Smartphone doubles as remote control for cars

February 15, 2017 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Hitachi Automotive Systems and infotainment system vendor are together developing a remotely-controlled parking system for vehicles. The system will support multiple parallel and perpendicular parking styles, controlled by a smartphone app. During the parking process, the driver stays outside the car.

The virtual remote control uses a WiFi link between the smartphone and a system installed in the vehicle. The system in the car includes Clarion’s SurroundEye camera which is connected to an ECU and a brake control unit from Hitachi Automotive Systems. In contrast to available systems, Clarion is utilizing video cameras and ultrasound sensors for better performance, the company said.

Thanks to this constellation, the driver sees live images of the vehicle’s surroundings on its smartphone. Thus, he can visualize the vehicle’s trajectory which in turn enables him to safely operate the car, taking potential obstacles into account. The user interface contains a large variety of parallel and perpendicular parking space geometries which is particularly useful if space is limited – for instance in garages.

The driver can stop the vehicle at any time with immediate effect, for instance if he identifies an obstacle. For better safety, the car stops automatically if its sensors detect a pedestrian or a similar obstacle. The system can also be operated from inside the car, using the built-in navigation touch screen.

The system is currently available for Android smartphones. However, the companies have the intention to roll out versions for all major operating systems.