In 2019, Bosch and Mercedes got the green light for their patented automatic parking system without human supervision. Now the two companies have received official approval to operate the Level 4 valet parking service on a commercial basis.
The German Federal Transport Authority has given the green light to the P6 car park at Stuttgart Airport. It will be the first in the world.
A legal hand
New regulations introduced in Germany last year granted SAE level 4 autonomous vehicles approval, provided strict conditions were met.
Mercedes, which had already launched its Level 3-compatible Drive Pilot system in early 2022, has launched its Level 4 parking system on all models built since last July. They will be the first to access the new autonomous parking system.
How autonomous parking works
When everyone has exited the vehicle, the parking system verifies that the reserved space is free and that all other conditions are met. Bosch sensors installed throughout the garage monitor the area and provide data to help the vehicle navigate to the pre-booked spot on its own. The vehicle will be able to go up or down ramps, and brake if obstacles are detected.
The system, called Intelligent Park Pilot, will allow motorists to reserve a parking space at the P6 garage directly from the vehicle and leave the car at a pre-established delivery point.
The same goes for collection, when you just need to call the car (and it's Supercar right away: KITT, come!) to see it arrive in the assigned area.
And then what?
"In the future," says Dr. Markus Heyn, president of the Mobility Solutions business unit at Bosch. "Our goal is to equip more and more car parks with this technology".
On the agenda, the executive says, is the construction of several hundred of these garages around the world in the next few years.
The easy prediction? Our vehicles will go to the parking lot on their own much sooner than move independently through highways and cities.