Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Robotics Software Hardware Science Linux

Linux-Powered Auto-Parking Car 414

Posted by timothy
from the safe-in-a-crash dept.
megmag writes "A really cool project using a Linux P4 machine for automatic parking of a Volvo S60 was presented last week. Take a look at the video. That's how your parking problem should be solved. It is a final-year student project within the mechanical engineering department at Linköping University, Sweden."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Linux-Powered Auto-Parking Car

Comments Filter:
  • by AviLazar (741826) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:06AM (#9569921) Journal
    For the inept :) Then again I know a few women (no offense) who could really use this. Especially suburbanites :)
    • by MoonFog (586818)
      Why is this modded flamebait? Women, and also alot of men, really HAVE problems parking because it often involves driving in reverse. It doesn't help that you often have little time to do the parking because of the other cars waiting to get past you. Alot of people tend to turn the wheels the wrong way when driving in reverse.
      • Re:This is cool (Score:5, Insightful)

        by robertjw (728654) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:28AM (#9570146) Homepage
        Personally I feel that any person that can't manage to park their car shouldn't be allowed to drive it at all.

        Of course I also think that at least 80% of the people on the road are scarier than hell and shouldn't be allowed to drive. Don't believe me? Turn on your local news for the first snow storm of the season (if you don't get snow, find the Denver newscast - it's always humorus). I'm always amazed at the way people who live in an area that gets bad weather EVERY YEAR will wreck their car the first time there is three inches of snow. Maybe if we actually taught people how to drive there would be less traffic fatalities in this country - actually, probably not, Everybody knows that traffic accidents are caused by people not wearing their seat belt [strike-the-root.com].
        • I can reach over to the passenger side and roll the window down, but I'd much rather click a little button next to me that does it automatically. Doesn't mean I don't still know how to roll down a window.
          • by Rei (128717) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @12:19PM (#9571874) Homepage
            The key thing that people seem to be missing about this article is not the automation, but the fact that this is a *Linux Powered Car*. Bush has been pushing hydrogen, but Linux power is really the power of the 21st century.

            Of course, I probably won't switch - my XML powered car has been working just fine for now.
        • Re:This is cool (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mandalayx (674042) *
          Personally I feel that any person that can't manage to park their car shouldn't be allowed to drive it at all.

          I understand your sentiment: if someone can't even park their car, how can they drive?

          But consider that parallel parking, in particular, might be a skill completely independent of actually driving. Here in Orange County you can have a complete and fulfilling driving life without EVER having to parallel park. There is some subset of those folks who are safe drivesr. Are you implying that they ca
      • Re:This is cool (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Paulrothrock (685079) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:55AM (#9570404) Homepage Journal
        There was a show on the Discovery channel a while back about the differences between men and women. They were given the task of parking a car (VW New Beetle) in a space 1 foot longer than the length of the car. All of the men who tried could do it. Only 70% of the women could get it in. While not a definitive study, it does provide some non-anecdotal evidence that this is the case.

        To be fair, in the same show they did an experiment where men and women were given a list of things to do in a time limit. Things like answering the door, the phone, cooking, cleaning, writing out a grocery list, and other basic household stuff. All but one of the men failed to finish in the time period, and experienced significantly more stress in accomplishing these tasks. They also tended to do one thing at a time and got flustered when their concentration was broken. All of the women had no trouble finishing the same tasks from the same list in the same environment.

    • Up until just a couple months ago, I had always lived in suburbs or semi-rural areas. When I was a teenager and got my license, they didn't even care about parallel parking.

      For those of us in this situation, I wouldn't say we are inept, just inexperienced.

      As for horrible women drivers.. I agree. They are at least as horrible as men drivers. :)
  • by foidulus (743482) * on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:06AM (#9569925)
    whenever it parks behind Darl McBride's car, it keeps on slamming the gas and ramming into it...I wonder why
  • what the? (Score:5, Funny)

    by FatAlb3rt (533682) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:08AM (#9569936) Homepage
    cool, but i really could've done without the shirtless guy. wtf?

  • uhhhhh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Choachy (619161) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:08AM (#9569943)
    He can program a car to park itself, but he cant put on a shirt?
  • And here I was thinking that I might actually get to see the clip. But alas, all I saw was a 30 sec long logo. Silly me, I must be new here.
  • by funkdancer (582069) <funky@NosPam.funkdancer.com> on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:09AM (#9569950)
    video is cool, but now try doing it in a real world situation where you've got 60% of that space...

