Considered to be one of the most challenging tasks a driver can attempt, parking is a highly complex maneuver not exempt from human error. It involves controlling the motion of a piece of heavy machinery by gauging its dimensions with respect to the surrounding objects and placing it in a considerate manner. Because of its complexity, it is not surprising that one in five motor vehicle accidents take place in parking lots.
Automated Valet Parking
In today’s age, parking your car is seen as a task requiring a gargantuan level of willpower. As the number of cars keeps going up, the hassle of parking your car gets worse. It may seem like the future is bleak, but the future is closer than ever. It is not too distant in the future when parking your car yourself would be a thing of the past. Massive improvements in autonomous driving technology are bringing us closer to this future every passing second. Through these developments, automated valet parking is no longer a fantasy, but is a reality of today.
Automated valet parking uses a system of connected technology that not only finds an available parking space but also performs the parking maneuver for you. Most of the time, you do not have the option of skipping the effort of finding a parking space and handing over your keys to the valet. With this technology, even a human valet would be redundant.
How to Use the Service
In Stuttgart, Germany, a joint venture between Bosch and Mercedes-Benz has successfully developed an automated valet parking service at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. It works like this: Once you arrive at the garage, you drive up the drop-off area. Using the compatible smartphone app, you give the right command and your car goes off in search for a parking spot without any human intervention with the help of the digital contact made by the app with the garage to compute a route to an available parking space.
Also Read: How Does a Self-Driving Car Park?
When you are ready to leave, you open the aforementioned app on your phone and signal your car to arrive at the pick-up area. At this point, you assume control of your car and drive off, having the hard part of maneuvering through the narrow parking garage and parking the car itself taken care of.
Combining Technologies- How It Works
Although on the face of it, this may seem like a concept designed to attract attention, it really is not. It works with the help of the infrastructure support in the garage provided by Bosch. With the amalgamation of Mercedes’ vehicles and Bosch’s technology, compatible sensor technology, and vehicle software has been developed that allows this to happen.
This technology can sense if the car is moving in the trajectory of another vehicle or pedestrian and makes the necessary adjustments, with the sensors in the parking garage monitoring the surroundings and guiding the vehicle. This intelligent parking garage infrastructure paired with networking with other vehicles can gradually make automated valet parking the universal standard when it comes to parking.
To implement automated valet parking, existing parking garages can be renewed and fitted with the infrastructure technology. Since automated valet parking parks vehicles closer together, eliminating the possibility of human error, more efficient use of parking space can be possible with up to 20 percent more vehicles being accommodated in the same area.
By combining various technologies in the way automated valet parking does, soon even self-driving cars can be a reality. Automation can eliminate any potential human error and thus remove the possibility of car accidents altogether. Apart from that, wastage of fuel and production of emissions can be greatly reduced, making way for a sustainable and safer future.