Daimler, Bosch and car2go have joined forces to develop and test a fully automated valet parking service. According to them, with this technology, the existing parking process will be revolutionized.
It is not the customer who parks and searches for their car; the vehicle drives to a free space independently and drives up comfortably by itself again. In order to do this, the cars and car park will need to be outfitted with a number of new systems including cameras, sensors and special communications technology.
"Fully automated parking will be ready for mass-production before fully automated driving", said Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, the responsible Board Member of Bosch. "Low driving speeds and the information from the car park infrastructure enable a fast implementation."
The scenario is a simple one; the smartphone is used to book a vehicle via car2go and as soon as the user is ready in the pick-up-zone of the car park, the car drives up independently and the ride can begin. Later, once you're done driving and come back to return the car, the customer parks it in the drop-zone of the car park and returns the car via their smartphone. The intelligent system of the car park registers the vehicle, starts it and is directed to an assigned parking space.
There are various technologies at play here and the responsibility for each has been divided. Bosch is developing the necessary infrastructure for the car park, including parking space occupancy sensors, cameras and the communication technology. It will account for the communication unit in the vehicle, which also controls the parking process and defines together with Daimler the interface with existing vehicle components. Daimler will adjust the sensor systems and the software in the car2go vehicles.
It's definitely a start and we think that Mercedes-Benz will bring this technology into their production cars too.