Bye-bye Searching for a Parking Space!

Without stress, without scratches and above all without loss of time: In the car park of the future, the car looks for its own parking space.

Sensors scanning free parking space. Foto: Fotolia – Golden Sikorka

It’s desperate. For a felt eternity, architect Moritz P. has been winding through a Hamburg multi-storey car park in search of a parking space. Just don’t lose patience and risk a scratch. Moritz P. curses – now he’s running late to visit the building site with his boss.

He’s not the only one with this problem. Every year, German motorists waste 41 hours on average, looking for a parking space. In the future, they can make better use of that time, for soon, cars could find a parking lot by themselves. Autonomous parking is not only stress-free, it also saves time and space.

For compared to today, 20 percent more cars will fit into a multi-storey car park – without bumps and scratches. Not only would this provide more parking spaces, but they would also be better utilized. The car park of tomorrow knows exactly who is sick or on a business trip and assigns an empty parking space to another customer or work colleague in this case.

Driverless cars maneuver through the car park

Last summer, Daimler started a pilot project in cooperation with Bosch in the multi-storey car park of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. With Automated Valet Parking, a customer parks his car in a so-called drop-off area in the driveway and gives the command for parking via a smartphone app. Afterwards you can start right away, because the car drives to a free parking space immediately as if by magic. Monitoring is not necessary, as the sensors installed guide the car through the car park. Collecting the car is just as easy. You give the car the order to park out of the parking lot via smartphone and can pick it up shortly after in the pick-up area.

With Automated Valet Parking, the driver can leave the car park while the car is still parked. Photo: Bosch

With Automated Valet Parking, the driver can leave the car park while the car is still being parked. Photo: Bosch

Autonomous parking, which VW are testing and further developing in cooperation with Hamburg Airport and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, works in a similar way. The first customers should be able to try out the new service in the multi-storey car park starting 2020. The autonomous parking system at Hamburg Airport Terminal also works via smartphone. When going on a business trip, Moritz P. can book a pitch at home in advance via app. At the airport he parks his car in front of the barrier, locks it and starts the command to park via app, that’s it. While Moritz P. walks to the terminal, his car independently looks for a free parking space.

In the multi-storey car park, the car is oriented by image markers on the walls. Electric cars drive directly to parking lots with charging stations and are loaded when required. Soon as Moritz P. knows when he wants to pick up the car again, he informs the car via smartphone. The car then looks for a free parking space closer to the exit. This way he doesn’t have to wait any longer than necessary. Billing is also done quickly and without queuing per app.

But that’s not all: while Moritz P. is on a business trip, he can have packages or small parcels delivered to the trunk by VW’s We-Deliver Service or use a cleaning service that hangs the freshly cleaned laundry directly in the car. What a dreamlike vision!

The pilot project "Automated Valet Parking" is a cooperation between Daimler and Bosch. Photo: BoschThe cars drive by smartphone command driverless in the assigned parking space. Photo: BoschApp Park.ME provides information about parking spaces of over 60 cities in Germany and Austria. Photo: Park.MEApp Park.ME provides information about parking spaces of over 60 cities in Germany and Austria. Photo: Park.METhe app shows free parking spaces in the area. Photo: Park Now

So the future looks bright – but even here and today Moritz P. already has many possibilities to make his life easier when looking for a parking space. The smartphone, with which you can access various apps, playing a key role.

Apps for searching a parking space 

If Moritz P. again searches in vain for a parking space, he can use Ampido’s app to check whether someone rents out his private parking space or their garage entrance by the hour. Availability and parking fees are determined by the respective owner via the website

Park Now too displays parking spaces in the surrounding area – whether at the roadside or in the multi-storey car park. The user starts and ends the parking time via app, in the multi-storey car park everything even goes without a ticket. Payment is made at the end of each month by direct debit and credit card. If you do not register, you can also bill via your mobile phone provider.

With ParkU, users reserve their parking spaces in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands even up to six months in advance. Payment is made directly via mobile phone, via credit card or Paypal. The parking time is selectable individually. The app also filters by parking space type.

With the Easy Park App you do not need to search for parking ticket machines anymore. Photo: Easy Park

With the Easy Park App you do not need to search for parking ticket machines anymore. Photo: Easy Park

Instead, Moritz P. can use App Park.ME to compare costs and possible shutdown times. It provides information about the pitches of over 60 cities in Germany and Austria. Billing is to the minute, paid by invoice or credit loaded. Important: There must be a parking sticker in the car. Then the security guards recognize that a parking ticket has been issued.

Park and Joy determines the current parking zone with current prices and parking regulations in Hamburg. The user can individually extend or shorten the parking time in the app. A Smart Park vignette must also be in the car here.

Even the annoying search for parking ticket machines can be avoided for Moritz P. if he uses Easy Park. In more than 30 German cities the app user pays by direct debit, Paypal or credit card, a vignette for the car is also available.

It’s a fact: The search for a parking space will no longer be a problem when Moritz P. drops off his car in the drop-off area of the multi-storey car park and the car finds its own spot. To make sure he doesn’t miss his appointment tomorrow, he will download a park app today.

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