NTT DATA, a global digital business and IT services leader, Valeo, and Embotech, a software scale-up for autonomous driving systems, announce the next big step to provide automated parking solutions. Together, the three companies have built a consortium, VEN.AI, that aims to be the go-to solution provider for production ready parking automation with global roll out capabilities. The consortium combines each company’s core competencies including owned IP, the latest technology, sales and support structure and strong operations offerings.
VEN.AI offers an infrastructure-based solution that has very 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.
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 here, it will then drive the vehicle from the end of the assembly line to its dedicated spot on the launch areas, which can be large surfaces. The outcome is a more efficient assembly line, saving on time and costs.
“VEN.AI is an example of the investments NTT DATA is making to drive efficiency and productivity toward Industry 4.0 for our clients in the automotive industry,” said Prasoon Saxena, President of Manufacturing, NTT DATA Services. “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.”
As the world leader in ADAS sensors and related detection algorithms, Valeo is responsible for supplying the necessary technology to make the parking system function properly. The sensors supplied are 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.
“We are excited to participate in this automated valet parking project alongside NTT DATA and Embotech” said Marc Vrecko, President, Comfort and Driving Assistance Systems Business Group, Valeo. “Fully automated parking is growing, due to the increasing demand of our customers, and Valeo has all the assets to respond to this market: we have the most comprehensive sensor portfolio on the market, offering the vehicle a complete vision. And having precise perception is key to ensuring vehicles are safely and efficiently parked.”
Safety 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 including Embotech PRODRIVER®. This SAE L4 virtual driver is designed to provide fully flexible, human-like driving, which is a key enabler of automated driving in busy logistics areas with mixed traffic as well as parking into very tight spaces, increasing the space efficiency.
“VEN.AI proves that autonomous driving, when employed in the proper context, has an immediate business case with the potential to disrupt the future of automotive manufacturing and distribution,” said Andreas Kyrtatos, CEO, Embotech. “This venture has innovation at its core and is dedicated to bringing sustainable autonomy to automotive manufacturing and distribution.”
Additionally, VEN.AI is integrating the parking automation solution within global production systems, adding automated charging for electric vehicles, and using internal onboard sensors to improve efficiency and flexibility in large parking areas. The global roll out also includes 24/7 operations support.