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, a press release said Friday (April 13, 2018). 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.
Mobility in future – a joint task
Johann Jungwirth, Chief Digital Officer at Volkswagen, added: “This integration of user-focused services combined with innovative technology is pointing the way to the future of mobility. The co-operation on this project is equally trendsetting. Because one thing is certain: we can only shape the mobility of the future together, with the customer at the centre of everything we do – across market borders and with strong partners such as the city of Hamburg and Hamburg Airport.“ Also, autonomously parking cars require less space as the driver does not have to get in or out of the vehicle. This frees up parking spaces for passengers at the airport.
More mobility projects
Plans for other mobility projects are now being laid including Volkswagen’s “We Deliver” service to Hamburg in co-operation with DHL. Users can have parcels delivered to their car boot. Tests of V2X procedures will be done before late 2018 and will see vehicles communicate directly with traffic lights to optimise traffic flow. Volkswagen’s new mobility company, MOIA, will start operating a shuttle-on-demand service in Hamburg later in 2018. This provides environment-friendly electric vehicles to complement public transport and offer an alternative to private cars. From 2019, MAN will test autonomous trucks in the Port of Hamburg and on select motorway sections. Trucks in one terminal will drive fully autonomously and a driver will remain aboard for safety reasons.
ITS World Congress in Hamburg
Last year, the Hanseatic city won it’s bid to host the” ITS World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems in 2021. The event is likely to prove a huge boost in innovation for Hamburg, Germany and Volkswagen. ITS provides an enormous opportunity to showcase new developments and applications about all aspects of mobility.