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Self-Parking Car to Clock up 50km at Melbourne Motor Show

February 19th, 2008

Lexus will demonstrate its self-parking car at the Melbourne International Motor Show.

The Lexus LS 600hL will clock up its 500th kilometre of self-parking during the show, which runs from 29 February to 10 March.

The LS 600hL has been showcased at the Sydney and Brisbane shows, where it proved to be a major drawcard for visitors.

Importantly, this technology is not reserved solely for a concept vehicle but is available on Lexus' LS 460 and LS 600hL models.

The Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA) system is designed to assist drivers in entering parallel or series parking spaces*.

It employs a rear camera and ultrasonic sensors to identify parking spaces and calculate the appropriate steering angle to guide the vehicle into the chosen space.

The rear camera is mounted adjacent to the rear number plate and the ultrasonic sensors are mounted on either side of the front number plate.

The system controls the steering automatically to guide the vehicle into the targeted parking position identified by the driver via a navigation screen.

No steering input is required from the driver, who merely controls vehicle speed (to a maximum of 4km/h) during the manoeuvre by using the brake pedal.

For parallel parking, the driver slowly drives past the intended parking space, allowing the system's sonar sensors to detect the available space, before stopping just beyond the space in a normal manner.

After the driver shifts into reverse gear and selects the parallel parking option, the IPA control unit determines the target parking position.

It calculates both the parking trajectory and required steering angle, while a view of the target parking position is projected onto the centre console's Electro Multi-Vision (EMV) touch-screen.

The driver then confirms acceptance of the target position and activates the system.

After the driver has checked traffic conditions to ensure that it is safe to reverse, the driver releases the brake pedal and the vehicle begins reversing at a slow speed.

The system monitors vehicle speed via the drivetrain and brake system electronic control units, and automatically controls the electric power steering to guide the vehicle into the targeted parking position.

The IPA system will also help execute "series" parking manoeuvres in a similar fashion.

While the IPA system automatically controls the steering during either parallel or series parking manoeuvres, the driver is responsible for both controlling the speed and stopping the vehicle using the brake pedal.

The driver can deactivate the IPA at any time through either throttle or steering input or shifting out of Reverse gear or cancelling it via the EMV touch-screen.

* Intelligent Park Assist is designed as a driver-assist device only and should not be used as a substitute for skilled driving and safe parking practices. The driver should watch the area into which the vehicle is to be reversed, react appropriately and ensure compliance with all road rules. Intelligent Park Assist requires driver brake control.

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