Valet parking by smartphone – where your car parks itself

Daimler, Bosch and Daimler’s car-sharing subsidiary car2go are partnering on a project to develop automated parking, which they say will be here before driverless cars are commonplace on our roads.

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

Bill Condie

Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.

Read science facts, not fiction...

There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.