    I was surprised to be able to download the vid at full speed, though. :)
    • That's the first thing I thought when I saw this video. Hell, even I could park in that spot. They did a good job, but until they can park in a spot 8 inches longer than your car like in NYC, it doesn't have so much practical purpose. Nice trick nonetheless.
      • When I was in Germany, they'd fine you if you 'd let less than a meter between your park and the next so it might be the worst still legal situation in Sweden too.
        • I am German, and I never got fined for having less than a meter between my car and the next one. I can't also remember such a regulation from my driving lessons.

          What may happen is that if the car parking next to you can't get out of its parking space, then you could get a fine for blocking it.
          • Which is all very well, as long as you weren't there first.
          • I know we have a rule like that in Belgium, but I have never heard of a case where it was enforced, except perhaps when two cars where so close to a third one that the third one could not possible get out of the parking spot anymore.
      • by dcsmith (137996) * on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:57AM (#9570436) Homepage
        Hell, even I could park in that spot. They did a good job, but until they can park in a spot 8 inches longer than your car like in NYC, it doesn't have so much practical purpose.

        Hell, I can carry a disk between computers faster than that 300 baud modem. If it can't transmit data any faster than that, it doesn't have much practical purpose. What's that? It'll get faster once people start using it and the technology improves? Huh. Who'd a thunk it?

        Sheesh, people, lighten up. Proof of concept.

    • I was surprised to be able to download the vid at full speed, though. :)

      one reason would be that Linköping's University has a 2.5Gbit uplink to the 10Gbit backbone called SUNET [sunet.se], one of the (if not "the") fastest university networks in the world :)
  • Suspicious (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PhysicsGenius (565228) <physics_seeker@y a h o o . com> on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:09AM (#9569955)
    The article notes that it uses ultrasound sensors to detect the curb and other cars, but I see there are a number of equally spaced white lines painted on the ground (farther out than parking lines are normally painted). How artificial was this test? Can it do arbitrary parallel parking?
  • by EvilTwinSkippy (112490) <yoda&etoyoc,com> on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:09AM (#9569957) Homepage Journal
    It crashed less than windows.
  • by amliebsch (724858) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:10AM (#9569962) Journal
    Gee, mine's still powered my gasoline.
  • by rsidd (6328) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:11AM (#9569971)
    it looks like cars are supposed to park perpendicular to the edge there, not parallel. But both existing cars were also marked parallel.
  • mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chalex (71702) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:12AM (#9569983) Homepage
    Here's a mirror [rochester.edu] of the 3.84MB video.
    • Thank you but in this case it is not really needed:

      >time wget http://www.ikp.liu.se/evolve/2004/filmer/Park_auto _no_driver.wmv
      real 0m3.116s

      >time wget http://cif.rochester.edu/~alex/mirror/Park_auto_no _driver.wmv
      real 0m10.941s
      • by Atario (673917)
        I had no problem getting it either -- a 3.8 meg video in about a minute, linked directly on the front page of Slashdot...from an overseas server. Now that's impressive. Screw the car, tell me how they pulled off that bandwidth!
  • by potus98 (741836) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:12AM (#9569990) Journal

    Check out this high-speed parking manuever [milkandcookies.com]!

    [obligatory /. MS bash complete]

  • by Stevyn (691306) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:16AM (#9570030)
    I tried this with my laptop running gentoo once. It worked pretty well until I hit a wifi hotspot and it found 3 updates and started compiling for 8 hours.
  • by Timesprout (579035) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:16AM (#9570034)
    If a team of women had written the software ? hmmmm
  • I wonder if this will also work in tight spaces, where you end-up inching your way through.
  • by oz_ko (571352) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:19AM (#9570055)
    Write an article about linux parking your car - post the video in WMV format...
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:21AM (#9570079) Homepage Journal
    $699.00 per minute.
    Only 25c, 10c and 5c coins accepted.
    Meters enforced 24 hours.
    Violators will be towed courtesy McBride Breakdown Services.
  • They're working on a really lame other project using a Commodore 64 machine to control random lane-changing without indicating of every bloody Volvo on the roads,
  • More information (Score:5, Informative)

    by Creamsickle (792801) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:23AM (#9570099)
    One of the students on the project is actually the kid of an old friend of mine. In case you're wondering, the Linux system they are using is a custom system based on the Gentoo-HA (High Availability) distribution. In addition to parking cars, the optimized P4 box is also allegedly used for many games of Quake. :)

