Apcoa, Bosch, and Mercedes-Benz are working to provide the world’s first commercial automated valet parking (AVP) service.
- In the future, a command from a smartphone will tell cars where to park in Stuttgart Airport's P6 parking garage.
- The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class is equipped with the technology to enable driverless, fully automated parking (SAE Level 41).
- For AVP, Bosch is using camera-based infrastructure for the first time to detect lanes and obstacles.
- The parking garage operator Apcoa is testing barrier and payment functions as the basis for automated valet parking, enabled by its APCOA FLOW digital mobility platform.
12 October 2020
APCOA PARKING (APCOA), Europe's leading parking space operator, has launched APCOA URBAN HUBS to create an integrated ecosystem for the innovative and sustainable use of parking spaces. While APCOA's strategic partners benefit from being able to access the physical infrastructure and digital services they need to further develop their business models, APCOA PARKING's customers benefit from an expanded range of innovative services and products. With APCOA serving as the central interface between individual, intermodal mobility and Smart City concepts, in combination with APCOA's strong network of strategic partners, real estate owners also benefit by sustainably enhancing the value of their assets.
Automated parking to drive down the airport stress: Bosch, Mercedes-Benz, and the parking garage operator Apcoa want to introduce driverless and fully automated parking at Stuttgart airport in the future. To this end, the automated valet parking (AVP) system co-developed by Bosch and Mercedes-Benz is to be made ready for commercial operation. The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class is already geared up to accommodate it as the world's first production vehicle to feature the technology required for future infrastructure-based AVP. As an option, customers can buy the appropriate pre-installation for what the company calls the INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT, which makes the S-Class capable of receiving a smartphone command to drive itself to a reserved parking space. "With the new S-Class, it's not just driving that's a luxury, but parking as well," says Dr. Michael Hafner, head of automated driving at Mercedes-Benz AG. The P6 parking garage at Stuttgart airport will serve as the pilot for the planned commercial automated parking service. Here, the companies will test how the vehicle technology onboard the S-Class interacts with the intelligent Bosch infrastructure and APCOA FLOW, the digital platform provided by the parking garage operator Apcoa.
This platform makes the whole parking process ticketless and cashless. "Apcoa, Bosch, Mercedes-Benz, and Stuttgart airport want to work together to make parking fully automatic," says Christoph Hartung, member of the executive management of Connected Mobility Solutions at Bosch. In the airport parking garage, preparations are currently underway to begin piloting the planned automated valet parking service. The aim of this trial with new S-Class vehicles at Stuttgart airport is to ensure that interactions between the vehicle, infrastructure technology, and parking garage operator run smoothly and are optimized for the customer.
World's first Level 4 park function in a production vehicle In July 2019, Bosch and Mercedes-Benz received the world's first special permit to operate AVP for selected E-Class vehicles without a safety driver in real-life, mixed parking garage traffic at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. Equipped with the appropriate pre-installation for the INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT, the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class is now the first production vehicle to feature AVP technology, which enables it to park without a driver. However, this is conditional on the future availability of parking garages with the appropriate infrastructure, as well as on national legislators giving AVP the green light. This makes the Mercedes-Benz S-Class the world's first vehicle to feature a pre-installation for an SAE Level 4 automated driving function, the second-highest level of automation. "With automated valet parking, Mercedes-Benz is demonstrating that driverless parking will soon be possible," Hafner says.
To facilitate this new one-touch parking function, a spacious drop-off and pick-up area will be set up directly behind the entrance to the P6 parking garage, giving AVP users a convenient place to leave their vehicles. As they comfortably make their way to the terminal and check in, their S-Class will park itself in the basement, guided by information from the infrastructure technology. In other words, users no longer need to worry about maneuvering or having to squeeze out of their cars when the space they have finally found proves to be too narrow. "Automated valet parking really enhances our passengers' comfort and convenience and saves them time, especially when they're in a hurry and just want to drop their car off quickly at the airport", says Walter Schoefer, management spokesman for Flughafen Stuttgart GmbH. For the test phase that is about to start, P6 will initially have two spaces available for self-parking vehicles. More spaces will be added when driverless parking becomes standard as planned in the future and as demand increases.
