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1. WO2018127365 - METHOD FOR ASSISTING A DRIVER OF A MOTOR VEHICLE WHEN PARKING USING A DRIVER ASSISTANCE DEVICE, CORRESPONDING COMPUTER PROGRAM PRODUCT AND DRIVER ASSISTANCE DEVICE

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[ EN ]

Method for assisting a driver of a motor vehicle when parking using a driver assistance device, corresponding computer program product and driver assistance device

The invention relates to a method for assisting a driver of a motor vehicle when parking in one of a plurality of parking spaces of a parking zone using a driver assistance device of the motor vehicle.

The invention further relates to a corresponding computer program product and driver assistance device for assisting a driver of a motor vehicle when parking in one of a plurality of parking spaces of a parking zone.

Modern semi-autonomous cars are designed to park themselves. In order to do this they need to be aware of the geometry of their environment. A new category of automated parking systems is the trained parking system. There are several solutions under development for home trained parking. The driver of the vehicle must train the driver assistance device of the vehicle for the particular path that they wish the vehicle to subsequently follow to park.

Many homes contain a parking zone with more than one possible parking space. For the current trained parking systems to facilitate parking in more than one location, they would require more than one path/trajectory to be trained.

Document DE 10 2013 015 348 A1 describes a method for assisting a driver of a motor vehicle when parking in one of a plurality of parking spaces of a parking zone using a driver assistance device of the motor vehicle. The method comprises a training (or learning) mode of the driver assistance device and an operating mode of the driver assistance device. In both, the training mode and the operating mode, the motor vehicle has to drive through a path from the starting point to a final position of the parking procedure at the corresponding parking space. This method is a method of "fully trained parking". The corresponding parking system of the driver system device is a "fully trained parking system".

It is an object of the invention to provide a method for assisting a driver of a motor vehicle when parking in one of a plurality of parking spaces of a parking zone using a driver assistance device of the motor vehicle, a corresponding computer program product, and the corresponding driver assistance device improved over the prior art.

This object is achieved by a method, a computer program product, as well as driver assistance device having the features according to the respective independent claims. Advantageous implementations of the invention are the subject matter of the dependent claims, of the description and of the figures.

According to the inventive method for assisting a driver of a motor vehicle when parking in one of a plurality of parking spaces of a parking zone using a driver assistance device of the motor vehicle, the method comprises (i) in a training mode of the driver assistance device (learning mode): recording and storing reference data about a path from a reference starting position to a reference target position, while the motor vehicle is driven on said path under driver control; wherein at least one of the parking spaces is reachable from the reference target position using an automated parking system of the driver assistance device, which parking system works without training; and (ii) in a subsequent operating mode different from the training mode: driving the motor vehicle to the reference target position under control of the driver assistance device using the reference data; selecting the parking space and/or the maneuver type of a parking maneuver to be performed by the automated parking system; and parking the motor vehicle into said parking space under control of the automated parking system.

Automated parking systems working without training are already in the market (e.g. Valeo Park4U). Typical maneuver types performed by the automated parking system are, e.g., forward parking, reverse parking, parallel parking, perpendicular parking. Preferably at least two of the parking spaces are reachable from the reference target position using the automated parking system.

The invention provides a solution to facilitate driver-selection of potential parking places and/or parking manoeuvres, with only the need to store one trained path/trajectory. This would provide much more flexibility and control to the driver as well as limiting the resource needs and thus costs for the embedded implementation.

This method overcomes the following weaknesses of "fully trained parking" by use of a training mode and an operating mode of the driver assistance device, both modes ending with the vehicle in the final parking position at the parking space:

(a) Training needs to be performed by the driver at least once per potential parking place (also referred to as parking slot).

(b) Each trained path/trajectory requires memory to store the reference data, which can increase the BOM cost (BOM: bill of materials) and limit the usability.

(c) As the paths/trajectories include the parking manoeuvre, the type of parking manoeuvre is not changeable. For the driver to choose for example forward parking instead of reverse parking, it would require a separate trained path/trajectory.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the driver assistance device records the reference data about the path in the training mode using at least one sensor for detecting features of the environment in a surrounding area of the path. In other words: Trained parking systems use various sensors to record information from the environment (landmarks) corresponding to a driven ("trained") trajectory/path, and on a subsequent "replay" they relate the newly sensed information to the previously stored information to work out their position relative to the stored trajectory', which is then used to make decisions on how to manoeuvre the vehicle until it eventually parks at the stored park slot location. The sensor or at least one of the sensors can be a camera, especially a front camera and/or a rear camera. Other possible sensors are, e.g., laser scanner and/or radar devices.

