You may never have to deal with parking again thanks to autonomous garages

You may not hate driving enough to wish to automate it away altogether (there are probably moments on a wide-open freeway that you still enjoy), but parking? Forget it. If there is one aspect of being a car owner that elicits the least amount of joy, it is probably finding a place to stow that car. Luckily, Daimler and Bosch want to help with precisely that problem. The two companies have collaborated to bring autonomous technology to the practice of parking.

It takes form as an automated valet system, which debuted on Monday at the parking garage for the Mercedes-Benz Museum located in Stuttgart, Germany. All you need to do as a driver is pull up to the lot. Then, you leave your car and take a leap of faith.

Apparently, the smart parking garage features an “intelligent multi-story car park infrastructure” courtesy of Bosch. In order to take advantage of the infrastructure, however, your car will already need to have semi-autonomous capabilities (that is where Daimler comes in — it is the parent company of Mercedes-Benz). When the system is ready for public use, which is slated to happen in 2018, users will simply reserve a car by way of a smartphone app. The vehicle will quite literally come at your bidding and you can drive off at your leisure. Then, when you are done, simply park the car back in the drop-off area, and the car will drive itself back into its assigned spot.

“Sensors installed in the car park monitor the driving corridor and its surroundings and steer the vehicle,” Autocar Pro explained. “The technology on board the car performs safe driving maneuvers in response to the commands from the car park infrastructure and stops the vehicle in good time when necessary.”

For the time being, Daimler and Bosch say that this system is naught but an “extensive trial.” Even when it is ready for wider use, it will probably be both difficult and expensive to retrofit a bunch of parking garages with the sensors needed to properly guide cars to and from parking spaces. But all the same, it could herald a bright future where parking is no longer your problem.


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