Imagine driving up to the restaurant you have reservations at for 7:30 pm. It’s 7:25, they’ll cancel your reservation if you don’t arrive on time and the parking is so full that you’re late before you’ve even gotten out of the car.
Now imagine that you’re driving up to the restaurant in your Mercedes-Benz. It’s 7:25, and you pull up out front of the entrance, get out of your car and watch it drive itself into the lot, find a spot and park. Dinner’s over around 9:00, you grab your phone, select the command for your car to find you, walk out front and it’s there, running and waiting.
Though not actually a possibility just yet, Mercedes-Benz is working to make it one in the very near future. A press release issued today announced a collaboration between Daimler, Bosch and car2go, with all three working toward automated parking a reality.
“It is not the customer who parks and searches for their car; the vehicle drives to a free space independently and drives up comfortably by itself again,” describes the release. This feature, they believe, will be available long before automated driving is, and will likely make for a very popular option.
Though this system can hopefully fulfill the dream of my personal vehicle parking itself at any restaurant I visit, the initial project uses car2go’s rental fleet. Order a car through the app on your phone, meet it in the pick-up zone and drive wherever you need. Return to a drop-off zone and complete the trip in the app, then watch as the car drives itself away and into an assigned parking space.
Creating a digital infrastructure for a parking lot is half of the challenge in launching this technology; sensors need to be able to communicate with the vehicle to notify it of any obstacles, where open spots are and where the entrance and exit are, and this won’t be available in most parking lots – yet. But recent demands by Audi’s CEO and BMW’s development of intelligent parking solutions point toward a future where this is possible thanks to support from both the transportation industry and local governments.
Once this infrastructure exists, it’s not impossible that you can order a car through an app, have it pick you up, drive you to your destination, then move on to its next customer without ever needing a human behind the wheel. Mercedes-Benz has been championing this idea for a while, including in their F 015 Luxury in Motion Research Vehicle, and we can’t wait to see it in action.
Stay with us to learn more about the potential of owning a self-parking vehicle, and find yourself a classic Mercedes-Benz to enjoy from our exclusive listings at the button below.
(Source: Daimler Media)