It’ll be put to use at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.
The car’s indicators turn turquoise when the car is operating autonomously, telling pedestrians that there’s no driver behind the wheel.
Back in 2017, Bosch and Daimler teamed up to operate a pilot program for its driverless valet service. Clearly, it worked well enough, because that program has just been given clearance to operate as more than just a pilot.
Bosch and Daimler announced Tuesday that their automated parking system has been approved for operation. The green light came from Stuttgart’s regional administrative authority, in conjunction with the Baden-Württemberg transportation ministry. This means it’s the first Level 4 parking system to get approval for daily use. Level 4 is the first true hands-off level of automation, although it’s limited to specific situations and locations.
Like the pilot program, the system will be put to use at the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart. Bosch is in charge of supplying the infrastructure, while Mercedes-Benz provides the vehicles.
Here’s how it works. Once you bring your Mercedes into the garage, a quick tap on a smartphone sends the vehicle away to park. Bosch has sensors all over the parking area, sending data to the vehicle about where to drive and where to park. If an object is detected in the vehicle’s path, it stops. There are enough sensors in the garage so that vehicles can even navigate ramps and change levels while operating entirely autonomously. Then, when your trip to the museum comes to a close, another smartphone tap will bring the vehicle back to its drop-off spot.
The two companies started work on this project in 2015, but it didn’t see the pilot phase until 2017. Last year, visitors at the museum were allowed to start using the service alongside trained personnel. Now, the system has been given full-on approval to operate without the need for a safety driver watching over everything.