Daimler and Bosch debuted their automated valet parking system at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart on Monday, according to Autocar Professional. The two companies announced that the driverless parking system would be tested extensively during a pilot program before the service is made available to guests in January 2018.
The collaboration combines Daimler's autonomous driving technology with Bosch's sensor technology installed throughout the parking garage. The automated valet allows a driver to pull into the garage, hop out of the car, and press the "park" button in the corresponding smartphone application. The car's autonomous system steers the vehicle as sensors along the garage walls "talk" to the car's navigation system and guide it into a spot. When the driver wants to leave, he or she calls the call with the app and the car pulls up.
Daimler and Bosch's pilot program, which only works with Mercedes cars that guests will be able to test drive at the museum, is an "extensive trial." If it goes well the concept could be expanded to many other parking garages.
"Parking will be an automated process in the future," said Gerhard Steiger, director of the Chassis Systems Control unit at Bosch, in an interview with Autocar.
This is not Germany's first foray into automated parking. In 2015, a robotic forklift parked cars for travelers at the Dusseldorf airport parking garage.
In May, Germany passed a law to allow automakers to test autonomous vehicles on roads. The law allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel and eyes off the road while the vehicle takes over steering and braking.