Bosch and car manufacturing group Daimler have successfully launched the pilot of an automated valet parking service in China.
The pilot, launched in Beijing, uses automated technology to steer a vehicle to a designated space. Whenever the user wants to leave, a tap on their smartphone can return the vehicle to its owner ready for the onwards journey.
Professor Hans Georg Engel, Head of Mercedes-Benz R&D China, said:
“Automated Valet Parking is an important milestone on the road towards autonomous driving. Through our strong partnership with Bosch, we will adapt this technology to meet local needs. In the process, we will not only convenience vehicle owners, saving them time and energy, but also do our part to help bring automated driving technology to the next level.”
Any driver in a major city today will know how frustrating it can be to find a parking space. The idea of turning up to a venue and just getting out while the vehicle deals with finding a space is sure to excite many drivers.
Here is the exact process:
- The driver stops at the specified drop-off area.
- A smartphone is used to mark the car as waiting to be parked.
- The parking system infrastructure assigns the car a parking space.
- The vehicle is started and guided to the assigned space while being monitored by sensors installed around the car park.
- On-board vehicle technology undertakes the parking manoeuvre.
- The user requests their car to be returned.
- The vehicle reverses the aforementioned steps to return to the drop-off area.
With people’s lives becoming ever more time-constrained, no-one wants to spend their free time sitting in a queue waiting for a possible space to become available. Such frustrating situations can also lead to road rage, causing drivers to make unsafe manoeuvres which put themselves and others in danger.
Bosch and Daimler’s automated valet parking system provides an early look at how automated driving technologies could free up time and reduce stress. Both companies will continue their tests further at the Mercedes-Benz R&D Center.
Ming Chen, President of Bosch Connected Mobility Solutions in China, comments:
“Automated Valet Parking is another new endeavour for Bosch and Daimler to strive for ‘accident-free, stress-free, and emission-free’ future mobility. Automated Valet Parking makes manually parking a thing of the past and helps vehicle owners to save time and ease stress.”
This latest innovation is the most recent milestone in Bosch’s ambitions to develop self-driving technology for Daimler. Back in July, Daimler became the first automaker to receive a road test license in Beijing for ‘level 4’ highly-automated vehicles.
Hopefully, the company’s automated technology will at least stop people with inconsiderate – or simply bad – parking skills from taking up two spaces for one vehicle.
What are your thoughts on automated valet parking? Let us know in the comments.