Drive a fully electric, luxury vehicle up to the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown and simply let the vehicle park itself. This scenario became a reality in a demonstration of automated valet parking at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown featuring the EQS sedan from Mercedes-EQ.
Automated valet parking technology from Bosch and Mercedes-Benz is at the core of the demonstration in Los Angeles. It features INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT in the EQS from Mercedes-EQ and integration with the smartphone app as part of a holistic demonstration of the future vehicle experience for consumers.
The demonstration is operated in conjunction with the InterContinental Downtown Los Angeles Hotel, an 889-room property located in the tallest building west of Chicago.
“The demonstration at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown showcases how automated valet parking will operate in a working hotel environment where both automated and non-automated vehicles operate alongside pedestrian traffic,” said Dr. Kay Stepper, senior vice president of automated driving and driver assistance for Bosch in North America. “This allows us to dive into the dynamics of local deployments with the use of a highly-connected EQS from Mercedes-EQ to demonstrate how automated technology continues to move forward.”
“Our vision is that getting time back is a key component of the luxury experience our customers are looking for. The EQS gives you time back by driving itself in traffic jams on highways, but with INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT, it may also be able to park itself.” says Dr. Philipp Skogstad, President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America. He adds: “INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT is a feature that together with the required infrastructure enables an automated valet service that gives customers even more comfort and relief in everyday life.”
Mercedes showcases INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT
The demonstration features the EQS, showcasing automated valet parking using its existing hardware that is already preinstalled in vehicles such as the S-Class and EQS in Germany/Europe with the required optional equipment. The vehicle interacts with the Bosch intelligent infrastructure installed in the parking garage in order to enable the vehicle to drive and park itself inside the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.
Sensors installed at the buliding communicate with the vehicle and guide its maneuvering through the garage. The demonstration also highlights possibilities for additional services such as automated EV charging, car wash and vehicle servicing or maintenance where vehicles move in and out of service areas guided by the intelligent infrastructure.
In conjunction with the necessary optional equipment and the corresponding Connect service, both depending on country, the EQS has the onboard technology to enter and leave multi-story parking facilities equipped with the Bosch Automated Valet infrastructure in highly automated mode and without a driver, provided that the corresponding Connect service is available and booked for the respective vehicle variant of the EQS and national legislation permits such operation.
Demonstration to utilize Smartphone app as part of the holistic vehicle experience
The vision – the driver securely parks the vehicle in a designated drop-off area of the parking facility, and after all passengers have exited they start the parking procedure using the smartphone App. The sensor system in the car park checks whether a suitable space is available or was already reserved for the vehicle. If so, the Automated Valet Parking infrastructure confirms the handover of the vehicle for the driver in the App, and they can leave the EQS and depart. The vehicle is then started automatically and moves driverless to its parking space with the help of the infrastructure installed in the parking facility. Upon return, the driver can let the EQS drive to a designated pick-up area by smartphone command. This means less time searching for parking spots and walking from the parking garage to their destination.
A step on the path to fully automated driving
Automated parking technology showcases the benefits of automation to drivers by providing value to drivers by easing the burden of the parking experience.
“Low-speed maneuvers are part of the holistic opportunity for automated technology,” Stepper said. “Automated technology in the specific use case automated valet parking gets consumers comfortable with how automated technology works and how it can benefit them.”
Bosch engineering teams have been working over the past few years to further develop automated valet parking and support specific testing and deployments around the world.
Drivers and garage operators both benefit
Automated valet parking presents benefits on both sides of the parking experience. For consumers, they will no longer have to search for a parking space and can save time once they arrive to their destination. For parking garage operators, they can increase parking capacity as vehicles no longer need to have room to open doors on all sides as all occupants have already exited the vehicle. Furthermore, operators can offer services such as charging, washing or maintenance.