Mercedes Experimenting With Driverless Parking in Germany, A Step Toward Autonomous Parking in the U.S.
Mercedes has received approval to test their driverless technology from Bosch and Daimler in Stuttgart, Germany. Bosch has installed infrastructure in the parking garage of the Mercedes-Benz Museum, which works together with internal vehicle technology from Daimler, to allow cars to park without human assistance.
Similar pilot programs have already been conducted in China, as well as an earlier test program that took place in Stuttgart in 2017. Under SAE International’s classification, this technology is Level 4, High Automation (on a scale from 0, or no automation, to a currently non-existent 5, or Full Automation). In other words, this is some of the most advanced driverless technology ever tested.
The automation will take over when a driver gets out of the car and uses a smartphone to prompt the parking process. Then the car will drive away with no one inside; the system doesn’t even require a safety driver.
Possible Future Impact
If these tests prove successful, it has the potential to be a step toward autonomous technology that will not only eliminate the inconveniences of valet parking, but will also help businesses accommodate more visitors. Since the parking technology is so precise, and no one has to get in or out of a parked car, the self-parking vehicles can park closer to each other. This means garages will be able to increase their parking capacities by 20%.
It will also make driving safer, as these vehicles will be equipped with sensors for vehicles and other pedestrians with quicker reaction times than human drivers. If the test program proves successful, it will serve as a case study for research into autonomous parking technology in the U.S.
But it doesn’t mean we’re significantly closer to Level 5 automation, where your car can take you from any point-A to point-B without your assistance. This system depends on the infrastructure installed in the garage; these cars wouldn’t be able to park themselves in any other location. Successful testing could lead to similar installations in other garages.
We’re also still a long way off from cars that can repair themselves, and replacing car parts is still a human job. If you need car parts, such as Mercedes oil filter auto parts, you can get them at AutohausAZ.