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2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class shows off driverless automatic valet parking

Written by Nizam Shaikh

To reduces the stress of driving down at the airport, Mercedes-Benz with its technology partner Bosch and parking garage operator Apcoa will be introducing a driverless and highly automated parking at Stuttgart airport in the near future. Mercedes-Benz and Bosch are working togather to introduce the automated valet parking (AVP) system for commercial operation. 

The brand has announced that the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has already been accommodated for the future infrastructure-based AVP. Costumers can buy the INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT option pre-installed on their 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class which makes the S-Class capable of receiving a smartphone command to drive itself to a reserved parking space. The new Automatic Valet Parking will be installed in the P6 parking garage of the Stuttgart airport for its planned commercial service. The company will be testing the interaction of the system with Bosch infrastructure and Apcoa Flow, the digital platform from the garage operator. 

Earlier LiDar sensors were used to map the surroundings but now the new automated parking system uses Bosch’s new-generation camera system to detect vacant parking spaces, monitor the driving aisle and its surroundings and detect obstacles or people in the aisle. A dedicated control centre in the parking garage then calculates the route the vehicles need to take to reach an available space.

With the information that the new camera system provides, the car can also drive itself around the parking garage on its own. It is also possible for the car to drive around on narrow ramps, enabling them to move between different levels of parking. The in-vehicle technology autonomously converts the information from the infrastructure into driving manoeuvres and if the system detects an obstacle it is brought to a complete halt. 

The garage operator Apcoa Flow has already employed a digital platform that is already in use. The digital system allows drivers to make reservations for a parking space, make contactless entry into the parking garage and also be able to make digital payments and invoicing at the exit. The system is capable of detecting the customer’s vehicle and the barriers open automatically making the trip to the ticket machine superfluous.