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With autonomous valet parking, your Mercedes-Benz can park itself

Drop off your car and let it find itself a parking spot.

On Tuesday, the Mercedes-Benz company Daimler and German car parts company Bosch unveiled their driverless parking without supervision (either in or outside the car) at a German parking garage. 

At the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, cars with new Mercedes automotive technology and the automated valet parking app can be dropped off at the bottom of the garage and will then proceed to park themselves in assigned spots without anyone watching over the process. Bosch sensors throughout the garage communicate with the connected cars to direct them how to maneuver through the structure. 

Here’s what it looks like when a car drives through a garage on its own:

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This is Level 4 driving, which means the car doesn’t need a human to operate it and can handle nearly all road conditions. The self-parking feature was first developed in 2015 and shown in 2017. Now it’s available to the public (with certain Mercedes cars) in this garage. For the next year, the autonomous valet service will be available at this location, and eventually will extend to more parking garages.

When the valet is the car itself

When the valet is the car itself

In a press call with Daimler and Bosch Tuesday, company representatives explained that the cars use a sensor suite to alert them to stop for any obstructions that come up on the path between the drop-off and the parking spot. The system can also sense what’s around corners, so it’s driving with as much information as possible. The self-parking cars can work in a mixed-use space with pedestrians walking by and other traditional cars driven by human drivers. 

For garages that use the self-parking technology, the lots can fit 20 percent more vehicles compared to a traditional garage, which needs to leave room for humans to get in and out of the car, company reps said.

So that’s not a runaway car, but an autonomous parking job. 

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