Daimler and Bosch have announced that they have successfully launched their joint Automated Valet Parking pilot in Beijing. Daimler had initially debuted the technology in the parking garage at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart in 2017, and its launch in China is the first such pilot of its kind in China and marks a milestone in infrastructure-supported driverless parking. Automated Valet Parking involves use of technology to make vehicles proceed to an assigned space and returning the vehicle to its user through the use of their smartphone. The two companies will test this technology further at the Mercedes-Benz Research and Development Center.
Finding a suitable parking space in modern urban parking environments is by no means an easy task due to factors like lack of parking spaces, and difficulty in locating suitable parking spots. The use of Automated Valet Parking technology can make the process smoother by completely automating it, thus helping motorists to save time and effort, and opening up new opportunities for vehicle owners.
The first step in Automated Valet Parking involves parking the vehicle in a designated drop-off area before it is sent to be parked using the smartphone app. It is registered by the intelligent system infrastructure that is already installed in the car park, the vehicle is started and guided to an assigned parking space. The entire journey of the vehicle along the driving corridor and its surroundings is monitored by sensors installed in the car park. In response to the commands from the intelligent car park infrastructure, the vehicle’s onboard technology safely maneuvers the vehicle, stopping it when needed. When the motorist needs to pick up the car, it can be summoned through a smartphone app, after which it comes to the pick-up area without a driver.
Prof. Dr. Hans Georg Engel, Head of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development China said that the launch of the Automated Valet Parking technology marks an important milestone on the road towards autonomous driving. Through its collaboration with Bosch, Daimler will adapt this technology to meet the local needs of the Chinese market and thus make the process smoother and more convenient for vehicle owners, by helping them to save them time and energy. It will also help Daimler to take automated driving technology to the next level.”
Ming Chen, President of Bosch Connected Mobility Solutions in China said that the introduction of the new technology marks another advance in the drive by both companies to make future mobility ‘accident free, stress free and emission free’. With the launch of this technology, manually parking the vehicle will become a thing of the past. Vehicle owners are spared the time and stress that parking entails. The pilot project also attests to Bosch’ transformation into a mobility service provider in close collaboration with its long-term strategic partner Daimler in the Chinese market.
The Automated Valet Parking technology used in Beijing had more practical, real-world functionality when compared to the initial demonstration. At the launch event, the companies tested two vehicles simultaneously to replicate complex traffic conditions in Chinese cities. Both the test vehicles were able to successfully steer to a service area that will be equipped with a diverse range of facilities in the future. These facilities might include charging infrastructure, car wash stations, express package pick-up and other features meant to cater to the needs of Chinese motorists.
Car parks having Automated Valet Parking infrastructure can potentially accommodate up to 20 percent more vehicles, while motorists benefit from greater convenience.
The launch of this technology marks a significant milestone in Bosch’s drive to develop automated driving for Daimler. Back in July, Daimler had announced that it was the first international automaker to receive a road test license for highly automated driving research vehicles (level 4) in Beijing.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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