NTT DATA, a global digital business and IT services provider, Embotech, a software firm that focuses on autonomous driving systems, and Valeo, a company that provides technology advances to automakers, have announced what they call “the next big step” in providing automated parking capabilities.
In a release issued at CES 2023 in Las Vegas, which opened today, the three companies said they have created a consortium called VEN.AI, designed to be the go-to provider for production-ready parking automation with global roll out capabilities.
The consortium combines each company’s core competencies, and the infrastructure-based offering, they added, will have few requirements on the vehicle side, as it guides vehicles via the use of sensors, connectivity (e.g., 5G), and offboard computing to a dedicated parking spot.
“Automated parking solutions can be implemented in a variety of use cases including the assembly plants where vehicles are produced, outbound-logistics distribution parks, depots for vehicle fleets operators, retail surfaces as well as in parking garages as an automated valet service” the release noted.
In the initial phase, VEN.AI is focusing on manufacturing-specific use cases to help car manufacturers increase the efficiency of their assembly lines by automatically guiding vehicles from one production station to another.
From there, the system would then drive the vehicle from the end of the assembly line to a dedicated parking space in a staging area, prior to being shipped. The outcome is a more efficient assembly line, saving on time and costs.
Prasoon Saxena, president of manufacturing at NTT Data Services, said VEN.AI is an example of the investments the company is making to “drive efficiency and productivity toward Industry 4.0 for our clients in the automotive industry.
“With innovations from NTT DATA, including advances in edge computing, network monitoring, and advanced connectivity, VEN.AI will make mobility much easier and energy efficient for consumers, car manufacturers, and more.”
Safety, the release stated, is a “key component of VEN.AI, by integrating the latest technology innovations including the use of cameras, light detection, low-latency connectivity and sensors. The system has been designed to fulfill the highest requirements and standards on safety and availability and has the best-in-class building components.”
To that end, Embotech, short for embedded optimization technologies, will provide its PRODRIVER, an SAE Level 4 virtual driver designed to provide “flexible, human-like driving, which is a key enabler of automated driving in busy logistics areas with mixed traffic, as well as parking in very tight spaces, increasing the space efficiency.”
Valeo, a market leader in sensors for advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and related detection algorithms, will be responsible for supplying the necessary technology to make the parking system function properly.
Its sensors will be “used to detect and locate cars in the parking area, as well as to understand the surrounding environment. This information is then used by the algorithms to accurately guide the car to an available parking space,” the three companies said.