Each year car drivers in European and North American cities spend an average of 55 hours searching for parking spaces . Yet there is no shortage of free parking spaces – one challenge is to find them. And the other is to manoeuvre the car into and out of the space undamaged: 65 percent of customers would like a car that parks and unparks itself.
For both challenges, #MercedesBenz is able to ease the burden on drivers with modern assistance systems, intelligent networking of vehicles and the infrastructure plus well-conceived services related to parking. Apart from the drivers themselves, this also benefits the environment and urban surroundings thanks to less traffic seeking parking spaces and the more efficient use of available parking facilities. Coming services include e.g. the Mercedes me Car Sharing #app, which allows efficient use of the car during parking periods. In the pilot project CHARK.me (Change the way you park), on driver request, service providers can deposit packages, food or clean laundry in the vehicle's boot. And the likewise new service smart "ready to spot" helps drivers to find their parked car with further functions that help them when returning to it.
"The innovative parking solutions from #MercedesBenz offer our customers numerous benefits: they save time and frustration, increase convenience and reduce the risk of parking damage," says Sajjad Khan, Vice President Digital Vehicle & Mobility at Daimler. "Our aim is to turn the vehicle into a mobile assistant able to take on tedious routine tasks such as parking."
"In our strategic areas 'Connected' and 'Autonomous', we bring together many innovations and ideas which can relieve customers of all tedious parking-related activities," says Michael Hafner, Head of Automated Driving and Active Safety at Daimler AG. "After all, who actually enjoys parking and unparking? I openly admit that I don't either. That's why I like to use Remote Parking Assist, for example. Once you have got used to no longer sitting in the car when making parking manoeuvres, and delegating the steering, accelerating and braking to the vehicle, parking and unparking by #smartphone is extremely convenient."
This assistance has been very well received by customers, as the current activation rate (as of March 2018) for Remote Parking Assist in the European Mercedes me connect markets shows: since the introduction of the system in the respective model series, 68 percent of all drivers of an E or S-Class have not only opted for the Remote Parking package, but also linked the vehicle to their Mercedes me account and activated the service in the Mercedes me Portal.
Here is an overview of the innovative assistants, systems and services of today and tomorrow:
Finding parking spaces quickly and conveniently
Mercedes me connect Parking service
Easier parking, more convenient payment
Mercedes-Benz Parking Card
Mercedes-Benz Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC
smart "ready to park"
Putting to good use rather than just parking
Mercedes me Car Sharing App
smart "ready to drop"
smart "ready to share"
Management of parking incidents
Mercedes me theft and parking damage notification
smart "theft recovery"
smart "ready to spot"
Mercedes-Benz Remote Parking Assist
Automated Valet Parking
Driverless cars (e.g. smart vision EQ fortwo)
Whether in one's own garage, by the roadside or in a multi-storey: #MercedesBenz already relieves driver workload today with numerous innovative solutions related to parking. In doing so the company follows a comprehensive approach: assistance is available both on and offboard, and in every parking phase from finding a space to actual parking and finding the vehicle again afterwards.
One innovation available from June is the #MercedesBenz Parking Card, which allows free parking barrier passage in selected multi-storey car parks throughout Germany and cashless payment. The card can be ordered via the Mercedes me Portal, and is equipped with an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip using electro-magnetic waves. The card is therefore recognised at the parking barrier. Tedious manoeuvring to punch the barrier's operating button, and long queues at the payment machines, can therefore be a thing of the past for #MercedesBenz customers.
The new Mercedes me connect services On-Street Prediction, Real-Time Information and Off-Street Information allow #MercedesBenz drivers to save valuable time and reduce their stress levels while at the same time cutting their fuel consumption and emissions when searching for a parking space. These optional services can be used with the Mercedes me #app in the S and E-Class plus the CLS, and from June also in the C-Class and new A-Class.
They will be joined by services which allow efficient use of the car during the actual parking time: the Mercedes me Car Sharing #app (expected to be available from September 2018) allows A-Class drivers to share their vehicle with a specified group of users. Friends, family members or colleagues can then easily book the A-Class for a fixed period of time, thereby putting it to its actual purpose, namely driving.
Active Parking Assist PARKTRONIC makes both searching for parking spaces and parking/unparking in parallel and end-on spaces easier. It automatically manoeuvres the vehicle into parking spaces, is able to brake when obstacles are detected, automatically changes direction when necessary and activates the direction indicators.
Maximum parking convenience is provided by Remote Parking Assist: this enables the driver of an S-Class, E-Class or CLS to manoeuvre the vehicle remotely by #smartphone #app via Bluetooth® – particularly gratifying in tight parking spaces or narrow garages. Entry and exiting or loading become child's play as a result.
The future of parking is many-facetted: Parked cars will become a hub for innovative services where providers are able to deposit packages, food or clean laundry in the car, thereby usefully combining the parking time with a wide range of services. This is the idea behind CHARK.me (Change the way you park). The project has just commenced as an alpha test with Daimler AG employees in Stuttgart, and an expansion to external customers is planned for next year. The scheme requires a #MercedesBenz vehicle with a Mercedes me connect capability (usually from production year 2015 onwards). The currently available services include the delivery of food and packages to the vehicle's boot, collection of soiled laundry and delivery of clean laundry, and car washing directly in the carpark.
Driverless parking, which was already introduced in the multi-storey car park at the #MercedesBenz Museum in Stuttgart in 2017, means more convenience and less stress for customers and more efficient use of the available parking area. It is expected that from December 2018, automated valet parking will become available to all in the multi-storey car park at the #MercedesBenz Museum if the vehicle is correspondingly equipped.
Clicking on the corresponding #smartphone #app will start the car without further human action and manoeuvre it into a free space when its driver has already left the car park. The same happens in reverse. The #app is used to order the vehicle just before the intended departure time. Driverless parking is made possible by an intelligent multi-storey car park infrastructure from Bosch in conjunction with the vehicle technology from #MercedesBenz. Sensors installed in the car park monitor the driving corridor and its surroundings and steer the vehicle. The technology on board the car performs safe driving manoeuvres in response to the commands from the car park infrastructure, and stops the vehicle in good time when necessary.
Another alternative to conventional parking was indicated by the smart vision EQ fortwo concept car (premiered at the 2017 International Motor Show IAA): This fully automated share taxi collects its passengers directly from the appointed location, takes them to their destination and leaves for its next mobility assignment.
Mercedes-Benz played a pioneering role in many parking-related innovations. This applies to practically every era in model history. Visual aids such as tailfins and guide rods were already helping drivers of models in the upper medium class and luxury class to park over 50 years ago.
And Parking Assist, which completely relieves drivers of steering action when manoeuvring into and out of parking spaces, is already celebrating its tenth anniversary next month.
 2015 study by Frost&Sullivan. The study encompassed 2869 interviews with car owners in France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain and Russia, and 1584 interviews in the USA.
 Result of a study by Bitkom Research in 2018. A representative sample of 1238 German nationals aged 18+ was surveyed for the study.
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