The Volkswagen Touareg can now drive into and out of parking spaces fully automatically and by remote control from outside the vehicle using a smartphone. The luxury-class Touareg SUV is now the first Volkswagen that is capable of assisted maneuvering without a driver on board.
The basis of the new system is Park Assist, which Volkswagen still offers for the Touareg. Park Assist permits semi-automatic parking in parking spaces; the car also drives semi-automatically out of parallel parking spaces (spaces that are parallel to the road). Here, the SUV takes over steering, while the driver presses the accelerator and brake pedals.
Volkswagen is now going a decisive step further, as the new Park Assist with remote control now works fully automatically for the first time—i.e., it also controls the engine and the brake. The new system offers two operating modes: in the first mode, the driver remains sitting in the vehicle and operates the system from there; in the second mode, the driver gets out of the Touareg and controls the parking maneuver using a smartphone.
In both cases, the SUV independently drives into or out of the parking space in forward or reverse direction. What is more, it does this in all types of parking spaces.
The technology used by the Touareg for this comprises twelve ultrasound sensors and the four cameras of the Area View 360-degree system. The cameras are located in the windshield, exterior mirrors and trunk lid. Volkswagen uses sensor fusion to ensure optimum object detection.
In the first mode—without activated remote control—the driver remains sitting in the Touareg as usual. When driving into a parking space for example: the driver activates the search for a parking space by tapping on the “P” field on the infotainment system screen. As soon as the Touareg detects one or more suitable parking spaces, it shows these on the infotainment system screen. The driver now selects one of the offered parking spaces.
The display “Depress the brake and press and hold the button or select Park Assist with remote control” is now shown in the digital instruments (Digital Cockpit) of the Touareg. The driver now chooses the first option and continuously presses the “Drive” button (P AUTO) under the gear knob on the center console; parking then starts.
The SUV can even park automatically in garages. The Touareg stops instantaneously if the “Drive” button is released.
In the second mode, the driver gets out of the vehicle before the actual parking maneuver. The driver then uses a smartphone and the VW Remote Park Assist Plus app as a remote control. Here too, the driver activates the search for a parking space by tapping on the “P” field on the screen. The driver again selects one of the offered parking spaces.
When the display “Depress the brake and press and hold the button or select Park Assist with remote control” appears on the infotainment screen, the driver then chooses the second option: Park Assist with remote control. The driver taps on the option, takes the vehicle key, gets out of the vehicle and then activates the parking maneuver via the app.
To do this, the driver presses the “Drive” button on the smartphone—this button is virtually transferred from the car to the app—and parking now starts. Here also, the “Drive” button must be pressed continuously for safety reasons. The SUV now carries out the process of driving into a parking space fully automatically.
To activate automatic driving out of the parking space, the driver simply starts the engine via the VW Remote Park Assist Plus app by pressing the START/ENGINE/STOP button on the smartphone. When the engine is started, available maneuvers for driving out of the parking space are displayed on the mobile phone, such as “Forward left” or “Forward right”.
The driver now simply selects the direction and activates the maneuver for driving out of the parking space by pressing the “Drive” button icon. In this case also, the driver must continuously press the digital button for safety reasons. The maneuver for driving out of a parking space is visually displayed in parallel on the smartphone.