>> Affordable Parking ECU with focus on best-in-class parking functions

>> Up to 16 TOPS processing power, cameras and ultrasonic sensors enable 360° perception

Las Vegas, USA. ZF presents its new Parking ECU, an affordable and scalable Electronic Control Unit that enables a variety of automated parking functions to a wider range of vehicles while using cameras and ultrasonic sensors in real time. It is particularly suitable for automated parking functions.

"Automated parking functions are among the most desired comfort and convenience features for vehicle buyers and are particularly valuable in large metropolitan areas where parking is at a premium," said Martin Fischer, Member of the ZF Board of Management responsible for the ZF Advanced Driver Assist Systems and Electronics division. "Traditionally found only in premium vehicles, ZF's new parking ECU helps make these functions safe, effective and affordable for more drivers around the world."

From simply making it easier to find a parking spot in congested urban areas to automated functions that park the car for the driver, the new ECU has eliminated the stress of one of the most frustrating aspects of driving.

Supported by a System-on-Chip (SoC) that enables computing power of up to 16 TOPS, the Parking ECU utilizes data fusion of ultrasonic sensors and 360° surround cameras based on vision technology from Calmcar, a China eco-system partner invested by ZF in 2019. It also offers wider connectivity options, consisting of Ethernet, CAN, LVDS, DSI, all in a compact housing.

Basic parking functions

Current automated parking functions on the market can aid drivers primarily in parallel parking. But one of the highlights of the new ZF Parking ECU is its data fusion of 360° surround cameras along with ultrasonic sensors that can sense the depth of a parking spot, allowing assistance in both parallel parking and standard parking. With functions such as automated park assist and remote park assist, the ECU will then manually draw a path using Virtual Slot Parking to maneuver the car into the spot with minimal driver input.

Premium parking functions

In addition to enhancing basic parking functions, the new Parking ECU also provides high-end options such as Automatic Memorized Parking and Automatic Valet Parking. These functions are particularly beneficial in urban areas, especially in parking garages as the ECU uses its cameras and sensors to build the map of a garage in real time to enable point-to-point parking.

In utilizing Vision Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (VSLAM), surround cameras extract information such as parking spots, lanes and markings while vehicle sensors provide dynamic information, such as steering angle, wheel speed and yaw rate. The ECU can also gather information from third-party maps to aid in mapping out public parking garages across multiple levels.

ADAS functionality opens door to future autonomous capability

The flexible and scalable architecture of the new Parking ECU enables future expansion for Level 4 driving functions as well as compatibility with Automated Park Assist (APA), Automated Memorized Parking (AMP) and Remote Park Assist (RPA).

Whereas these functions are typically available on higher-end vehicles, this cost-effective ECU can be used as a bridge to more expensive systems while making automated parking affordable and available to more drivers. In fact, the Parking ECU is already in production in China with Zeekr since September of 2023 with Europe and other regions expected to follow in 2024.

"Considering ZF’s vision of Next Generation Mobility, the new parking ECU is a prime example of how we are bringing a broader array of advanced ADAS functions to our customers and consumers," Fischer said. "As a global leader in technology, this enhances our vision."