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No more searching for parking spaces. The VW Group tests autonomous parking at Hamburg Airport

On average Germans spend 41 hours a year looking for a parking space, the British spend 44 hours and residents of New York even spend 107 hours a year. The Volkswagen Group wants to give this time back to its customers and it has a clear vision: in the 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 from the Volkswagen Group shows how this is possible. In a multi-storey car park near the terminal of Hamburg Airport experts are currently 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. And then there will be an end to the search for parking spaces and passengers can head straight to the terminal.

Johann Jungwirth, Chief Digital Officer of the Volkswagen Group, said: “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 shown here, users can book a parking space at Hamburg Airport conveniently 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. But that’s not all: while the vehicle owner is away, parcels ordered are delivered to the vehicle boot and the dry cleaning service hangs freshly laundered clothes straight in the vehicle. Upon return, the driver simply sends a brief message via the app and a short time later the vehicle is ready to drive home at the exit of the car park. And the billing is also fast and without queuing at the parking machine – needless to say, via the app.

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