Mercedes-Benz and its technology partner Bosch are not shy about making automatic valet parking available to the public, and now, thanks to the city of Stu gated and the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the vision for the future is getting a little closer to reality, according tomedia reports. Mercedes-Benz announced Monday local time that it, Bosch and parking operator Apcoa will deploy an automated valet parking (AVP) system in the P6 parking lot at Stugart Airport.
For the first time in the industry, the carmaker says its flagship 2021 S-Class will offer an optional “pre-installed” feature that will eventually enable a feature called the Intelligent Park Pilot, which will allow cars to park automatically based on smartphone instructions.
Here’s how it works. There will be a space behind the entrance to the P6 garage in Stuygart for AVP users to leave their cars. After confirming that the vehicle is ready to stop, the vehicle drives itself to the basement of the parking lot and is guided by the infrastructure itself. Once the car is parked, it will remain there until the driver returns and prompts the vehicle to return to the parking space outside the garage. Ticketing and payment will be automatic, so the transition from car to plane to return to aircraft will be seamless.
Mercedes-Benz is working with Bosch because systems like AVP require more than just a fully equipped car. Bosch’s cameras will recognize the open space in the garage and send information to the control center, which will then process the data and provide the car with the ideal route from the drop-off point to the parking space. Previously, this mapping was done with lidar sensors, but Bosch now has a camera-based solution.
Preparations for the pilot programme have begun. While Mercedes-Benz did not provide a specific timetable, it said the AVP would only offer two parking spaces when it starts, and more will depend on demand.
This isn’t the first time Mercedes and Bosch have tried the concept of self-driving parking. In 2017, the two companies launched an automated substitute system that works in collaboration with the E-Class sedans equipped to accomplish this task, which Mercedes-Benz provides, and Bosch, which provides its experience in infrastructure. Now, it’s a natural extension, bringing choice to actual mass-produced cars for the first time.