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  5. New International Standard published for “Automated Valet Parking Systems” Formulated by Japan

New International Standard published for “Automated Valet Parking Systems” Formulated by Japan

- Aiming to achieve a safer, more efficient society (ISO 23374-1) -

July 27, 2023

"Automated Valet Parking" is a system that uses automated driving technology to park cars unmanned. For example, in a parking lot of a large complex, user drops off the vehicle at the entrance and the system drives the car to the parking space without human driver. The car returns to the pickup area by having received user’s request.  The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hereby announces that a new international standard jointly developed by Japan and Germany for automated valet parking systems (AVPSs) has been published. The wide deployment of this technology is expected to contribute to the effective use of parking lot space and the reduction of accidents in parking lots. Furthermore, it is expected to improve user convenience and reduce CO2 emissions by eliminating the need for users to perform parking operations and searching for parking vacant spots and wait for space.

1. Background

When car users visit large-scale commercial facilities, such as shopping malls, large complexes, theme parks, and airports they often feel frustrated by having difficulties to find convenient park place. They often end up park at far away when nearby parking place is not available. In addition, effective usage of the parking place is not enough in urban area because the gap between parked cars cannot be minimized.

To resolve such issues, many countries, including Japan, Europe, US, and China, have been investigating the practical application of automated valet parking systems (AVPSs) using automated driving technology. Under these circumstances, it was considered highly important to develop internationally-harmonized standards for system operations, procedures, and specifications for the interface between vehicles and infrastructures.

Japan proposed to standardize the AVPSs, and jointly developed an international standard with Germany to promote the wider global deployment of the system with common functions and methods. The standard is based on the results which were obtained from Japan’s research and development of the vehicle control technologies and system demonstration. *(1)

2. Outline of the standard

The AVPS is a system that automatically drives the vehicle unmanned through the parking lot. After a user gets off the vehicle at the entrance of a parking lot, the car automatically travels to the designated parking spot and parks itself, and then automatically returns to the designated location to be picked up when requested. This standard stipulates a series of behaviors and procedures for AVPSs, from reserving a parking space and handing over the vehicle to the service provider of the parking lot, to automated driving operation within the parking lot and parking the vehicle, and finally picking up the vehicle by the user.

Figure 1: Automated valet parking system

In addition, this system has achieved Level 4 automated driving technologies,*(2) in which an unoccupied vehicle and a certain infrastructure in a parking lot collaboratively drive the vehicle within the parking lot. As the vehicle and the infrastructure are independent from each other in this system, an interface for their harmonization is important.

The standard stipulates the specifications for three types of interfaces by system configuration in order to accommodate various methods around the world. The three types are: Type 1, where the vehicle controls itself, Type 2, where the infrastructure controls the vehicle, and Type, 3 where the vehicle and infrastructure collaborate with each other. In particular, Type 3 is a system that was examined in the Demonstration Project for Automated Valet Parking Systems planned by the Subcommittee on Business Discussions on Autonomous Driving Technologies, a body jointly organized by METI and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan. Concerning Type 3, a system demonstration experiment was conducted and the details of the technology were established in Japan. In developing the standard, these detailed outcomes were incorporated into the standard as they were, and the international standard was successfully established in conformity with Japan’s concept.

Japan submitted a proposal for a new standard in April 2017 to the ISO / TC204 (intelligent transport systems) / WG14 (vehicle/roadway warning and control systems), in which Japan serves as a convenor, on July 13, 2023, the ISO published the new international standard.

3. Expected effects

The standard is expected to enable businesses to develop the functions/systems for both vehicles and parking infrastructures involving automated valet parking based on common definitions and also enable vehicles made by different manufacturers to make use of a variety of parking lots. This system is expected to contribute not only to the early achievement of Level 4 automated driving technologies but also to accelerating the implementation of the AVPSs into society.

The dissemination of this system is considered to bring about many advantages. For example, the system would contribute to the efficient use of parking spaces, e.g., enabling to park car as close as possible to the next car, and reduction of accidents within parking lots. In addition, it is also expected to remove the burdens on users of parking manipulation and searching and waiting for vacant parking space, thereby improving user-friendliness and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, this system also makes it possible to provide services such as EV charging and car washing, while the vehicle is parked in the parking lot, which contributes to effective use of time during parking. Furthermore, with a large drop-off and pickup area located close to shops or other destinations for users, users will be able to drop off and pick up their vehicles in a safe manner, and this will enable the development of more user-friendly environments even for the elderly and wheelchair users. In addition, if this system is applied to certain businesses, including the logistic industry and in-plant conveyance operations, it is likely to help such businesses to overcome labor shortages. As seen in these examples, the system has the great potential for future growth of society.

(1) Official title: ISO 23374-1: Intelligent transport systems — Automated valet parking systems (AVPS) — Part 1: System framework, requirements for automated driving and for communications interface
(2) The term “Level 4” refers to a state in which an automated operation system works as an alternative to the entire driving operation in a limited area that meets specific conditions as a driving environment.
(3) This successful standardization is partly due to the achievements under the Project for Establishing New International Standards for Energy Conservation and Promoting the Dissemination of Such Standards (international standards development for energy conservation; international standardization category), which METI has commissioned to a private entity.

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