Parking valets might soon find themselves looking for other jobs as Daimler teamed up with Bosch automated driverless parking in the multi-storey car park at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.
All you need is a smartphone to command the car to proceed to its assigned driving space without any human supervision for the parking maneuver. This technology will certainly mark a significant milestone when it comes to the development of autonomous cars.
The two companies collaborated closely to develop what is billed as the first infrastructure-supported solution in the world for an automated drive-up and parking service in real-life dual operating mode. Visitors to the museum will be able to experience the convenience of this service from the beginning of 2018 and will no longer have to waste time looking for parking.
Commenting on the technology Dr Michael Hafner, Head of Automated Driving and Active Safety at Mercedes-Benz Cars Development said that many people don’t realize that autonomous cars are closer to reality than they think. The driverless parking solution at the Mercedes-Benz Museum showcases the progress that technology has made in this field. When an intelligent multi-storey car park infrastructure is installed and it is networked with vehicles, automated vehicle parking will become a common sight in the future.
Anyone can reserve a parking spot using a smartphone app. The vehicle is driven autonomously to the pick-up spot and picked up in order to start on its journey. When it needs to be returned to the parking, the customer parks the vehicle in the car park’s drop-off area and activates the smartphone app for dropping the car off. After it is registered by the intelligent system that is used at the multi-level parking lot, the car is started and driven to the allocated parking space.
In order to make driverless parking, the intelligent multi-storey car park infrastructure from Bosch works in tandem with vehicle technology from Mercedes-Benz. The sensors that are installed in the car park closely keep watch on the driving corridor and its surroundings in order to steer the vehicle. The technology inside the car performs safe driving maneuvers based on the commands from the car park infrastructure and stops the vehicle when needed. While Bosch developed the sensors for the car park infrastructure and the communications technology, Daimler provided the private museum car park and pilot vehicles, with both companies teaming up to further refine the interface between infrastructure and vehicle and modifying the software in the vehicles.
The test demonstration will be followed by a long trial and commissioning phase. In order to ensure the safety of the vehicles and the car park technologies, the two companies are carrying out the project under the supervision of local authorities and appraisers from the TÜV Rheinland technical inspection authority. The licensing authority will have to give final approval before the driverless customer service goes into operation at the beginning of 2018.
It is possible for other existing multi-storey car parks to retrofit with the infrastructure technology and the technology will make it possible to optimize parking space as up to 20 percent more vehicles fit into the same space.
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