The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class can park autonomously at the Stuttgart airport in the near future. The premium car maker partners up with tech giants to provide the service.
Mercedes-Benz, Bosch and Apcoa are working on the world’s first commercial automated valet parking service on Level 4. Therefore, a simple command via a smartphone will send the new S-Class to park itself in the Stuttgart Airport’s P6 parking garage. The luxury saloon already features the technology and will be the first series production model to be able to perform such an operation.
Customers can tick the optional equipment INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT that makes the car ready to receive a command via smartphone. The Stuttgart airport P6 level will serve as the pilot planned commercial automated parking service.
“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 AG.
A Bosch camera-based infrastructure detects lanes and obstacles. The parking garage operator Apcoa is testing barrier and payment procedures. Thus the three companies are planning on introducing the driverless automated parking in commercial operation. Preparations are underway at the airport. The latest trail will confirm that the interaction between parking garage operator, the infrastructure and the vehicle run flawlessly.
The project started back in July 2019, when Bosch and Mercedes-Benz received the world’s first special permit to operate Autonomous Valet Parking for selected E-Class vehicles without a driver in real-life parking garage traffic at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. Now the new S-Class becomes the first vehicle that features a pre-installation for an SAE Level 4 automated driving function, the second highest level of automation.
The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class requires no driver for autonomous parking
With SAE-Level 4, the car is able to autonomously handle all traffic situations under certain conditions, such as selected roads, but not in all types of weather. Therefore, no driver is required.
When the system will be implemented, the car will drop off and pick up customers. After drop off, the car will follow the guiding of the infrastructure and will find a parking space for itself.
For the current test phase, the P6 of the Stuttgart airport garage will have to spaces available for self-parking cars. More will follow when the driverless parking becomes standard.