Volkswagen Group, in partnership with the City of Hamburg, Germany, is trialling fully autonomous parking at Hamburg Airport as part of the brand’s next push for autonomous driving. The Group is planning to roll out the function in its first vehicles by 2020.
Using pictorial markers installed in the multi-story carpark and carpark map data, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles are able to navigate to an empty parking space autonomously at Hamburg Airport. The biggest benefit of this autonomous parking system is that it can be applied in any car park – multi-storey or otherwise.
Chief Digital Officer of Volkswagen Group, Johann Jungwirth, says: “Autonomous parking can make an important contribution to creating convenient, stress-free mobility for our customers. We, therefore, want to democratise the technology and make it accessible to as many people as possible.”
In this trial, the three brands are pooling their expertise to ready the system for commercial use across all three brands. However, the function of autonomous parking, when rolled out to the public, will be introduced in stages to ensure high levels of safety to customers and the public.
Initial stages of autonomous parking will be used in selected carparks in a controlled and exclusive environment, not accessible to other cars and people. This is to build up public awareness as well as collect real-world data in a large sample. Only when the system is ready, will the operation be deployed in mixed traffic where other cars with drivers are part of the equation.
Jungwirth concludes: “Our clear objective is autonomously driving vehicles that facilitate mobility for everyone at the push of a button and that gives people back time and quality of life as well as greatly improving safety on the roads. Autonomous parking is a milestone on the way there.”