Intelligent infrastructure and digital platforms
The pilot parking garage at Stuttgart airport will be a premiere for new Bosch video cameras that can identify vacant parking spaces, monitor the driving aisle and its surroundings, and detect obstacles or people in the aisle. Until now, lidar sensors have been used for this purpose. A dedicated control center in the parking garage then calculates the route the vehicles need to take to reach an available space. "Our intelligent parking garage infrastructure forms the basis for the future of driverless parking," Hartung says. Thanks to the information that the cameras provide, it is also possible for cars to drive themselves around the parking garage - even on narrow ramps, enabling them to move between different stories. The in-vehicle technology autonomously converts the information from the infrastructure into driving maneuvers. If the cameras detect an unexpected obstacle, for example, the vehicle safely performs an emergency stop.
APCOA FLOW, the parking garage operator Apcoa's digital platform, will also play a key role in driverless parking at Stuttgart airport. Drivers are already using the platform to help lighten the burden of parking. This ranges from making firm reservations for a parking space, to contactless entry into the parking garage, and to fully automated payment, invoicing, and contactless exit. The system recognizes the customer's vehicle and the barriers open automatically, making a ticket and trip to the ticket machine redundant. "We want to be the first parking garage operator to fully support and enable automated parking services based on AVP technology in one of our parking garages," says Frank van der Sant, chief commercial officer at Apcoa Parking Holdings GmbH.
More vehicles, more parking garages
A vehicle drop-off and collection service saves time and avoids long walks to the car: once parking garages are equipped with the appropriate infrastructure and national laws permit AVP, customers will be able to enjoy driverless parking services. Bosch and Mercedes-Benz are paving the way for this with the world's first infrastructure-based solution for SAE Level 4 automated valet parking in real-life, mixed parking garage traffic. Uniform standards and interfaces ensure smooth communication between the vehicles and infrastructure technology. In the future, Bosch's aim is to equip more and more parking garages with AVP infrastructure technology.
As Europe's largest parking garage operator, Apcoa also has a strategic interest in offering innovative premium services like AVP in more of its parking garages. "Looking ahead, we want to open up AVP to more customers at selected Apcoa locations," van der Sant says. The company manages approximately 1.5 million individual parking spaces at over 9,500 locations in 13 European countries. By increasing the availability of driverless and fully automated parking services, the same amount of space could accommodate up to 20 percent more vehicles. In addition, driverless parking is especially suitable for narrow, remote, and therefore unattractive parking areas that people would otherwise avoid.
1 SAE-Level 4: The car can autonomously handle all traffic situations under certain conditions (e.g. on selected roads, not in all types of weather). No driver is required.
About APCOA PARKING Group
APCOA PARKING Group is Europe's leading parking operator with more than 45 years of industry expertise. With its 5,000 employees, the company manages approximately 1.4 million individual parking spaces at over 10,000 locations in 13 European countries. These include parking spaces at 1,800 city and shopping centre locations, 400 hotels, 150 hospitals and 58 European airports. With its consistent "asset light" business model, APCOA is the trusted partner who maximizes value for private and public real estate owners
Via its open digital platform APCOA FLOW, the company connects on-street and off-street car parks with clients, partners, customers and their vehicles. Based on this technology, APCOA is transforming its car parks into mobility hubs, offering innovative services that enable a more convenient mobility experience. The environment also benefits: with its digital services and intelligent Traffic Management System, the company actively contributes to the reduction of emissions in cities by decreasing the volume of traffic searching for parking. By connecting parking and mobility, APCOA is positioned to become an integral part of the Smart City.
Additional information: World first: Bosch and Daimler obtain approval for driverless parking without human oversight Bosch and Daimler demonstrate driverless parking in real-life conditions
APCOA PARKING, Europe’s leading parking operator, and HERE Technologies, a leading location data and technology platform, today announced plans for a strategic technology and commercial partnership.
