Driverless parking gets green light in Germany

The world’s first automated driverless parking function has been officially approved for commercial use after Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority green-lighted the Mercedes-Benz/Bosch automated parking system in a parking garage at Stuttgart Airport.

However, while this represents a significant breakthrough in automated driving, Thatcham Research has warned that there are still questions around liability that need to be addressed in the UK market.

Chief research strategy officer Matthew Avery said: “Mercedes-Benz continues to break new ground in Germany, with this announcement following approval of its ‘L3’ Drive Pilot system. Since the car is doing all the unsupervised driving, the Intelligent Park Pilot function effectively delivers full ‘L4’ Automation for the first time anywhere in the world.

“It’s also an application that many drivers will appreciate. Parking can be stressful and accounts for around a quarter of crashes in the UK. And so, the car taking over this task is something that many will see the benefit to, especially in multi-story environments.

“This is good news for the adoption of automated driving technology, as it demonstrates a relatively safe and advantageous use case to drivers.

“However, there needs to be clarity for the UK insurance market since the carmaker will be liable if there’s a collision. So, whilst insurers will initially settle claims, they will want clear subrogation channels with carmakers, and this is yet to be defined in the UK market.”