The vision is for a vehicle that would drive to a free parking space independently and return by itself when summoned by smartphone.
The technology is already there – a combination of the vehicle control unit from Bosch in conjunction with the newest generation of Mercedes-Benz on-board sensors. All that is required is a intelligent infrastructure in the car park.
“Fully automated parking will be ready for mass-production before fully automated driving. Low driving speeds and the information from the car park infrastructure enable a fast implementation,” Thomas Weber, the Daimler director responsible for group research, told the website Green Car Congress.
A driver would use his or her smartphone to book a vehicle via car2go. As soon as the user is ready in the pick-up-zone of the car park, the car drives up independently and the ride can begin. Returning the car is equally simple. The customer parks it in the drop-zone of the car park and returns the car via the smartphone. The intelligent system of the car park registers the vehicle, starts it and is directed to an assigned parking space.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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