BMW, Valeo to Deliver Self-Driving Parking

The pair will work together to develop fully automated parking operations in public garages

Graham Hope

February 20, 2023

2 Min Read

German automaker BMW and French parts supplier Valeo are teaming up to deliver automated parking services.

The deal serves as an extension of an existing partnership to develop driving assistance tech, software and sensors for BMW’s upcoming Neue Klasse platform for electric models.

Now the pair have confirmed they will work together to develop fully automated parking operations in public garages that use both sensors on cars and site infrastructure.

The software functionality will be based on the current automated parking software stack first launched with the BMW iX in 2021, which delivers some parking assistance maneuvers in specific circumstances. In the next generation, it will be extended by a powerful computing platform hosting jointly developed algorithms.

BMW and Valeo’s service will mirror – and rival – the partnership currently in place between Mercedes and Bosch.

In December, the pair announced they had been approved to launch the world’s first commercial Level 4 automated valet parking service at a garage in Stuttgart Airport, Germany. Level 4, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers, is when a car is in control of driving itself in a specific area.

Bosch has subsequently announced its intention to introduce the tech more widely in partnership with car park operator APCOA, with plans to roll the system out in facilities in several German cities before scaling worldwide.

Related:Bosch, Mercedes Launches Commercial Automated Valet Parking Service

Automated valet parking allows drivers to book a space in advance via their smartphone and then leave their vehicle in a garage’s designated drop-off zone. The system then enables the car to park itself and the driver can leave the garage. A similar process occurs on the driver’s return to the garage. To optimize the use of the parking time, additional services like fully automated charging or fully automated washing can be deployed.

According to the draft of an imminent ISO standard, automated valet parking solutions will be considered in two main categories, Type 1 and Type 2. For a Type 1 system, the necessary technologies (including all sensors, computing units and algorithms) run on the vehicle while for a Type 2 system, the required technologies are installed in the relevant infrastructure. The BMW / Valeo partnership will support both.

Once the system is fully developed, Valeo will make it available to other automakers.

“With scalable L4 parking experiences, we confirm and strengthen our leading position in this domain,” said Nicolai Martin of the BMW Group. “To create truly amazing end-user functions, state-of-the-art software and hardware is needed in all aspects of the digital value chain, as well as the power of a fleet data ecosystem.”

And for Valeo, Marc Vrecko added: “Building on already commercialized stack components, this cooperation will leverage our knowhow and technologies, such as advanced AI-based computer vision algorithms, and enable us to extend our portfolio to L4 functions as well as into cloud services.”

About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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