Strategic collaboration around digital parking services and high-definition (HD) 3D indoor maps for the automotive industry and smart cities
May 25, 2020
Amsterdam/Stuttgart - APCOA PARKING, Europe's leading parking operator, and HERE Technologies, a leading location data and technology platform, today announced plans for a strategic technology and commercial partnership.
Both companies intend to develop and commercialize digital parking services and HD indoor maps of parking facilities in Europe. To this end, they plan to combine their complementary capabilities in parking and mapping to jointly pursue business opportunities in the automotive and urban mobility sectors.
APCOA FLOW serves as the associated brand and underlying open digital platform for all digital parking and mobility service offerings of APCOA. In the planned collaboration, HERE takes the role as the technical integrator, supporting a true end-to-end, location-enriched, user experience throughout a driver's journey. Key touchpoints for users will be in-car infotainment systems, apps and websites.
Initially, the two partners plan to enhance APCOA's almost 10,000 sites in 13 European countries with location data and services on the HERE platform. Based on this, they aim to build a joint parking solution for car makers, mobility service providers and smart cities. Further target segments will include fleet operators, smart logistics and TIER 1 suppliers. The intention is to make this solution available and marketed through the HERE Marketplace.
In addition, both companies are also looking to kickstart a joint initiative for the creation of HD 3D indoor maps of parking garages in Europe. This would enable the development of new services like autonomous valet parking and pre-booking of parking spaces for seamless end-to-end routing as well as augmented reality-related experiences for end users.
"We are very excited to join forces with HERE to enhance the mobility experience of drivers across Europe with seamless digital parking services", states Frank van der Sant, Chief Commercial Officer at APCOA. "And the development of HD 3D maps of our car parks for indoor navigation will be a real first to market innovation made available on a larger scale."
"With our complementary strengths in parking and location technology, a partnership between APCOA and HERE is really a natural fit", said Jorgen Behrens, Chief Product Officer at HERE Technologies. "We are looking forward to jointly building a broad portfolio of indoor parking maps for wayfinding and autonomous parking and also further expand the HERE Marketplace offering with this new content."
About APCOA PARKING Group
APCOA PARKING Group is Europe's leading parking operator with 50 years of industry expertise. With its 5,500 employees, the company manages approximately 1.5 million individual parking spaces at over 9,500 locations in 13 European countries. With its consistent "asset light" business model, APCOA is the trusted partner who maximizes value for private and public real estate owners.
Via its open digital platform APCOA FLOW, the company connects on-street and off-street car parks with clients, partners, customers and their vehicles. Based on this technology, APCOA is transforming its car parks into mobility hubs, offering innovative services that enable a more convenient mobility experience. The environment also benefits: with its digital services and intelligent Traffic Management System, the company actively contributes to the reduction of emissions in cities by decreasing the volume of traffic searching for parking. By connecting parking and mobility, APCOA is becoming an integral part of the Smart City. www.apcoa.com
About HERE Technologies
HERE, a location data and technology platform, moves people, businesses and cities forward by harnessing the power of location. By leveraging our open platform, we empower our customers to achieve better outcomes - from helping a city manage its infrastructure or a business optimize its assets to guiding drivers to their destination safely. To learn more about HERE, please visit www.here.com and http://360.here.com.
• The companies are cooperating as part of a coordinated smart city strategy
• UFODRIVE users can now rent all-electric vehicles in the APCOA Mall of Berlin car park
• APCOA and innogy announce plans to expand the provision of intelligent charging infrastructure throughout the APCOA car park network
Stuttgart/Berlin/Essen, 2 March 2020 – APCOA PARKING, innogy and UFODRIVE today opened the first UFODRIVE hub in the APCOA multi-storey car park at the “Mall of Berlin” shopping centre in the heart of Berlin. From here, local customers and visitors to Berlin now have access to a zero-emission, innovative and flexible mobility service.
