Mercedes-Benz and Bosch have co-developed a new Automated Valet Parking (AVP) system, which uses cameras to read its surroundings
Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz, engineering major Bosch, and parking garage operator Apcoa have teamed together to introduce the world’s first fully automated, driverless parking garage at Stuttgart airport, Germany. This new automated valet parking system will soon be available for commercial operation.
The automatic valet technology will first be available on the new Mercedes S-Class. Dubbed ‘Intelligent Park Pilot’, this new system has been co-developed by Bosch and Mercedes-Benz. Customers can choose the appropriate pre-install when they purchase the vehicle, and the tech will be made available once it is launched.
“With the new S-Class, it’s not just driving that’s a luxury, but parking as well,” says Dr. Michael Hafner, head of automated driving at Mercedes-Benz AG. This new automated parking system uses Bosch video cameras to identify empty parking spots, monitor surrounding traffic, and detect obstacles and pedestrians.
The automated valet parking system is being tested at the P6 parking terminal of Stuttgart airport, with two spaces being made available for testing. Once commercial operation begins, more parking spaces will be added. A new drop-off and pick-up area will also be set up later at the airport for the same, which will allow people to leave their AVP enabled vehicle conveniently and then head off to their terminal.
“Apcoa, Bosch, Mercedes-Benz, and Stuttgart airport want to work together to make parking fully automatic,” says Christoph Hartung, member of the executive management of Connected Mobility Solutions at Bosch. “Our intelligent parking garage infrastructure forms the basis for the future of driverless parking,” he continued.
Apcoa will also provide a touchless, cashless system for automated parking vehicles. The parking operator already has a digital platform which allows people to make prior reservations for parking, contactless entry and exit, fully automated payment, and automatic invoicing. With the added benefit of automated parking, people will face even less stress at airports.
Bosch plans to expand the automated valet parking to more garages in the futures, perhaps outside Germany as well. Driverless parking eliminates the need for opening doors, allowing for narrower and more space-efficient spaces. This could potentially allow up to 20 per cent more cars in the same parking area.