Method for Parking or Exiting a Parking Bay and for Avoiding a Collision of a Vehicle, and Corresponding Assistance Systems and Vehicle

Abstract:

An obscured state of a vehicle, in which a distance measuring sensor of an assistance system is obscured by a part of the vehicle, is automatically detected. If the obscured state is present, a steering intervention of the assistance system into a steering system of the vehicle during a parking or parking-bay-exiting process of the vehicle using the assistance system is automatically deactivated or prevented. Furthermore, to avoid a collision of the vehicle using the assistance system, a notification of an obscured state is automatically generated when the obscured state is present.


Publication Number: US20110301814

Publication Date: 2011-12-08

Application Number: 13100108

Applicant Date: 2011-05-03

International Class:

    B62D 6/00

    G08G 1/16

Inventors: Ulrich Wuttke Philipp Hueger Mehmet Terkes Stefan Bruening

Inventors Address: Braunschweig,DE Wolfsburg,DE Braunschweig,DE Berlin,DE

Applicators:

Applicators Address:

Assignee:


Claims:

1. Method for parking a vehicle or driving the vehicle out of a parking bay using an assistance system,an obscured state of the vehicle, in which a distance measuring sensor of the assistance system is obscured by a part of the vehicle, being automatically detected, anda steering intervention of the assistance system into a steering system of the vehicle being automatically deactivated or prevented when the obscured state is present.

2. Method according to claim 1, characterized in that, if it is automatically detected that the obscured state of the vehicle is no longer present, an automatic parking process is carried out by means of the assistance system taking into consideration an item of information regarding a parking bay detected when the vehicle was in the obscured state.

3. Method according to claim 1, characterized in that a measurement of a parking bay during the course of a parking process of the assistance system is automatically carried out by means of at least one further distance measuring sensor even when the obscured state of the vehicle is present.

4. Method according to claim 2, characterized in that, if it is automatically detected that the obscured state of the vehicle is no longer present, an automatic parking process is carried out by means of the assistance system taking into consideration an item of information regarding a parking bay detected when the vehicle was in the obscured state.

5. Method according to claim 1, characterized in that, after an automatic deactivation of the steering intervention during a parking process or a parking-bay-exiting process of the assistance system on account of the detection of the obscured state, the steering intervention is reactivated as a function of a manual actuation in order to continue the parking process or the parking-bay-exiting process if it is automatically detected that the obscured state of the vehicle is no longer present.

6. Method according to claim 5, characterized in that the steering intervention is reactivated only if the method is in a first maneuvering step of the parking process.

7. Method for avoiding a collision of a vehicle using an assistance system,an obscured state of the vehicle, in which a distance measuring sensor of the assistance system is obscured by a part of the vehicle, is automatically detected, anda notification of the obscured state is automatically generated if the obscured state is present.

8. Method according to claim 7, characterized in that the notification comprises an item of information regarding that edge region of the vehicle for which a collision can be avoided only to a restricted extent because the distance measuring sensor is obscured.

9. Assistance system for a vehicle, the assistance system comprisinga controller, a plurality of distance measuring sensors for measuring an environment of the vehicle, and at least one state detecting sensor,the at least one state detecting sensor being designed to detect an obscured state of the vehicle in which one of the distance measuring sensors is obscured by a part of the vehicle, andthe controller being designed such that, if the controller detects the obscured state by means of the at least one state detecting sensor, said controller deactivates a steering intervention of the assistance system into a steering system of the vehicle if the steering intervention is active, or does not activate said steering intervention if the steering intervention is not active.

10. Assistance system according to claim 9, characterized in that the assistance system is designed to carry out the method for parking a vehicle or driving the vehicle out of a parking bay using an assistance system,an obscured state of the vehicle, in which a distance measuring sensor of the assistance system is obscured by a part of the vehicle, being automatically detected, anda steering intervention of the assistance system into a steering system of the vehicle being automatically deactivated or prevented when the obscured state is present.

