Bosch and Daimler have obtained approval from authorities in Baden-Württemberg for their automated parking system in the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart.
The automated valet parking service is accessed via a smartphone app and requires no safety driver. This makes it the world’s first fully automated driverless SAE Level 4 parking function to be officially approved for everyday use.
“This decision by the authorities shows that innovations like automated valet parking are possible in Germany first,” said Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch. “Driverless driving and parking are important building blocks for tomorrow’s mobility. The automated parking system shows just how far we have already progressed along this development path.”
Since there is as yet no official approval process for automated driving functions that do not require a driver, the local authorities – the Stuttgart regional administrative authority and the state of Baden-Württemberg’s transportation ministry – oversaw the project along with experts from the German technical inspection service TÜV Rheinland from the outset. Their aim was to assess the operating safety of the automotive and parking-garage technology.
The result is a comprehensive safety concept with appropriate testing and approval criteria that can be applied beyond this pilot project. In the concept, the developers defined how the driverless vehicle detects pedestrians and other cars in its path and reliably comes to a halt when it encounters an obstacle. They also set up secure communications between all system components and took steps to ensure the reliable activation of the parking maneuver.
Bosch and Daimler started developing fully automated driverless parking in 2015, and in the summer of 2017, their pilot solution in the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart reached an important milestone: automated valet parking in real conditions, with and without drivers at the wheel, was presented to the public for the first time. This premiere was followed by an intensive testing and start-up phase. Starting in 2018, museum visitors could use the parking service live, accompanied by trained safety personnel, and share their experience.