Time is a valuable asset and in the future it will have to be invested much less frequently in the search for a parking space. Volkswagen has developed an innovative concept that gives motorists this time back: the parking garage pilot finds the free space without a human driver. Additional time savings is achieved by the automatic charging of electric vehicles during their lifetime.
41 hours per year - that's how much time the Germans will get back in the future, when the search for a parking space disappears. And they also save fuel. So how about a technology that takes charge of loading and parking while getting on the plane, going to the restaurant or attending an event? Sounds like science fiction, but Volkswagen is working to realize that vision soon.
Because thanks to the parking garage pilot Volkswagen, you just get out in front of a parking garage and do not have to worry about the rest. The vehicle automatically moves to a free space in the parking garage and can be recalled to the exit at the push of a button in an app. It's that easy.
This simple-looking maneuver hides complex technical processes that have to mesh at any time. "Autonomous driving in a parking garage is much more complicated than, for example, on a motorway," says Daniel Mossau, project manager of the parking garage pilot at Volkswagen. "In the car park we have ramps, curbs, walls and signs hanging from the ceiling. All these things must be recognized by the vehicle. The situation interpretation is an eerie challenge, "Mossau continued. In order to solve this reliably, different technologies each take on a different task in the complex maneuver. There are also numerous sensors in the vehicle necessary. Whether laser scanners, radar sensors, ultrasonic sensors or cameras - the parking garage pilot relies on a 360 ° view of the vehicle.
The parking garage can also be optionally equipped with additional infrastructure. Even with the access software, there are innovative adaptations. The barrier in the parking garage, for example, opens and closes automatically and the vehicles make their way to their parking lot without the driver. Orientation within the parking garage is via QR code-like symbols that are read by the systems in the vehicle. "Additional infrastructure can optionally be added, depending on the needs of the car park operator," says Mossau. For example, parking lots can be reserved by automated bollards. It would also be feasible without problems to direct electric vehicles during their stay to parking garage internal charging stations. And the more infrastructure is built in, the more service a car park operator can offer its customers. The payment system will also be adjusted. An app replaces the classic ticket machine, and the payment of the parking fee is conveniently handled via the smartphone.
"Not only for the motorists benefits from the parking garage pilot," says Mossau. Car park operators can make even greater use of their locations. The vehicles need even less floor space - they can be parked much tighter, as no one leaves after the parking process. Volkswagen relies on official ISO standards for communication between vehicles and car park infrastructure. In 2019, the first model series comes as standard with innovative communication technology to exchange selected traffic-relevant information across manufacturers. This information is exchanged both between vehicles and between vehicles and car park infrastructure (Car-to-X). Because everyone is clear: Different systems from different providers will not install a parking garage operator.
TOGETHER - Strategy 2025
The future of mobility first and foremost takes place in cities and metropolises. Here, the potential for change is greatest. Therefore, Volkswagen is investing extensively in new future technologies such as electric mobility, autonomous driving, digital networking of all road users and new mobility services.
Volkswagen sees itself as a partner to the cities, to generate ideas together with the cities, to form cooperations and to carry out pilot projects such as autonomous parking at Hamburg Airport.
How far the specialists from Volkswagen are, they demonstrated in Hamburg. In the parking garage of the Hamburg Airport, they proved that autonomous parking is no longer just a matter of the future. As part of the mobility partnership with the city, vehicles of the Volkswagen Group drove independently through the public parking garage - albeit still in a specially closed area.
At the beginning of the coming decade, it should be ready and the parking garage pilot can officially start his service. And at the latest then motorists should really think about what they want to do with the newly gained spare time.
Automated charging will take place in the parking garage in the near future. Conceivable here would be the technology of induced charging, in which the vehicle is controlled only on a pallet. Another technical solution could be (as shown here) an automatically guided charging socket.