At the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart, Bosch and Daimler have joined forces to demonstrate what driverless parking will look like in the future.

With a command from a smartphone, drivers can now automatically park cars in their assigned spots without having to monitor the vehicles’ movements.

Automated valet parking is an important milestone on the road to autonomous driving. The pilot solution at the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage is the world’s first-ever infrastructure-based solution for a fully automated valet parking service in real conditions, with and without drivers at the wheel.

Pending wider regulatory approval, from early 2018 visitors will be able to experience the service for themselves in the museum’s garage, and save the time they would have spent parking.

“Autonomous driving will be with us faster than many realise. Driverless parking at the museum impressively demonstrates how advanced the technology already is,” said Dr. Michael Hafner, the head of automated driving and active safety development at Mercedes-Benz Cars.

“The use of intelligent parking garage infrastructure and its connectivity with vehicles has allowed us to make driverless parking a reality much earlier than expected,” said Gerhard Steiger, the president of Bosch’s Chassis Systems Control division.

Driverless parking is made possible by the interplay between intelligent parking garage infrastructure supplied by Bosch and Mercedes-Benz automotive technology. The sensors installed in the parking garage monitor the driving corridor and its surroundings while guiding the vehicle.

The technology in the car safely converts the commands from the parking garage infrastructure into driving maneuvers and, if necessary, stops the vehicle in good time. The sensors for the parking garage infrastructure and the communications technology come from Bosch.

Daimler is providing the privately owned museum parking garage and pilot vehicles.

The project has been overseen by local traffic agencies. The regulatory authorities must issue their final approval before driverless parking can be offered to customers. It’s expected the public will be able to use automated valet parking at the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in early 2018.

To roll out of the autonomous parking more widely, existing parking garages can be retrofitted with the infrastructure technology. For parking garage operators, driverless parking will mean more efficient use of the parking space available: the same amount of space can accommodate up to 20 per cent more vehicles.

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