Mercedes-Benz has received the approval for using the automated valet parking, the world’s first fully automated driverless parking function ever approved by authorities.
The system, developed in cooperation with Bosch, will be in daily use in the parking garage of the Mercedes-Benz Museum, located in Stuttgart, Germany. The premium car company and the technology giant received a special permit issued by the Stuttgart regional administrative authority, in cooperation with the Baden-Wurttemberg state transportation ministry. The system had already been assessed by the German technical inspection service TUV Rheinland.
The automated valet parking service can be accessed via a smartphone app. No driver is necessary on board the vehicle. The system is now the world’s first fully automated driverless SAE Level 4 parking function to be officially approved for everyday use.
Safety was the top priority for the two companies. The project was supervised by experts from the local authorities, that made sure everything was going according to plan, without compromising the physical integrity of those involved.
The driverless vehicle is capable of detecting other cars and pedestrians that it may come across. The car comes to a half when encountering an obstacle. In order for the system to operate safely, the engineers needed to provide a secure communication between all sub-systems.
How does it operate?
It sounds complicated, but it is actually very easy for the driver. All he needs to do is drive into the parking garage, get out of the car and send it to a parking space by simply tapping on his smartphone screen. The car will drive itself to an assigned space and park. Later, when requested, the car returns to the drop-off point.
The system is based on the Bosch sensors that constantly monitor the driving corridor and its surroundings and provide the information needed to guide the vehicle. The technology integrated in the car converts the commands from the infrastructure into driving maneuvers.
Bosch and Daimler have been working as a team in the filed of automated driverless parking since 2015. Their pilot project was tested in the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart in 2017. A year later, the museum visitors could access the system only accompanied by trained safety personnel. A turquoise lighting indicator informs that the car is in automated driving mode and informs passers-by and other road users that the vehicle is driving itself.