When the concept of driverless cars was on the drawing boards of companies like General Motors, Google, Tesla, Amazon and other companies in the auto industry, most people were shaking their heads and saying “no way.” But driverless cars are not a concept anymore. They are a technological wonder, and those empty front seat cars will change the way people buy, drive and park. General Motors just put on $500 to partner with Lyft so they could go deeper into the driverless car craze. And Google has a leg up on the autonomous vehicle industry with their Waymo division.
But it’s not just the United States that is driverless car crazy. Europe is rolling up its tech sleeves, and companies like Daimler and Bosch are focusing on driverless parking lots. And driverless parking lots are not a thing of the future. The Daimler/Bosch automated valet system is open for business today in the parking garage at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. The Stuttgart, Germany garage will give drivers the opportunity to just drive up, get out of their vehicle, and let the automated valet system park their car on one of the several levels.
Museum visitors will get the chance to test this amazing technology in 2018. Visitors can reserve a car from the parking garage with the help of a smartphone app. The car autonomously goes to the pickup destination, and the car will return to the garage when the customer completes their personal mission. When the car returns to the parking lot, it will go to its assigned parking spot. The ability to do all that is compliments of the parking garage infrastructure and the car’s sensor system. Bosch makes the infrastructure components, and they work with the car technology in Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
The driverless parking garage idea is genius because that is where parts the auto industry is heading. Autonomous vehicle companies will offer a subscription service to customers, and that service will impact the sale of personal vehicles to mainstream consumers. The subscription service will also impact the airline, restaurant, entertainment and several other industries that rely on car sales and car ownership. It will be a win for some companies and a blow to the bottom line for others. Autonomous vehicles will open the door for a new travel age where butler service, catering, elderly care, and other personal perks can thrive. That new travel age is here, so people are buckling their seat belts and locking in some autonomous vehicle stock transactions.