In the future, a command from a smartphone will tell cars where to park in Stuttgart Airport’s P6 parking garage in Germany.
The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class is equipped with the technology to enable driverless and highly automated parking with SAE Level 4.
SAE-Level 4 refers to the car's ability to autonomously handle all traffic situations under certain conditions such as on selected roads but not in all types of weather and no driver is required.
For AVP system - co-developed by Bosch and Mercedes-Benz, is currently being made ready for commercial operation and this time Bosch is using a camera-based infrastructure for the first time to detect lanes and obstacles.
The parking garage operator, Apcoa, is testing barrier and payment functions as the basis for automated valet parking via its APCOA FLOW digital mobility platform.
At present, customers of the tree-pointed star are able to equip their S-Class with zee German carmaker's Intelligent Park Pilot which - after receiving a smartphone command, will proceed all by itself to a designated parking spot.
“With the new S-Class, it’s not just driving that’s a luxury, but parking as well,” said Mercedes-Benz AG automated driving head Dr Michael Hafner.
The P6 parking garage at Stuttgart airport will serve as the pilot for the planned commercial automated parking service.
The companies will test how the vehicle technology onboard the S-Class interacts with the intelligent Bosch infrastructure and APCOA FLOW - making the whole parking process ticketless, cashless, smooth and highly optimised for the customer.
The pilot parking garage at Stuttgart airport will be a premiere for new Bosch video cameras that can identify vacant parking spaces, monitor the driving aisle and its surroundings, and detect obstacles or people in the aisle.
Until now, lidar sensors have been used for this purpose. A dedicated control centre in the parking garage then calculates the route the vehicles need to take to reach an available space.
With the information provided by the cameras, it allows the cars to drive themselves around the parking garage – even on narrow ramps, enabling them to move between different stories.
The in-vehicle technology autonomously converts the information from the infrastructure into driving maneuvers and if the cameras detect an unexpected obstacle, the vehicle safely performs an emergency stop.
APCOA FLOW, the parking garage operator Apcoa’s digital platform, will also play a key role in driverless parking at Stuttgart airport. Drivers are already using the platform to help lighten the burden of parking.
This ranges from making firm reservations for a parking space to contactless entry into the parking garage, and to fully automated payment, invoicing, and contactless exit.
The system recognizes the customer’s vehicle and the barriers open automatically, making a ticket and trip to the ticket machine redundant.
Once parking garages are equipped with the appropriate infrastructure and national laws permit AVP, customers will be able to enjoy driverless parking services.
Bosch and Mercedes-Benz are paving the way for this with the world’s first infrastructure-based solution for SAE Level 4 automated valet parking in real-life, mixed parking garage traffic.