Cars proceed without a driver to a parking space in response to a command issued by smartphone, without any need for the driver to supervise the manoeuvre.
Cars proceed without a driver to a parking space in response to a command issued by smartphone, without any need for the driver to supervise the manoeuvre.
Image: Supplied

Daimler, in partnership with industrial technology company Bosch, has reached an important milestone in the continued push towards fully automated driving cars.

The two companies have obtained a first of its kind approval from authorities in the German state of Baden-Württemberg for an automated valet parking service for cars in the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart.

Driverless parking is made possible by an intelligent multistorey car park infrastructure from Bosch in conjunction with the vehicle technology from Mercedes.

It’s an SAE level 4 autonomous technology which means no driver intervention is required by the car inside or even near the automated vehicle, resulting in the car able to self-drive to a designated parking bay and able to return to a meeting spot when requested to do so.

The feature is accessed via a smartphone app. The process relies on the interplay between intelligent parking garage infrastructure supplied by Bosch and Mercedes-Benz automotive technology. Bosch sensors in the parking garage monitor the driving corridor and its surroundings and provide the information needed to guide the vehicle.

From a safety aspect the developers have equipped the car with sensors that detect pedestrians, obstacles and other cars in its path so that it reliably comes to a halt when it encounters any.

Bosch and Daimler started with intensive testing to develop fully automated driverless parking in 2015, and in 2017 their pilot solution in the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart started in real conditions. From 2018 museum visitors could use the parking service live, accompanied by trained safety personnel, and share their experience

“Driverless driving and parking are important building blocks for tomorrow’s mobility. The automated parking system shows just how far we have already progressed along this development path,” says Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Bosch.

“This approval from the Baden-Württemberg authorities sets a precedent for obtaining approval in the future for the parking service in parking garages around the world,” says Michael Hafner, the head of drive technologies and automated driving at Daimler.

“As a pioneer in automated driving, our project paves the way for automated valet parking to go into mass production in the future.”


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