Experts are currently testing autonomous parking with Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles in a multi-storey car park near Hamburg Airport’s terminal as part of a pilot project by the Volkswagen Group. Germans spend an average of 41 hours a year looking for a parking space, Britons spend 44 hours and residents of New York even spend 107 hours a year, a study by Inrix, a provider of connected car services and mobility analysts, has found. Parking is also a hot topic in Hamburg and the project is part of the group’s mobility partnership with Hamburg to make the city a model of urban mobility. The first customers should be able to test the new autonomous parking service from 2020.
Full-service offers per app
Commenting on the project, Frank Horch, Senator for Economics, Traffic and Innovation, said: “Together with our partners, we want to reduce the stress of parking in future and make it more convenient. The autonomous parking pilot project shows the direction that innovative parking solutions for the citizens of Hamburg will take in the next few years and how they can be applied to traffic in the city.”
A test scenario shows how users can book a parking space at Hamburg Airport from home per app and simply leave their car at the entrance to the multi-storey car park. Everything else is done automatically: the vehicle looks for a free parking space, if required at an electric charging station. Simple pictorial markers in the car park, which the vehicle sensors use for orientation, make this possible. While the vehicle owner is away, any parcels ordered are delivered to the vehicle boot and the dry cleaning service hangs freshly laundered clothes in the vehicle. On return, the driver sends a brief app message and the vehicle is at the exit of the car park shortly afterwards – ready to drive home. Billing is done swiftly per app and queuing at the parking machine becomes a thing of the past.