Daimler, Bosch Team Up on Valet Park System

Technology promises to “revolutionize” parking process.

by on Jun.10, 2015

The smartphone-based auto valet parking system could be in place within a few years.

The skies open up just as you’re pulling up to the office. No need to get soaked running from the parking lot, however. You simply step out under the awning, tap an app on your smartphone and the car goes off on its own to find a parking spot. At the end of the day, tap the app again and your car will come pick you up.

That, at least, is the goal of a new project launched by Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG, auto supplier Bosch, and the car-sharing service car2go. The valet system they are working on could “revolutionize” the parking process, they suggest.

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“Fully automated parking will be ready for mass-production before fully automated driving”, says Dirk Hoheisel, the board member at Bosch overseeing the smart parking project. “Low driving speeds and the information from the car park infrastructure enable a fast implementation.”

Daimler is just the latest in a growing number of manufacturers working on the auto valet parking concept, a list that also includes Sweden’s Volvo and German rival BMW. The twist here is that the partners would integrate the technology into car2go’s car-sharing service.

The basic concept is “simple,” the partners believe, a statement explaining that one possible scenario would see the technology integrated into a vehicle rented by the car-sharing service.

“The smartphone is used to book a vehicle via car2go,” Daimler notes in a statement. “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 just as comfortable. The customer parks it in the drop-zone of the car park and returns the car via their smartphone. The intelligent system of the car park registers the vehicle, starts it and directs it to an assigned parking space.”

(Tesla ready to launch Model X with autonomous driving to follow. For more, Click Here.)

The parking valet system would require many of the same, basic onboard sensors as autonomous driving, such as cameras and radar.

Bosch intends to develop the necessary hardware and software infrastructure that could be used to turn a garage or lot into a smart car park. Daimler will focus on the vehicle side of the technology.

(Click Here for details about booming auto sales and how they’ll keep rolling.)

Exactly how soon such a system could be put in place is far from certain. But with some manufacturers talking about having their first autonomous vehicles on the road by – and possibly even before – the turn of the decade, that would suggest that Daimler, Bosch and car2go are working on an accelerated schedule.

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz already has integrated a number of semi-autonomous technologies into its S-Class model and is expected to go even further with the next-generation E-Class. Whether that could include auto valet parking hasn’t been confirmed.

(To get a first look at the 2016 Volkswagen GLI, Click Here.)

While the technology appears easily in reach, according to industry analysts, they also caution that manufacturers like Daimler will have to push regulators to approve the use of such systems – and win approval from insurance companies, as well.

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One Response to “Daimler, Bosch Team Up on Valet Park System”

  1. Jorge says:

    I wonder how well this will work at places like in Florida or perhaps NYC where they charge $50. to park your car for the 8 hours…


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