According to a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention the automated parking system of the driver assistance device uses the sensor or at least one of the sensors for detecting features of the environment in the surrounding area of the path for parking the motor vehicle into the selected parking space. The sensor(s) are able to detect the features of the environment like, e.g., features of objects, which enter at least one corresponding surrounding region of the motor vehicle in which the sensor(s) is/are sensitive.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the parking of the motor vehicle into the selected parking space is a parking according to one or more of the following maneuver types of the parking maneuver: forward parking, reverse parking, parallel parking, and perpendicular parking. The maneuver can be a combination of

these maneuvers, e.g. forward perpendicular. The maneuver can be other types of maneuver also, e.g. fishbone parking... etc. The corresponding parking path or parking trajectory is a typical path for the maneuver type, e.g. a reversing-path/reversing-trajectory (reversing into the parking space, often in combination with a subsequent correction).

According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the selection of the parking space and/or the maneuver type of the parking maneuver is a selection performed manually by the driver or an automatic selection performed by the driver assistance device.

The reference data define reference points of the path trained in the training mode and/or landmark information about the objects in the surrounding area of said path. The path is sufficiently described by said reference points.

The computer program product according to the invention comprises computer-executable program code portions having program code instructions configured to execute the aforementioned method.

The invention further relates to a driver assistance device for assisting a driver of a motor vehicle when parking in one of a plurality of parking spaces of a parking zone, wherein the driver assistance device is configured

(i) to record and store reference data about a path from a reference starting position to a reference target position in a training mode, while the motor vehicle is driven on said path controlled by the driver, wherein at least one of the parking spaces is reachable from the reference target position using an automated parking system of the driver assistance device, which parking system works without training; (ii) to drive the motor vehicle to the reference target position under control of the driver assistance device using the reference data in an operating mode different from the training mode; (iii) to provide a selection for selecting the parking space and/or the maneuver type of a parking maneuver to be performed by the automated parking system; and (iv) to park the motor vehicle into said parking space under control of the automated parking system. The driver assistance device can be a computer-based device comprising a processor and a data memory.

According to a preferred embodiment of this driver assistance device, this driver assistance device is arranged for performing the aforementioned method.

According to another preferred embodiment of this driver assistance device, this driver assistance device comprises at least one sensor for detecting features of the environment in at least one surrounding region of the motor vehicle, by which the driver assistance device records the reference data about the path in the training mode.

According to yet another preferred embodiment of this driver assistance device, the reference data are data for defining reference points of the path trained in the training mode and/or data of landmark information about objects in the surrounding area of said path. The path is sufficiently described by said reference points.

Further features of the invention are apparent from the claims, the figures and the description of figures. All of the features and feature combinations mentioned above in the description as well as the features and feature combinations mentioned below in the description of figures and/or shown in the figures alone are usable not only in the respectively specified combination, but also in other combinations or else alone.

Now, the invention is explained in more detail based on a preferred embodiment as well as with reference to the attached drawings.

In the drawings:

Fig. 1 shows a top view of a first example of a parking procedure with a trained path in combination with an automatic final parking manoeuvre; and

Fig. 2 shows a top view of a second example of a parking procedure with a trained path in combination with an automatic final parking manoeuvre.

Fig. 1 shows a top view of a motor vehicle 10 on a road 12. The motor vehicle 10 is for example a passenger car. At the edge of the road 12 there is a parking zone 14 with two parking spaces (parking slots) 16, 18. The two parking spaces 16, 18 are arranged in a row, wherein both parking spaces 16, 18 are essentially orientated in parallel to the road course. The motor vehicle 10 comprises a driver assistance device with at least two

sensors and an automated parking system working without training (not shown). The sensors are located at the front area and the rear area of the vehicle 10. The detection areas of these sensors are environal regions 20, 22 at the front and rear area of the motor vehicle 10.

The vehicle 10 is driving along a path 24 on the road 12 from a reference starting position 26 to a reference target position 28 of said path 24. The path 24 comprises a curved section followed by a straight section and is sufficiently described by a plurality of reference points 30 on the path 24. There is a number of environal objects 32, 34 in a surrounding area of the path 24. The environal objects 32, 34 of the example shown in Fig. 1 are roadside trees 32 and parking space limitations 34 of the two parking spaces 16, 18. After reaching the reference target position 28 the motor vehicle 10 is parked (reversed to be more precisely) into one of the parking space 16 by an automated parking manoeuvre performed by the automated parking system working without training (short: non-trained automated parking system). The corresponding parking path or parking trajectory 36 of this parking manoeuvre is a typical path/trajectory determined by the non-trained automated parking system reversing the vehicle into the parking space 16 in combination with a subsequent correction until the vehicle 10 reaches the final parking position 38. In addition a possible parking trajectory 40 of a parking manoeuvre for parking the vehicle 10 into the other parking space 16 is shown as well.

