Driving around a parking garage to find a spot may be outdated, thanks to a collaboration between connected sensors maker Bosch and global automaker Daimler.
In an impressive milestone for autonomous driving, the two companies secured approval for the world’s first fully automated driverless SAE Level 4 parking function to be officially approved for everyday use by authorities in Baden-Württemberg in the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart. The companies made the announcement this week.
“Driverless driving and parking are important building blocks for tomorrow’s mobility. The automated parking system shows just how far we have already progressed along this development path.”
“This decision by the authorities shows that innovations like automated valet parking are possible in Germany first,” said Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, in a statement. “Driverless driving and parking are important building blocks for tomorrow’s mobility. The automated parking system shows just how far we have already progressed along this development path.”
Bosch and Daimlet set out to develop this technology in 2015. By the summer of 2017, the pilot in Stuttgart already could demonstrate automated valet parking to the public. This week’s approval is the culmination of intensive testing and start-up phase that has prioritized safety every step of the way.
Bosch’s smart parking garage infrastructure and Mercedes-Benz automotive technology’s power this automated valet system. The system can drive into the parking garage, get out, and send the car to a parking space, all from a smartphone, no driver assistance needed. After the driver exits the vehicle, the car drives itself to an assigned space and parks. No need to track down the car’s spot - the car returns to the drop-off point.
“This approval from the Baden-Württemberg authorities sets a precedent for obtaining approval in the future for the parking service in parking garages around the world,” said Dr. Michael Hafner, the head of drive technologies and automated driving at Daimler AG, in a statement. “As a pioneer in automated driving, our project paves the way for automated valet parking to go into mass production in the future.”