Parking Becomes So Last Century

Automakers seeking to create the most accurate self-parking vehicles are testing technology in Germany and will soon use a major technology testing center that’s being built in Spain. VW, Audi and Porsche are among the companies looking to perfect the autonomous car, according to a story in Automotive Testing Technology International by Rachel Evans.

Johann Jungwirth, chief digital officer of VW Group, said, “Autonomous parking can make an important contribution to creating convenient, stress-free mobility for our customers. We therefore want to democratize the technology and make it accessible to as many people as possible.”

Autonomous parking will be introduced in stages. In the first stage, it will be possible to use the function in selected multi-story parking lots in an exclusive traffic flow, that is, in separate areas of the parking lot not accessible to people.

The next stage will be operation in mixed traffic, that is, vehicles parking and moving autonomously in the same areas of the parking lot as cars with drivers.

The auto maker is also developing a software development center for VW Group and MAN Truck & Bus IT in Lisbon, Portugal. Around 300 IT specialists, software engineers, web developers and UX designers will be based at the new facility. Their work will focus on the development of cloud-based software solutions for further digitization of corporate processes within the group and the connected vehicle.

The use of autonomous vehicles is expected to be widespread within the next 3 to 5 years. Already driverless trucks are hauling freight between Texas and California. But not only will the parking garages have to be specially fitted to accept the self parking tech, but it will take a while before enough vehicles with the technology make it essential for parking lots to accommodate them.

All in all, it still looks like baby steps for parking tech.