A corresponding method for assisting a driver of the motor vehicle 10 when parking in one of the two parking spaces 16, 18 of the parking zone 14 using the driver assistance device comprises a training mode and a subsequent operating mode:

In the training mode of the driver assistance device (sometimes called learning mode): Reference data about the path 24 from the reference starting position 26 to the reference target position 28 are recorded and stored by means of the driver assistance device, while the motor vehicle 10 is driven on said path 24 under driver control. The reference target position 28 is chosen such that both of the parking spaces 16, 18 can be reached from said reference target position 28 using the automated parking system of the driver assistance device.

In the operating mode different from the training mode: The motor vehicle is driven to the reference target position 28 under control of the driver assistance device using the reference data. One of the parking spaces (in the shown example the first parking space 16) is selected by the driver by means of a query protocol of the driver assistance device. Finally the motor vehicle 10 is parked into the selected parking space 16 under control of the automated parking system of the driver assistance device.

In other words: The driver assistance device is trained to follow a path/trajectory 24 from the start of a home zone (reference starting position 26) to the start of the parking area (reference target position 28), but, unlike Park4U® Home, the training does not include the final parking manoeuvre (parking trajectories 36, 40). Once within range of the parking zone 14, the vehicle 10 can use the already existing Park4U® functionality to identify potential parking slots (parking positions 16, 18). These slots can then be offered to the driver as options using the already existing Park4U® or Park4U® Remote functionality. Furthermore, the device can provide extra information to the driver including, but not limited to:

1 ) An image of the parking slots from the vehicles camera (typically front, rear or side camera or any combination of these depending on driving direction);

2) An image of the vehicle's environmental situation (a top view or bowl view from all four surround view cameras stitched);

3) Other sensory data such as distance from start/end position, distance to park-slots, distance to objects, object classification;

4) Current GPS coordinates can also be sent so the driver can see it in a map view.

5) Options for the driver to select next action

The above information can be sent to the driver by means of WIFI or Bluetooth, or similar, to a receiver such as a phone. The information provided can aid the driver in making a decision on which parking space 16, 18 to choose, which manoeuvre type to choose (e.g. forward/reverse parking), or what should be the next steps of the vehicle 10.

The driver will receive an image of the area which allows him to make an informed decision about what the vehicle 10 should do next. If there is something that should not be in the area, the driver can be made aware.

Fig. 2 shows another top view of a motor vehicle 10 on a road 12. At the edge of the road 12 there is a parking zone 14 with two parking spaces (parking slots) 16, 18. The two parking spaces 16, 18 are arranged in parallel and each of the parking spaces runs diagonal with respect to the road course.

The situational image provides more information than the current Park4U® HMI as the driver can see if the identified parking slots are in fact suitable parking spaces 16, 18, e.g. if parking in the identified slot could block the driveway for other drivers, or if the slot is partly on a public road or outside the boundary of the home zone, or if the identified slot is reserved for someone else. The driver can also be aware of other vehicles around and the potential availability of other parking positions.

The options that can be provided to the driver in this situation can include but are not limited to:

(i) Select one of the identified parking slots 16, 18;

(ii) Choose the type of parking manoeuvre;

(iii) Continue further along path/trajectory 24 in order to identify other parking slots;

(iv) Request the vehicle 10 to wait a defined time, for example if another vehicle is parking out of a slot 16, 18;

The driver can then select one of the above mentioned options on their Smartphone and the vehicle 10 will perform the manoeuvre and inform the driver on completion.

The advantages of these options are many:

1 . The driver has more flexibility in choosing the parking slot (this becomes more pertinent when the user has information that the system cannot know, for example the driver may know that another driver will require the selected slot so it should not be used);

2. The driver has more flexibility in choosing the parking manoeuvre;

3. The driver only has to perform training once;

4. Less memory required to accommodate more parking options;

5. Safety enhanced as user can choose the safest parking option for the scenario;

6. The driver has more knowledge about the resulting parking location of the vehicle 10.

List of Reference signs

10 vehicle

12 road

14 parking zone

16 parking space, first

18 parking space, second

20 region, environal

22 region, environal

24 path, trained

26 reference starting position (trained path)

28 reference target position (trained path)

30 reference points (trained path)

32 object, environal (tree)

34 object, environal (boundary marker)

36 parking trajectory, first

38 parking position

40 parking trajectory, second