Engineering and technology firm Bosch is working on the camera-based infrastructure to detect lanes and obstacles, while Mercedes-Benz has developed the technology that will make driverless, fully automated parking possible. The technology is being tested in its S-Class models.
The third company in the picture is car park operator Apcoa which is testing barrier and payment functions using its APCOA FLOW digital mobility platform.
Asked when the green light might be given for the system to begin, a Bosch spokesperson did not provide a likely date, but told iTWire: "An AVP test operation of S-class vehicles with safety drivers is currently running in the airport parking garage.
A Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicle without a driver negotiates a turn on the way to parking itself. Supplied
"Together with the authorities, Bosch and Mercedes-Benz are working on a solution for the approval of such driverless AVP operation with customer vehicles."
Regarding the sharing of the technology developed by Mercedes-Benz with other car makers, the spokesperson said: "Principally AVP only works as a cross-OEM approach with standardised interfaces.
"From a technical point of view, any AVP-enabled vehicle from different manufacturers can use AVP in any appropriately equipped parking garage (provided such AVP operation is permitted nationally).
"Recently, for example, Bosch announced a pilot project with Ford on infrastructure-based AVP. Mercedes-Benz and Bosch are already committed to interface standardisation. Vehicle-centred and infrastructure-based technologies can exist in parallel in the future."
A smartphone command will be all that's needed in future to park a car at Stuttgart Airport. Supplied
Bosch said in a statement as an option, customers could buy the appropriate pre-installation for what the company calls the INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT, which makes the S-Class capable of receiving a smartphone command to drive itself to a reserved parking space.
"With the new S-Class, it's not just driving that's a luxury, but parking as well," said Dr Michael Hafner, head of automated driving at Mercedes-Benz.
"The P6 parking garage at Stuttgart airport will serve as the pilot for the planned commercial automated parking service. Here, the companies will test how the vehicle technology onboard the S-Class interacts with the intelligent Bosch infrastructure and APCOA FLOW, the digital platform provided by the parking garage operator Apcoa.
"This platform makes the whole parking process ticketless and cashless."
"Apcoa, Bosch, Mercedes-Benz, and Stuttgart Airport want to work together to make parking fully automatic," said Christoph Hartung, member of the executive management of Connected Mobility Solutions at Bosch.