Virtual Valet-Quality of Life Technology Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Virtual Valet

Park or retrieve your vehicle remotely using only your phone or other mobile device.

Though some car manufacturers provide semi-autonomous parking options, most systems require a driver to be in the car for emergency braking purposes that reduce liability.

Virtual Valet is a system that enables a vehicle to park itself without a driver.  The user need not be present behind the wheel, or even within the car itself; but he or she can supervise the parking action remotely from a mobile device or phone.  Virtual Valet aims to assist people who have trouble getting into or out of cars in tight parking spaces or who often need to be dropped off at the curb.

Core Benefits:

  • Increases mobility
  • Adds flexibility in choosing destinations
  • Reduces cost and infrastructural change burden on parking faciliites

Targeted User Populations:

  • People who use wheelchairs or have reduced mobility
  • People with neck or spinal cord injuries
  • The elderly and families who provide transport
  • People with other injuries that limit movement

"In the past 30 years, there has been a 6-fold increase in the US population of wheeled mobility users.  A large space is needed for these users to enter/exit their vehicles; however, most solutions are cost prohibitive.  In contrast, Virtual Valet is easy to implement and requires no change to existing parking facilities or infrastructure."

-- Arne Suppe, Carnegie Mellon University

About the Research:

Recent work has focused on creating a more robust command and control framework using ROS to optimize support, visualization and recovery. Additional studies explore better integration of obstacle detection; dynamic path planning; and alternatives to LIDAR-based localization.

Learn More:

qolt trl 5
virtual valet's remote control by phone interface
Virtual Valet's phone control interface.

NavLab Jeep used for testing the Virtual Valet system
NavLab Jeep for Virtual Valet testing.


Aaron Steinfeld,
Lead Researcher
(p): 412-268-6346

Arne Suppe,
(p): 412-268-6034

Kristen Sabol,
QoLT Communications and Media
(p): 412-303-7396