Valet parking: the first commercially available automated driving function

By Els Verlinden

Recently, the local government changed the circulation plan of my home town. From now on, you drive into the city for only 1 reason: park your car.

Earlier, the majority of cars were driving bumper-to-bumper in search for a parking place in the streets, which is less expensive than the big parking lots. Haven’t you done it yourself? Circling the block a couple of times, hoping that luck is on your side? Ultimately, you’re nonetheless driving into the parking garage. But also here, you cruise the aisles, try several levels, to find a Mini hiding in what you believed to be a free parking place. Aargh.

We could all spend our time better.

In the very near future, we’ll use autonomous valet parking. Valet parking is a functional extension of parking assistance and estimated to be one of the first commercially available, fully automated driving functions. You leave your car at the drop-off point and from there the car takes care of itself. When you want to set-off again, you order your vehicle in your mobile app and it will return to the drop-off point by itself at the requested timing.

At Siemens PLM Software, we’re on it. With the Simcenter portfolio, we expand our performance expertise into developing advanced driver assistant systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies. Merging the capabilities of TASS International is the icing on the cake, and leverages our simulation-based testing and validation knowhow to balance safety with comfort and fuel efficiency. 

How? Simcenter Engineering experts go beyond vehicle-centric assistant applications and developed a virtual verification framework combining Simcenter Amesim and Simcenter Prescan. The principle is straightforward: When activated by the user, the function together with a parking area management (PAM) system will take over full control of the vehicle and the vehicle is driven through the parking area until it comes to a designated parking position. In this application, different planning and control levels are required.

Prescan-Amesim valet parking.jpgValet parking scenario demonstrating co-simulation of Simcenter Amesim and Simcenter Prescan.

We have recently issued a white paper describing this virtual verification and validation framework for advanced driver assistance systems. It explains how to frontload control design verification during the early phases of ADAS development. Here, I only touched the autonomous parking function. In the white paper you’ll find two more use cases: adaptive cruise control and green wave technology.

The co-simulation testing framework offers a multitude of benefits:

  • Testing and validation with high fidelity vehicle dynamics and real-world environments

  • Reduction of the number of physical prototype tests

  • Repeatability of the tests

  • Quality of the visualization

I clearly see the benefits for my home town, a medieval city of 100.000+ inhabitants, famous for its renowned university. It means that for 10 months per year, 55.000 students merge with the daily traffic. Mostly on bicycles. And they claim the streets. Precisely … autonomous braking would come in handy too.

Stay tuned for more information.

> Download white paper: Virtually validate and test ADAS during the early development phases

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at