Mercedes-Benz and Bosch driverless parking system gets approval for commercial use
Automated valet parking is the world’s first highly automated driverless SAE Level 4 parking function to be given official approval for commercial use in Germany.
Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has approved Mercedes-Benz and Bosch for use in the P6 parking garage run by APCOA at Stuttgart Airport. This makes it the world’s first highly automated driverless parking function (SAE Level 4)] to be officially approved for commercial use.
The technological advancement of automated driving plays a key role in the mobility of the future. With the vehicle and infrastructure taking over driving and manoeuvring, drivers will be able to turn their attention to other things, instead of time spent looking for a parking space and manoeuvring in tight parking garages.
“The world’s first approval for customer use of our highly automated and driverless parking function, developed together with our technology partner Bosch, shows that innovation leadership and ‘Made in Germany’ go hand in hand,” said Markus Schafer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, responsible for Development and Procurement.
“Following the market launch of our DRIVE PILOT Level 3 system, we will soon be offering a Level 4 system for parking with our INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT – all of that this year. We really are showing our customers how technology can make life easier and give back precious time.”
“Driverless parking is a key aspect of automated mobility. The highly automated parking system we developed together with our partner Mercedes-Benz shows just how far we’ve already progressed along this development path. It will be with driverless parking that everyday automated driving will start,” said Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector. “From the outset, Bosch has taken the approach of making the infrastructure in parking garages intelligent. Accordingly, we have set standards in this area. In the future, our aim is to equip more and more parking garages with the necessary infrastructure technology – we plan to do several hundred of them worldwide in the next few years.”
“We are extremely pleased to have successfully developed a connected system for driverless and contactless parking together with our partners from Bosch, Mercedes-Benz, and Stuttgart Airport. Our digital platform, APCOA FLOW, can be used to book spaces, for contactless access to the parking garage, and for automatic invoicing of the stay in the garage,” said Frank van der Sant, a member of the board of management and chief commercial officer of APCOA PARKING Group. “For our customers, this means a huge gain in convenience: planning certainty, hardly any wasted time, short distances to walk, and a contactless and cashless parking process.”
“We are proud that STR has been chosen as the airport for this global premiere,”says Walter Schofer, management spokesperson for Flughafen Stuttgart GmbH, which runs Stuttgart Airport. “Automated Valet Parking really enhances our flight passengers’ comfort and convenience and saves them time, especially when they’re in a hurry and just want to drop their car off quickly at the airport.”
The technology behind driverless parking
Drive into the parking garage, get out of your vehicle, and send it to a pre-booked parking space just by tapping in a smartphone app – the Automated valet parking service has no need for a driver. Once you have left to spend the time just saved on doing something else, the vehicle drives itself to its assigned space and parks. Later, the vehicle returns to the pick-up point in exactly the same way.
This process relies on the interplay between the intelligent infrastructure supplied by Bosch and installed in the parking garage 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. The technology in the vehicle converts the information it receives from the infrastructure into driving manoeuvres. This way, vehicles can even drive themselves up and down ramps to move between stories in the parking garage. If the infrastructure sensors detect an obstacle, the vehicle brakes and safely comes to a complete stop. Only once the route is clear does it continue on its way.
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