GM Patents Intelligent Park Assist System Aimed at Reducing Park Violations

General Motors is among the pioneers of autonomous driving, thanks partly to its Cruise self-driving taxi business. The auto giant is looking at the best ways to bring self-driving technology into the mainstream, and the new park assist system it patented might help with that.
GM patents an intelligent park assist system aimed at reducing park violations 6 photos
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GM patents an intelligent park assist system aimed at reducing park violationsGM patents an intelligent park assist system aimed at reducing park violationsBosch Park Assist systemBosch Park Assist systemBosch Park Assist system
Advanced driving assist systems (ADAS) aim to take the burden out of everyday driving, helping drivers reduce driving errors. While daily driving seems pretty straightforward, parking a vehicle, especially in tight, urban parking spots, is something that even human drivers struggle to get right. That’s why this was one of the first areas where ADAS tried to automate the process. It’s also set to become an important part of a future where autonomous vehicles would not only drive themselves but also need to park.

General Motors allocated resources to improve the park assist feature and recently filed a patent with the USPTO for an intelligent parking system. The new system does more than just steer the car into a parking spot. It makes sure that it is a legitimate parking spot in the first place. The patent describes a system that uses onboard sensors and connected technology to ensure that parking the vehicle in a certain location does not result in a parking violation for the user.

Based on the patent filing we attached below, the system uses cameras, radar, GPS, and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication to gather information about possible parking restrictions. This includes analyzing parking signs, fire hydrant positions, and other factors. It integrates with the “regular” park assist system (autonomous or semi-autonomous), and if the spot is deemed as “valid,” it will guide the car to park as required.

The system also works without the park assist activated, warning the driver when they try to park the car in a place determined to be invalid for whatever reason. It can also handle the payment process through the vehicle’s infotainment display. The new intelligent park system is described in detail thanks to a series of flow charts showing how the different onboard systems would interact.

The patent indicates that GM at least thought of the complications that may arise when an autonomous vehicle is trying to park. Like many patents, it doesn’t mean it will enter production, although it should. The system could be critical for autonomous vehicles in determining whether a parking spot is valid without a human present to validate the decision.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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