bus. Hereby, both the actuatorics and the sensorics of the power steering can be used without additional wiring. In addition, the steering-angle sensor also plays an important role. Apart from the existing sensors for the parking-aid, there are now two additional sensors on each side of the vehicle.

Once one has decided whether to park on the right, or in a one-way street on the left and the parking slot has been detected, measured and accepted by the system, one stops next to the car in the front and engages the reverse gear. The system first keeps the wheels straight while reversing, then turns the steering to lock-stop. This is followed by a further straight phase, the steering is then turned to lock-stop in the opposite direction.

Now of course, it can occur that the allowed distance to the rear vehicle is reached, before the car is parallel to the kerb. Now, teamwork between the driver and the assistant is needed. The driver disengages the reverse gear and the system positions the steering, then the driver engages the first gear. The car then moves forward until the minimum distance to the car in front is reached.

Of course, further sensors and their signals per CAN-bus are necessary. The system lowers the speed to measure the parking slot and lowers it even further for the actual parking procedure. It does not work when towing a trailer. The indicator position informs the system as to which side of the road is to be used. The measuring done by the system recognises whether right-angle parking (figure 1) is possible or not. 09/12