Daimler, Bosch Testing Autonomous Parking at the Mercedes-Benz Museum

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 24, 2017

The days of valet parking could be numbered, as Mercedes-Benz and Bosch have created a multistory vehicle park and autonomous driving system which automatically parks and retrieves cars without the driver even being present. The goal is to turn automated valet parking on for everyone who uses the museum's parking garage from the start of 2018. The two longtime partners have teamed up on an autonomous parking system that lets cars drive themselves into a parking garage without any human intervention. "By applying an intelligent multi-storey auto park infrastructure and networking it with vehicles, we have managed to realise driverless parking substantially earlier than planned", said Gerhard Steiger, Director of the Chassis Systems Control unit at Bosch. The Automated Valet Parking service is a result of the combination of Mercedes' self-driving technology and Bosch's smart vehicle park grid.

Anyone can reserve a vehicle using a smartphone app. Provided by Bosch, the sensors monitor other vehicles in the area, and warn the auto of potential obstacles.

Mercedes-Benz's cars could already pull themselves in or out of a parking spot; now, they can completely autonomously park themselves in a garage structure. Mercedes-Benz is working on that last part. When they return, the driver hits park, and, with the technology installed throughout the parking garge, the auto is guided back to an assigned parking space. Instead, users will be able to reserve a vehicle with a smartphone app, and summon it to the pick-up area autonomously. The technology on the auto performs driving manoeuvres in response to commands from the infrastructure and stops it as needed. The sensors for the multi-storey auto park infrastructure and the communications technology come from Bosch. Bosch supplied the sensors and communications equipment and Daimler the museum auto park and pilot vehicles.

After launching today, the system will be put through a trial phase and will need to gain final approval from the authorities before entering operation next year. The project has been overseen from the outset by local authorities - Stuttgart regional council and the federal state transport ministry - and by appraisers from the TÜV Rheinland technical inspection authority with the aim of assessing the safe operation of the vehicle and auto park technology.

Everything will then be in place to enable automated valet parking to be made available to everyone at the Mercedes-Benz Museum's multi-storey auto park from the beginning of 2018.

Automaker and supplier will use the project to acquire experience regarding users' handling of automated valet parking.

Meanwhile, the auto then navigates the vehicle park, climbing stories and avoiding obstacles like pedestrians, children running into its path, and other cars, to find a space. Daimler says that this type of technology could be retrofitted to existing multi-story carparks, where it would make more efficient use of space and fit up to 20 percent more vehicles.

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