First parking lot in the world where cars park themselves

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This is the automated valet that automatically parks cars. The system has been implemented at the multi-storey car park of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, the world’s first automated car park.

Daimler and Bosch have teamed up to implement the system that allows the driver to hop out of the car and the car to drive to an assigned parking space as commanded by the smartphone app. The cars are fitted with the self-driving system that includes cameras and sensors developed by Bosch and also located in the car park space.

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There is no need for doors to be opened, as the passengers have already got off the vehicle, so the cars can be parked much closer, making the space 20% more efficient. When retrieving the car, the procedure is quite similar. The user needs to command the app once again. At this point, the automated valet system detects the car, starts the engine and drives it to the meeting point.

Still in a trial stage, the system is a significant milestone on the way to autonomous driving. Guests will be able to experience the service from the beginning of 2018, eliminating the time they now use for finding a parking spot and actually slipping the vehicle into it.

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“We are approaching autonomous driving faster than many people suspect. The driverless parking solution at the Mercedes-Benz Museum demonstrates in impressive fashion just how far the technology has come,” said Dr Michael Hafner, Head of Automated Driving and Active Safety at Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

An intelligent multi-storey car park infrastructure developed by Bosch, in collaboration with the Mercedes-Benz technology, make the system possible. Sensors installed in the car park monitor the driving corridor and its surroundings, steering the vehicle accordingly. The technology on-board the car receives the data and performs safe driving maneouvres, stopping the vehicle when necessary.

The project, overseen by the Stuttgart local authorities, will need to be licensed before it goes into operation at the beginning of 2018.