Intelligent electromobility solutions, such as hassle-free, app-enabled vehicle rental, are playing an increasingly important role in the context of digitalisation and sustainability for the urban mobility infrastructure. Last year, APCOA PARKING, innogy and UFODRIVE therefore decided to pool their resources and expertise to combine clean electric mobility with the best in convenience and customer service.
Now, UFODRIVE is opening its first location in the German capital in the centrally located APCOA car park in the shopping centre “Mall of Berlin”. With a fleet of premium Tesla vehicles, UFODRIVE’s customers can now arrive at the bay with just their smartphones and the app and drive away in a fully electric rental car. The bay’s charging infrastructure is provided and operated by innogy. The car park’s entry and exit barriers open automatically as the vehicles approach thanks to the APCOA FLOW RFID chips in each vehicle. The partners have seamlessly combined individual solutions to create an easy, innovative and customer-centric car rental experience that makes a major contribution to the sustainable transformation of urban mobility.
“In terms of sustainable urban development, the car park of the future has a crucial role to play”, says Philippe op de Beeck, CEO of the APCOA PARKING Group. In addition to providing the necessary parking spaces, centrally located car parks also provide the ideal base for intelligent shared mobility solutions. “By partnering with UFODRIVE and innogy, we are taking electric mobility one step further”. As well as providing the parking spaces for the UFObay, APCOA PARKING’s digital parking service, APCOA FLOW, also represents an essential building block in creating a seamless digital experience for UFODRIVE customers.
“With UFODRIVE.COM and our fleet of fully electric Tesla vehicles, we are bringing clean, instant, 24/7 electric car rental to private and business travellers in Berlin. After successful openings in Cologne and Hamburg, it was only logical that we should also launch our app-based car rental service in Berlin. We are looking forward to providing all of our Berlin customers with a best-in-class, attractive and innovative rental offer”, explains Aidan McClean, CEO of UFODRIVE. The start-up rents out purely electric Tesla Model S and Model 3 vehicles conveniently and easily via app and has already opened UFO Landing Bays in eight countries.
“Car parks have a central role to play, not only in the urban energy transition, but also in the expansion of electromobility and public charging infrastructure. Through this partnership, we are providing a glimpse of the city of the future and proving that the digitalisation of infrastructure and the expansion of electromobility can improve people’s quality of life”, says Dr. Armin Gaul, Head of Technical Development at innogy SE. The car park’s charging infrastructure is operated by the energy company innogy, which uses green electricity and innovative charging management to ensure that vehicles are always charged and ready for customers to simply arrive and drive.
The new electric vehicle rental bay in the “Mall of Berlin” is just the beginning for the three partners. Plans are already in place to establish a network of electric vehicle rental hubs in Germany and internationally. APCOA and innogy are also aiming to equip a large number of APCOA car parks with public charging infrastructure, thereby enabling electric car owners to simultaneously park and charge their vehicles. The partners’ proposals are designed to promote the expansion of eMobility across the whole of Germany and include the widespread deployment of sensor technology and value-added digital services across APCOA’s pan-European car park network. Thanks to the visionary partnership the car park of the future will be a central element of the smart city.
Part of the offer is APCOA FLOW: The free parking app makes it easier for business customers and regular drivers to use more than 200 selected APCOA car parks. They benefit from easy and convenient ticketless access and no longer have to make sure they have the right change for the pay machine. Users can decide whether they want to pay by credit or debit card and are automatically billed for the parking services they use. Billing is entirely transparent and users can review the costs of their parking transactions in the app and by email.
About APCOA PARKING Group
APCOA PARKING Group is Europe's leading parking operator with 50 years of industry expertise. With its 5,000 employees, the company manages approximately 1.5 million individual parking spaces at over 9,500 locations in 13 European countries. These include parking spaces at 1,800 city and shopping centre locations, 400 hotels, 150 hospitals and 58 European airports. With its consistent “asset light” business model, APCOA is the trusted partner who maximises value for private and public real estate owners.