11. Assistance system for a vehicle, the assistance system comprisinga device for generating a notification, a controller, a plurality of distance measuring sensors and at least one state detecting sensor,the at least one state detecting sensor being designed to detect an obscured state of the vehicle in which one of the distance measuring sensors is obscured by a part of the vehicle, andthe controller being designed to generate the notification of the obscured state by means of the device if the controller detects the obscured state by means of the at least one state detecting sensor.

12. Assistance system according to claim 10, characterized in that the assistance system is designed to carry out the method for avoiding a collision of a vehicle using an assistance system,an obscured state of the vehicle, in which a distance measuring sensor of the assistance system is obscured by a part of the vehicle, is automatically detected, anda notification of the obscured state is automatically generated if the obscured state is present.

Descriptions:

The present invention relates firstly to a method for parking a vehicle or driving the vehicle out of a parking bay by means of an assistance system, and secondly to a method for avoiding a collision of a vehicle by means of an assistance system. The present invention also relates to correspondingly designed assistance systems and vehicles.

DE 10 2005 017 359 A1 describes an assistance system of a vehicle, in which system-relevant functions are checked before an intervention into the steering system of the vehicle is carried out.

While it has been observed that the prior art takes fault in system-relevant functions into consideration, and the prior art only takes this system-relevant function into consideration, it is the object of the present invention to also take into consideration normal operating states of the vehicle which adversely affect a mode of operation of an assistance system by means of which a parking process of a vehicle can be assisted or a collision of the vehicle can be avoided.

Within the context of the present invention, a method for parking a vehicle or driving a vehicle out of a parking bay using an assistance system is provided. Here, a certain state of the vehicle, referred to here as the obscured state, is automatically detected. Said obscured state is present when a distance measuring sensor, for example an ultrasound sensor, of the assistance system is obscured by a part of the vehicle, for example a sliding door of the vehicle. When the obscured state is present, if a steering intervention of the assistance system into a steering system of the vehicle is active, said steering intervention is automatically deactivated, or if the steering intervention is not activated, an activation of the steering intervention is automatically prevented.

The present invention prevents a (semi-)automatic parking or parking-bay-exiting process being carried out when one or more distance sensors are obscured for example by a sliding door of the vehicle. In other words, a (semi-)automatic parking or parking-bay-exiting process can advantageously be carried out only when all the distance measuring sensors have a clear view of obstacles in the environment of the vehicle, as a result of which a collision-free parking or parking-bay-exiting process is ensured.

In particular, the steering intervention of the assistance system is deactivated or prevented only if the obscured distance measuring sensor lies, in the case of a curb-side parking bay, on that side of the vehicle on which the curb-side parking bay is also situated as viewed from the vehicle.

It is however nevertheless possible according to the invention for a measurement of a parking bay to be carried out by means of the non-obscured distance measuring sensors even if one or more distance measuring sensors are obscured, that is to say the obscured state is present.

Since the measurement of a parking bay can be carried out even with only some of the distance measuring sensors (for example, the parking bay can be measured by means of front sensors while the rear sensors are obscured by a sliding door), it is advantageous to make the measurement of a parking bay possible even in the obscured state.

If it is detected that the obscured state of the vehicle is no longer present, for example because the sliding door is closed, the information regarding a parking bay gathered in the obscured state can be used to automatically carry out a parking process by means of the assistance system.

In other words, the parking bay need not be re-measured when the distance measuring sensor which is obscured by the vehicle part (for example the sliding door) in the obscured state) is exposed again.

In other words, the obscured state during a parking process leads to the parking process being influenced only if the steering intervention is present (because the latter is deactivated in the obscured state) or if a so-called OK position (position of the vehicle from which the vehicle is parked into the parking bay by reversing), because the activation of the assistance system for (semi-)automatic parking is not offered in the obscured state.

