Finally, a use for autonomous cars that we can all appreciate!
We might not want to barrel down the highway at 70 mph with no one at the wheel, but who wouldn’t want their car to drop them and their luggage curbside at the airport and then drive itself to a preassigned parking place? Or at the entrance to our favorite restaurant, or the front of a stadium?
This is finally possible as Daimler and auto supplier Bosch will start providing autonomous valet parking in Stuttgart, Germany, after local authorities gave the carmaker permission to start testing the technology.
The automated valet parking service will start at the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage, using infrastructure provided by Bosch and vehicle technology from Daimler, Bosch said.
It will be the first fully automated driverless system categorized as “Level 4” automation which has been approved for everyday use.
Like so many other things, the process relies on a smartphone app which enables the car to drive itself to an assigned space and park once the driver has left the parking garage. It can return the car to the drop-off point in the same way.
While the idea of your car leaving you at the most convenient place while it parks sound convenient, for some people, such as the elderly, it could mean the difference between driving themselves to the doctor or store or needing a ride. This is one more technology that will help aging populations remain independent just a bit longer.