The next time you go to a shopping mall to park your vehicle, you may very well see the car next to you parking the car seamlessly into the lane, minus the driver! Autonomous cars have for long been a science fiction geek’s fantasy, but that could become a reality soon.
Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler, alongwith German engineering company Bosch, have got approval from German authorities for a driverless parking function, where the function operates without the need of a driver behind the wheel. Germany’s Baden-Württemberg state have given the go-ahead to Mercedes-Benz to use this autonomous parking function in Mercedes-Benz Museum’s parking garage.
Daimler’s Michael Hafner was optimistic about the future of autonomous parking and autonomous motoring: “This approval from the Baden-Württemberg authorities sets a precedent for obtaining approval in the future for the parking service in parking garages around the world. As a pioneer in automated driving, our project paves the way for automated valet parking to go into mass production in the future.”
The autonomous parking system allows the car to self-drive and park the car in the parking bay without the requirement of a driver in or outside the car. The system is controlled using an app on the driver’s phone and the car can be brought to a location to pick up the driver.
The Bosch sensors in the car notices objects or pedestrians to stop the vehicle, while the parking bay also has sensors, developed and designed by Bosch, to help guide the car accurately into the parking bay.
This system has been in development between Daimler and Bosch for four years. The system has been on trial for a while and visitors to the Mercedes-Benz Museum were able to witness the autonomous vehicle in action since 2018, albeit with a driver behind the wheel.
Bosch and Daimler hope to put fully autonomous vehicles on the road in the next 10 years. With car sales dwindling and with various reports suggesting that millennials do not aspire to own cars or even drive them, could we possibly see a future where autonomous vehicles rule the roads? Bosch and Daimler do envisage such a future.