Manual parking, although it is already supported with many sensors and cameras, will soon be a thing of the past, according to Daimler and Bosch.

They successfully tested automated valet parking at the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart. The driver parked the car to the assigned spot with the help of his smartphone without having to monitor vehicle's movements.

The process of parking and retrieving the car is simple: the customer leaves the vehicle in the garage's drop-off area and orders it to park using the smartphone app. Once the parking garage's intelligent system has identified the vehicle, the car starts and is guided to an assigned space. Picking up the car is just as easy: the driver just orders the car (via app) to drive to pick-up area.

The driverless parking is possible by the interplay between intelligent parking garage infrastructure developed by Bosch and Mercedes automotive technology. Sensors that monitor the driving corridor and surroundings and use the gathered data to guide the car are installed in the parking garage. The technology in the car converts guidance instructions into driving maneuvers and drives the vehicle to assigned parking spot.

The public premiere of autonomous parking will be followed by extensive testing period and start up phase, which will lead to the possibility for museum visitors to test the system on their own in early 2018.

"Autonomous driving will be with us faster than many realize. Driverless parking at the museum impressively demonstrates how advanced the technology already is," said Dr. Michael Hafner, the head of automated driving and active safety development at Mercedes-Benz Cars. Gerhard Steiger, the president of Bosch's Chassis Systems Control division, added: "The use of intelligent parking garage infrastructure and its connectivity with vehicles has allowed us to make driverless parking a reality much earlier than expected."

July 25, 2017 Driving photo: Daimler

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