If the steering intervention of the assistance system is automatically deactivated during a parking process because the obscured state is detected, said parking process may under certain circumstances be continued if the obscured state of the vehicle is no longer present (for example because the sliding door is closed again) and the assistance system is manually activated to continue the parking process.

For example, if the sliding door is opened during an automatic parking process, the steering intervention by the assistance system is deactivated and therefore the parking process is interrupted, as described above. If, for example, the driver identifies this and thereupon closes the sliding door, the parking process can advantageously be continued when the assistance system is manually activated (by the driver).

A resumption of the parking process is however only possible, in the case of parking, if the method according to the invention is in a first maneuvering step of the parking process.

Also provided within the context of the present invention is a further method for avoiding a collision of a vehicle by means of an assistance system. Similarly to the method according to the invention described above, an obscured state of the vehicle is automatically detected, wherein in the presence of said obscured state, at least one distance measuring sensor of the assistance system is obscured by a part of the vehicle. If said obscured state is present, a notification of the present obscured state is generated.

As a result of said notification, which may be provided visually in the form of a display, audibly by means of the output of a certain tone sequence or haptically, for example by vibrating the steering wheel, the driver of the vehicle is advantageously informed that the collision protection of the vehicle is present only to a restricted extent for example on account of an open sliding door. The driver may react to this by either closing the sliding door or at least driving more cautiously on the basis of the knowledge of said restriction.

The flank protection or collision protection is deactivated (that is to say muted) in particular for that edge region which is monitored by the obscured distance measuring sensor. Here, the function of the obscured distance measuring sensor is also deactivated with regard to a detection of new objects or an updating of objects already detected.

Here, the notification comprises in particular an item of information which informs the driver as to which edge region of the vehicle is monitored only to a restricted extent on account of the obscured distance measuring sensor.

Within the context of the present invention, an assistance system for a vehicle is also provided. Here, the assistance system comprises a controller, a plurality of distance measuring sensors (for example ultrasound sensors) for measuring an environment of the vehicle, and a state detecting sensor. By means of the state detecting sensor, an obscured state of the vehicle is detected in which one or more of the distance measuring sensors are obscured by a part of the vehicle. The controller deactivates a steering intervention of the assistance system into a steering system of the vehicle if the steering intervention is active, or prevents an activation of said steering intervention if the steering intervention has not been activated, if the controller detects the obscured state by means of the state detecting sensor.

Also provided within the context of the present invention is a further assistance system for a vehicle. The further assistance system comprises a device for generating a notification, a controller, a plurality of distance measuring sensors and a state detecting sensor. Similarly to the assistance system according to the invention described above, the further assistance system detects the obscured state by means of the state detecting sensor, which obscured state is present if one or more of the distance measuring sensors are obscured by a part of the vehicle. The controller generates the notification of the obscured state by means of the device if the controller detects the obscured state by means of the state detecting sensor.

The advantages of the assistance systems according to the invention substantially correspond to the advantages of the method according to the invention described above in detail, such that a repetition will be omitted here.

Here, as a distance measuring sensor, use may be made not only of an ultrasound sensor but also of an optical sensor, an infra-red sensor or also a camera. A combination of sensors of different types is also conceivable.

Finally, within the context of the present invention, a vehicle is provided which comprises the assistance system according to the invention and/or the further assistance system according to the invention.

The present invention is suitable in particular for a vehicle which is configured with an assistance system and in which an entirely normal operating state of the vehicle leads to a restriction of the mode of operation of the assistance system. The present invention is self-evidently not restricted to said preferred field of application, since the present invention can also be used in aircraft, ships and rail-guided or track-guided vehicles.

The invention will be explained in detail below on the basis of preferred embodiments and with reference to the figures.FIG. 1 illustrates a parking process according to the present invention.FIG. 2 schematically illustrates a vehicle according to the invention having an assistance system according to the invention.

