Mercedes-Benz seems to be having some great brainstorming sessions back at Stuttgart, and big changes are being made are a clear result of that. From launching the new electric ‘EQ’ sub-brand to making changes in the carmaker’s line-up, the folks at MB have been really busy recently. And now, news is coming in that Mercedes-Benz has just announced that it’s Automated Valet Parking (AVP) system, co-developed with Bosch.will soon be made available for commercial operation.
The recently launched Mercedes-Benz S-Class already offers a mind-boggling range of technologies and has been built to accommodate the tech behind the coming automated valet parking. Customers can equip the optional Intelligent Park Auto package that allows the car to receive smartphone commands that will allow it to drive itself to a reserved parking space, proper sci-fi stuff.
“With the new S-Class, it’s not just driving that’s a luxury, but parking as well,” says Dr Michael Hafner, head of automated driving at Mercedes-Benz.
The system is planned to first be launched at the P6 parking garage at Stuttgart airport, where Mercedes will test the new ticketless and cashless infrastructure.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the first-ever production car to feature AVP technology and Level 4 autonomous driving, but the new system will be limited by the availability of parking garages fitted with the required infrastructure. “With [AVP], Mercedes-Benz is demonstrating that driverless parking will soon be possible,” Hafner says. According to Mercedes, the automated vehicle drop-off and collection system will save both time and money, and Apcoa, Europe’s largest parking garage operator, is already planning on more intelligent parking lots, so you might soon be able to get your car to “self-valet” at parking lots if you have an S-class that is, and if you live in Europe.
It’s not just the car owners who will benefit from the technology, in fact, it is a double-edged sword. “Looking ahead, we want to open up AVP to more customers at selected Apcoa locations,” says Frank van der Sant, chief commercial officer at Apcoa Parking Holdings. With 1.5 million parking spaces across 9,500 locations, the new technology could open up space for 20 per cent more vehicles.