Finding a parking spot in a city or a busy parking deck is almost always a pain in the ass. And that’s before you consider the problem of “the last mile,” the distance you must travel from your car, bus, or train to your final destination. Starting in 2018, certain visitors (assuming they have a properly equipped vehicle, naturally) to the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, Germany, now have a solution thanks to a partnership between Bosch and Daimler. The companies are releasing what they’re referring to as an automated valet. Customers can use their smartphones to autonomously park their cars.
The concept is simple enough. You pull up to the drop-off point in your car, get out, select a spot on your phone, and let the car go park itself. The car will use assigned spots, meaning there will always be an open space. When you want to leave, simply head to the pick-up point and call the car. The parking structure itself has been designed by Bosch and Daimler to direct the cars and gather data. That data will be used for future autonomous technology from Bosch and Daimler.