Via its open digital platform, APCOA FLOW, the company connects on-street and off-street car parks with clients, partners, customers and their vehicles. Based on this technology, APCOA is transforming its car parks into mobility hubs, offering innovative services that enable a more convenient mobility experience. The environment also benefits: with its digital services and intelligent Traffic Management System, the company actively contributes to the reduction of emissions in cities by decreasing the volume of traffic searching for parking. By connecting parking and mobility, APCOA is positioned to become an integral part of the Smart City.
UFODRIVE is a start-up company founded in Luxembourg that provides an all-digital, all-electric car rental solution. Customers can book premium all-electric vehicles via the UFODRIVE website or app and arrive, unlock and drive via their smartphones with the UFODRIVE app.
The company’s solutions are designed for both private and business travellers and UFODRIVE is already available in many major European cities, including Dublin, London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Luxembourg, Hamburg, Cologne and Berlin. The company’s UFObay rental and return hubs are primarily located at airports and central transport interchanges within each city.
Press photos and additional information are available at: www.ufodrive.com/press; www.ufodrive.com
Contact: Jens Stoewhase; e-Mail: pr[at]rabbit-publishing.net; mobile: +49 151 275 33 262
About innogy SE
innogy SE is a leading German energy company with a turnover of around 37 billion euros (2018) and around 43,000 employees. With its three divisions, Renewable Energies, Grid & Infrastructure, and Sales, innogy addresses the requirements of a modern decarbonised, decentralised and digital energy world. The company’s approximately 22 million customers are at the heart of everything innogy does. innogy strives to offer its customers innovative and sustainable products and services with which they can use energy more efficiently and improve their quality of life. The company’s most important markets are Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as a number of countries in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe, in particular the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. With a total capacity of 4.0 gigawatts, innogy also generates electricity from renewable energies outside these regions, e. g. in Spain, Italy and the USA. As an innovation leader in future-oriented topics such as eMobility, innogy is also represented in international technology hotspots such as Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and Berlin. innogy combines the broad know-how of its energy technicians and engineers with digital technology partners – from start-ups to large corporations.
• APCOA PARKING Sweden has completed the acquisition of the Swedish parking operator XPERT Parkering.
• XPERT manages around 40,000 parking spaces with a geographical focus on southern Sweden.
Stockholm, 13 January 2020 – APCOA PARKING Sweden AB (APCOA), has completed the acquisition of the Swedish parking operator XPERT Parkering AB (XPERT). XPERT manages around 40,000 parking spaces with a geographical focus on the Skåne region in southern Sweden.
"This acquisition combines the strengths of two well-matched companies and brings together two strong management teams with complementary skills and capabilities. Therefore, this acquisition is a further step towards expanding our position as a leading European provider of parking and mobility services," says Philippe Op de Beeck, CEO of the APCOA PARKING Group.
Last year, the APCOA PARKING Group acquired the leading parking operators NCPS in Ireland and Onepark A/S in Denmark. With the acquisition of XPERT, APCOA is strengthening its position in Sweden and creates a platform for further growth.
"APCOA and XPERT see the merger of these two companies as an opportunity to enhance and further expand our customer service strength in Sweden. With Zoran Ackovski and Klime Taskoski, we welcome the two former owners of XPERT joining our team. They both have a well-established track record in the parking industry and we look forward to working with them in the future. We welcome our new customers and partners to APCOA," says Bo Liliequist, CEO of APCOA PARKING Sweden.
APCOA PARKING Sweden
fredrik.westergard[at]apcoa.se | Tel: (+46) 8 556 306 70
About APCOA PARKING Sweden AB
APCOA PARKING Sweden is a leading provider of parking services in Sweden. The company’s focus is on the construction and operation of parking facilities. The company employs around 500 people and has almost 2,000 parking and surveillance operations in numerous Swedish cities. APCOA PARKING Sweden has a total sales revenue of approximately SEK 800 million.
APCOA PARKING Sweden is part of the APCOA PARKING Group, Europe's largest parking service provider; operating in 13 countries with a total of 5,000 employees. The total operation spans 9,500 locations and provides around 1,500,000 parking spaces.