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Mercedes-Benz and Bosch launch ‘world’s first’ driverless parking system approved for commercial use

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Mercedes-Benz and Bosch have reached an important milestone on the way to automated driving: Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority has approved their highly automated parking system for use in the P6 parking garage run by Apcoa at Stuttgart Airport.

This makes it the world’s first highly automated driverless parking function (SAE Level 4) to be officially approved for commercial use. The technological advancement of automated driving plays a key role in the mobility of the future.

With the vehicle and infrastructure taking over driving and manoeuvring, drivers will be able to turn their attention to other things, instead of time spent looking for a parking space and manoeuvring in tight parking garages.

Markus Schäfer, member of the board of management of Mercedes-Benz Group, chief technology officer, responsible for development and procurement, says: “The world’s first approval for customer use of our highly automated and driverless parking function, developed together with our technology partner Bosch, shows that innovation leadership and ‘Made in Germany’ go hand in hand.

“Following the market launch of our Drive Pilot Level 3 system, we will soon be offering a Level 4 system for parking with our Intelligent Park Pilot – all of that this year. We really are showing our customers how technology can make life easier and give back precious time.”

Dr Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management and chairman of the mobility solutions business sector, says: “Driverless parking is a key aspect of automated mobility.

“The highly automated parking system we developed together with our partner Mercedes-Benz shows just how far we’ve already progressed along this development path. It will be with driverless parking that everyday automated driving will start.

“From the outset, Bosch has taken the approach of making the infrastructure in parking garages intelligent. Accordingly, we have set standards in this area. In the future, our aim is to equip more and more parking garages with the necessary infrastructure technology – we plan to do several hundred of them worldwide in the next few years.”

Frank van der Sant, a member of the board of management and chief commercial officer of Apcoa Parking Group, says: “We are extremely pleased to have successfully developed a connected system for driverless and contactless parking together with our partners from Bosch, Mercedes-Benz, and Stuttgart Airport.

“Our digital platform, Apcoa Flow, can be used to book spaces, for contactless access to the parking garage, and for automatic invoicing of the stay in the garage.

“For our customers, this means a huge gain in convenience: planning certainty, hardly any wasted time, short distances to walk, and a contactless and cashless parking process.”

Walter Schöfer, management spokesperson for Flughafen Stuttgart, which runs Stuttgart Airport, says: “We are proud that STR has been chosen as the airport for this global premiere.

“The project shows how innovative our region is. Automated Valet Parking really enhances our flight passengers’ comfort and convenience and saves them time, especially when they’re in a hurry and just want to drop their car off quickly at the airport.”

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