    Also, according to my friend, large quantities of pizza were consumed as an essential part of this project.
  • That works great until some asshole cuts into your spot before you can get into it. I'm sure getting out of your car will give them the cue.
  • by grunt107 (739510) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:24AM (#9570111)
    Self-driving vehicles (destination by traveler, drive by vehicle) are interesting, but the more removed people get from the driving responsibilities, the worse they actually drive - inattention AND inability both are rising. With the 'self-park', people will now lose another driving skill. That important? Not really - I have rarely PP'd (parallel-parked) - but I believe PPing gives important spatial vehicular training that helps in other driving areas.
    • Self-driving vehicles (destination by traveler, drive by vehicle) are interesting, but the more removed people get from the driving responsibilities, the worse they actually drive

      Once the vehicles drive themselves, who cares? I've lost the ability to translate my high-level code into assembly language by hand, but I don't think I'll ever need to do that again, so I'm not losing sleep over it. If a particular driving skill is taken over (and done at least as well) by automation, then good riddance, the roa

  • white cars only? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by harmanjd (414263)
    Does it only work if you park between two white cars?
  • Toyota (Score:5, Informative)

    by pyreblade (767593) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:27AM (#9570135)
    This is exciting and all, but the Japanese version of the Toyota Prius already does this.
  • by Mordaximus (566304) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:27AM (#9570137)
    If you can't parallel park, you shouldn't be licensed to drive.

    But I can see a practical application of this device : Device determins if driver is an incompetent moron who should never have been issued a license, and if that is the case, automatically pull over, park and cut power to the engine.

    Imagine the look on the asshole tailgater's face when upon pulling up within inches of your bumper, is denied control of his car, and pulls over to the side of the road (perfectly parked of course.)

    Or the moron who is in such a rush that he thinks red lights are optional.

    Or my personal pet peeve, the idiots who think signals are optional, and that everyone should just guess what their next move will be...

    yup, I think I'd enjoy having the road to myself :)

    • What happens when there's no place to park? It wouldn't take long to fill up every available spot.
    • If you can't parallel park, you shouldn't be licensed to drive.

      Here in Belgium, it's mandatory and part of the exam

      Or my personal pet peeve, the idiots who think signals are optional, and that everyone should just guess what their next move will be...

      Yeah, I see those a lot. On highways

  • Questions... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Whispers_in_the_dark (560817) * <rich.harkins@NOsPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:28AM (#9570145)
    1) Who gets the bill when the system screws up and slams the nice $200K car instead of parking neatly next to it?

    2) How does the system deal with engine/linkage issues. Cars don't provide smooth power/steering at all times. If the engine is out of tune or has a catchy throttle, can the system deal with that as well as/better than a human?

    3) How is it told where to park? It would have been nice if it was clear in the video what the driver did to tell it that. The article alludes to some sort of analysis system for this, but I like pretty pictures. ;)

    Pretty nifty anyway!
    • Re:Questions... (Score:3, Informative)

      by HokieJP (741860)
      2) How does the system deal with engine/linkage issues. Cars don't provide smooth power/steering at all times. If the engine is out of tune or has a catchy throttle, can the system deal with that as well as/better than a human?

      The same way a human does it, feedback control. i.e. You measure your acceleration, and you adjust the throttle until you get the value you want. With the right control system, the computer should be able to do a better job than a person. This is actually a famous problem in c
      • The same way a human does it, feedback control. i.e. You measure your acceleration, and you adjust the throttle until you get the value you want. With the right control system, the computer should be able to do a better job than a person. This is actually a famous problem in controls, and has been much studied. I was a bit disappointed that the article talked more about the mechanics of interfacing with the car, but maybe they consider the controller a "solved problem"

        I appreciate the detailed article.

