An automated valet parking system co-developed by Bosch and Mercedes-Benz for use with the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class will be implemented at Stuttgart Airport, allowing owners to use their smart phones to tell their car where to park without being in the driver’s seat.
Instead of older LIDAR technology, new Bosch video cameras will be used which can identify vacant parking spaces, monitor the driving aisles and its surroundings, and detect obstacles or people in the aisle. This information will be fed to in-vehicle technology which autonomously converts it into driving manoeuvres.
“Our intelligent parking garage infrastructure forms the basis for the future of driverless parking,” said Christoph Hartung, member of the executive management of Connected Mobility Solutions at Bosch.
Parking operator Apcoa is now testing barrier and payment functions as the basis for AVP, enabled by its “Flow” digital mobility platform, which already helps drivers make parking space reservations, contactless entry and exit, and fully automated payment and invoicing.
“We want to be the first parking garage operator to fully support and enable automated parking services based on AVP technology in one of our parking garages,” said Frank van der Sant, chief commercial officer at Apcoa.
The three companies are utilising the P6 parking garage at Stuttgart Airport as the pilot for the planned commercial AVP system, where they will test how the vehicle technology onboard the S-Class interacts with the Bosch infrastructure and APCOA FLOW.
“With the new S-Class, it’s not just driving that’s a luxury, but parking as well,” said Dr. Michael Hafner, head of automated driving at Mercedes-Benz AG.
The new pilot builds on work already done by Bosch and Mercedes-Benz, who received the world’s first permit to operate AVP for selected E-Class vehicles without a safety driver in real-life, mixed parking garage traffic at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttguart.
The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class now becomes the first production vehicle to feature AVP technology, as well as the world’s first vehicle to feature a pre-installation for an SAE Level 4 automated driving function, the second-highest level of automation.
“With automated valet parking, Mercedes-Benz is demonstrating that driverless parking will soon be possible,” said Hafner.