Autonomous airport parking being tested by Volkswagen
14 May 2018
Volkswagen (VW) Group is currently testing a solution that could save air passengers time when it comes to searching for a space in airport car parks.
The carmaker has used data from the INRIX 2017 Global Traffic Scorecard to find that on average, Germans spend 41 hours a year looking for a parking space, with the British wasting 44 hours and residents of New York using 107 hours a year. With this in mind, the company has announced its vision, in future, we simply leave our car at the entrance to the car park and the car looks for a parking space and parks autonomously – without any stress, scratches and especially without wasting any time.
A pilot project is currently taking place in a multi-storey car park near the terminal of Hamburg Airport. There, experts are testing autonomous parking with Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles. The project is part of the mobility partnership with the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg that aims to develop Hamburg as a model city for urban mobility. The target is for the first customers to be able to test the new autonomous parking service at the beginning of the next decade.
Johann Jungwirth, Chief Digital Officer of the Volkswagen Group, says: “With new mobility solutions we want to give people more time and quality of life by reducing the time spent and stress in road traffic. Our vision is mobility that is available to everyone, everywhere and at all times at the press of a button – and autonomous vehicles play a decisive role here. People currently spend around 30 percent of their driving time in urban areas looking for a parking space. Autonomous parking like we are testing here at Hamburg Airport is an important step on the way to autonomous driving – as an integrated full-service concept via an app. We are putting a consistent focus on people and their needs.”
In the test scenario, users can book a parking space at Hamburg Airport from home using an 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. This is made possible by simple pictorial markers in the car park, which the vehicle sensors use for orientation.
The Volkswagen Group is investing more than €34 billion in new technologies for the future such as electric mobility, autonomous driving, digital networking of all road users and new mobility services as part of its “TOGETHER – Strategy 2025” plan that includes building for the future of Urban Mobility. The manufacturer believes that towns and cities are decisive for the future of mobility, as it is here that the problems are most pressing and the potential for change is greatest.