Daimler and Bosch unveiled an automated valet system Monday in Europe, bringing autonomous driving into the world of parking.
The pair worked together to create the new technology for a parking garage at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. Implementing the new system aims to let drivers leave their parking woes at home.
The system is connected to a smartphone app, which allows visitors to check their cars in. Once a car is checked in, the driver can leave it at a dedicated drop-off zone. The driver just has to trust that the system can maneuver their vehicle into a parking spot. And once a driver is ready to leave, they can simply request their car via the app. The app will then communicate with the vehicle and get it to the pick-up spot, according to Techcrunch.
The technology that allows the car to park in a spot without a driver leverages the facility’s infrastructure along with the car’s own onboard sensors and sensors throughout the garage. The sensors transmit information on both the car and structure, allowing it to navigate on its own. The sensors also enable the vehicle to sense objects in its way, including pedestrians. The infrastructure was created by Bosch and it works in unison with the car technology that Mercedes-Benz implements in its vehicles.
The only bad part of this news is that the valet system won’t be working for museum visitors right away; in fact, they will have to wait until 2018 to take advantage of this new technology. A long trial phase is planned and the progress will be watched thoroughly until the system is ready to be approved by local government and safety agencies.
The companies reportedly hope to learn how people feel about automated parking with this project. They say technology closely related to this can be implemented in existing parking garages or other parking facilities, which could mean up to 20 percent more efficiency when it comes to available capacity.