  • Having just had a wing mirror damaged by a moron, the question I have is, how do we force all the morons who can't park to use this technology? It's like parking sensors; they work well but they don't stop the other guy reversing into you. I'm all in favor of freedom, but a number of classes of drivers - soccer moms in SUVs, the white baseball cap brigade and anyone with a gun rack in their pickup would surely benefit from compulsory parking sensors linked to the brakes. In fact, they'd benefit from perman
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Clippy would say: "Looks like you are trying to parallel park. This feature is not currently installed. Please insert the Microsoft Parking CD."
  • by Colourspace (563895) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:33AM (#9570200)
    I see a lot of people scoffing here but were on the brink of the next revolution in personal transport here and nobody seems to be taking notice. Just how long will it be before cars are wirelessly networked together, an onboard PC on each vehicle doing black-box, GPS navigation, localised proximity sensing and collision avoidance, parking, MP3 and entertainment etc - All of which we have the technology for now (but have not quite driven the cost out of yet) When these vehicles are networked via a mesh system to a basestation this could be used to the greater good for traffic networking (ie using data to redirect away from traffic hotspots) and accident/emergency uses. Of course there's privacy issues too - all of which need to be discussed. But if I see another 'linux won't crash' comment...
    • We already have such a system.

      It's called a bus.

    • When some script kiddie can wirelessly take control of the collision-avoidance system of random drivers' cars and crash them into mine, I for one won't want to be driving anymore.

      Of course, at that point car insurance will cost more than your car, because the insurance companies sure as hell aren't going to trust the computers.

  • by fgb (62123) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:36AM (#9570233)
    The system previewed in BMW Magazine a few months ago. As you drive by the parking space, it measures how big the space is and lets you know if the car will fit. If you tell it to park, it will take over the steering and acceleration. You retain control of the brakes so that you can stop it if necessary. I believe the article said that it would be available in the 6 series in a couple of years.

    I don't believe they recommended that you got out of the car before the parking manuever was completed.
  • Why is it upside down? Made me feel ill.
  • by defile (1059) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @09:44AM (#9570307) Homepage Journal

    The hardest and most annoying part about parallel parking for me is constantly checking all of my blind spots to make sure that I'm not about to mangle a pedestrian/stick my car out into oncoming traffic.

    How does the parking system handle that, I wonder.

  • Okay, it's Slashdot, I know. But it's not like (1) Linux is doing all the work here, or (2) there's something special about Linux that makes it an integral part of the solution. It could just as well have been Linux or Windows 95 or MS-DOS, really.

    (I honestly don't mean this as a flame. I like Linux. But I don't know what good it does to say things like "Panavision-Powered Camera Shoots Oscar Winning Film.")
  • Prague (Score:2, Funny)

    by Alif (705217)
    Can it park in Prague [internet.cz]?
  • It get's pretty tiresome seeing "linux-powered" this and that. I'm as big a fan of Linux as the next guy, but Linux is just the O/S. Stories like this make it sound like Linux is controlling the car. It's *not*. It's controlled by somebody else's software.

    It's not even an embedded Linux story. It's just another neat PC application that could just as easily be running on a Mac.
  • Pshoa. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr_Icon (124425) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @10:11AM (#9570577) Homepage

    If it could really park by itself, it would have to be able to do all of the following:

    • Roam the parking lot for 20 minutes looking for a spot, with windows rolled down, blaring bad techno at the surrounings.
    • Predatorily follow someone walking along the parking lot in the hopes that they will get in the car and pull out, and mouth them off in anger when realizing that they just wanted to pick up their wallet left in the car.
    • Know not to park next to the door-dinging Canyonero.
    • Mouth off at the "ass-clown in his fucking Porsche" who parked diagonally across two parking spaces.
    • Yell "WHAT THE FUCK! THAT WAS MINE!" at the soccer mom who just pulled into the available space that you have spotted while four rows across and have been navigating to it ever since.
    • Drop into neutral and rev up the engine behind the two old ladies who don't know any better to fucking get off the road.
    • Bitterly bitch at the handicapped people for wasting perfectly good parking spaces that are never taken anyway.
    • Say "that's it, I'm taking the goddamn bus next time!" at least once every two minutes while still circling the lot.
    • Finally find a parking space after 30 minutes of circling, parking with the front wheels over the "absolutely no parking" line.
    • Find that someone double-parked you upon your return, and be able to pull out over the curb, nearly leaving your exhaust pipe behind you.

    Until then, don't talk to me about self-parking cars.

  • by switcha (551514) on Wednesday June 30, 2004 @06:45PM (#9576453)
    C'mon, people. Why waste time with this shit? It's too late. The Segway is going to revolutionize the way we build cities and it's already here! Did you hear me? The way we build cities! [megarad.com]

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen

Working...