The prospect sounds tempting: no more cruising in parking garages to find suitable spots, no more distressing maneuvering, no more squeezing in and out of the door. Automated Valet Parking promises just that. It’s great if the parking garage takes care of the everyday logistics of parking.
Already in 2017, this technology was presented in the underground car park of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. Now Daimler and Bosch have announced the successful premiere of their joint pilot project in Beijing. As early as July 2018, Daimler was the first international car manufacturer to receive approval for the testing of fully automated test vehicles (Level 4) on public roads in Beijing. The user has to park his car only in a so-called “drop-off area”. From there, the car and the parking garage infrastructure take over. The driver gives the command by smartphone – and can then leave the parking garage. The car drives at walking pace to the next gap and parks there. Sensors monitor the environment and initiate a stop if obstacles or passers-by make it necessary. If the driver wants to get back in his car, he orders it to the “Pick-Up-Area”.
Besonders im teuren städtischen Parkraum hat die Technik einen weiteren Vorteil: Es können bis zu 20 Prozent mehr Fahrzeuge auf der gleichen Fläche parken – denn aus Türschlitzen muss sich niemand mehr quetschen.
High-tech infrastructure in the parking garage
In the field of automated valet parking, Bosch is not only working with Daimler. Bosch has also signed a letter of intent with Alibaba Cloud to advance Automated Valet Parking (AVP) in China. Because the AVP is not only a challenge for the technology on board the cars, but especially the Bosch-based technical parking garage infrastructure has to do a lot until the car is in the gap. It steers the car to the destination. An AI and cloud service provider as a partner helps tremendously with the development of the AVP-capable parking garage technology.
IT is just as much a part of the technical parking garage infrastructure as sensor technology. Cameras that detect vacant parking spaces in the parking garage, monitor the route around the car, and detect surprising obstacles or people in the lane so that the vehicle can respond immediately. The parking garage technology calculates the routes and must fulfill all necessary safety requirements. It also needs to be able to communicate safely with the vehicles and needs a cloud connection for interacting with the backend. For the driver it ultimately means: parking in the parking garage costs him less time and less work.