FIG. 1 illustrates a vehicle 10 according to the invention during a parking process. The vehicle 10 comprises a plurality of ultrasound sensors 1 and, on each side, in each case one sliding door 2. Since the right-hand sliding door 2 is open, said sliding door 2 obscures the rear ultrasound sensor 1 on the right-hand side of the vehicle 10, as a result of which a so-called obscured state of the vehicle 10 is present. Even if said ultrasound sensor 1 is obscured, a parking bay 3 situated between the two parked vehicles 11 on the right-hand side of the vehicle 10 can be measured by the remaining ultrasound sensors 1, in particular by the front ultrasound sensor 1 on the right-hand side, as the vehicle 10 travels past.

On account of the ultrasound sensor 1 obscured by the open sliding door 2, the parking process cannot be carried out (semi-)automatically. In contrast, a (semi-)automatically executed parking process in the case of a parking bay on the left-hand side of the vehicle 10 would be possible because none of the ultrasound sensors 1 are obscured by the sliding door 2 on said left-hand side.

If the sliding door 2 on the right-hand side of the vehicle 10 is closed, the parking process into the parking bay situated on the right-hand side can be carried out (semi-)automatically after a manual actuation of a control element of an assistance system of the vehicle 10, with information gathered while travelling past the parking bay 3 with the sliding door 2 open being used. In other words, it is not necessary to travel past the parking bay 3 again with the sliding door 2 closed in order to measure the parking bay 3.

If the sliding door 2 on the right-hand side is open during the (semi-)automatic parking process, with the ultrasound sensors 1 on the rear right-hand side of the vehicle 10 being obscured, the steering intervention of the assistance system into the steering system of the vehicle 10 is deactivated, as a result of which the (semi-)automatic parking process is, in effect, interrupted. Said interruption or deactivation may be indicated by means of a corresponding message on the on-board computer of the vehicle 10. If the sliding door 2 is subsequently closed again, the (semi-)automatic parking process can again be continued after the manual actuation of the control element of the assistance system. Said continuation or resumption is however possible only if the vehicle 10 is in a first maneuvering step of the parking process, that is to say no gear change from the reverse gear into the forward gear of the vehicle 10 has yet taken place.

If the gear is changed (that is to say from the reverse gear into the forward gear) when the sliding door 2 on the right-hand side of the vehicle 10 is open and therefore the steering intervention of the assistance system is deactivated, before the sliding door 2 is closed again, the (semi-)automatic parking process cannot be continued. In this situation, only a (semi-)automatic parking-bay-exiting process can be carried out by means of the assistance system.

If one of the two sliding doors 2 is open, as a result of which the corresponding ultrasound sensor 1 is obscured, this is indicated via a display of the vehicle 10. The corresponding edge region of the vehicle 10, in which the corresponding ultrasound sensor 1 is obscured by the open sliding door 2, is then not depicted on said display. When the corresponding sliding door 2 is closed again, the complete edge region of the vehicle 10 (that is to say both sides) is depicted again on the display, thereby indicating to the driver of the vehicle 10 that the collision protection or flank protection of the vehicle 10 is not adversely affected by an obscured ultrasound sensor 1 on either side. When the previously open sliding door 2 is closed again, the flank protection is reactivated for the edge region of the previously covered ultrasound sensor 1 with the values stored before the opening of the sliding door 2.

FIG. 2 schematically illustrates a vehicle 10 according to the invention which comprises an assistance system 20 according to the invention, a steering system 7 and a sliding door 2. Here, the assistance system 20 in turn comprises a controller 5, a (more precisely a plurality of) ultrasound sensor(s) 1, a sensor 6 and an on-board computer 8. By means of the sensor 6, the controller 5 detects whether the sliding door 2 is open and thus obscures one of the ultrasound sensors 1. The controller 5 activates or deactivates a steering intervention of the assistance system 20 into the steering system 7 of the vehicle 10 depending on whether or not the sensor 6 signals that an ultrasound sensor 1 is obscured by the sliding door 2. Furthermore, the fact that an ultrasound sensor 1 is obscured by the sliding door 2 is indicated by means of the on-board computer 8.