VW Group is currently testing autonomous parking at Hamburg Airport in Germany, and is to open a Competence Center in Lisbon, Portugal.
Based on a map of the parking lot at the airport, a selection of Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles navigate their way to a parking space without the guidance of a driver. Orientation is provided by simple pictorial markers installed in the multi-story parking lot. The function is set to be available for the first customers in selected multi-story parking lots from 2020.
Johann Jungwirth, chief digital officer of VW Group, said, “Autonomous parking can make an important contribution to creating convenient, stress-free mobility for our customers. We therefore want to democratize the technology and make it accessible to as many people as possible.”
The autonomous parking is to be introduced in stages. In the first stage it will be possible to use the function in selected multi-story parking lots in an exclusive traffic flow, that is, in separate areas of the parking lot not accessible to people.
Before operation in traffic begins, the autonomous parking system is being extensively tested at different places worldwide including thousands of parking procedures. In parallel with this, safeguarding of the system through simulation is also underway.
The next stage will be operation in mixed traffic, that is, vehicles parking and moving autonomously in the same areas of the parking lot as cars with drivers.
The auto maker is also developing a software development center for VW Group and MAN Truck & Bus IT in Lisbon, Portugal. Around 300 IT specialists, software engineers, web developers and UX designers will be based at the new facility. Their work will focus on the development of cloud-based software solutions for further digitization of corporate processes within the group and the connected vehicle.
Martin Hofmann, chief information officer (CIO) of the Volkswagen Group, commented, “We want to recruit highly qualified, highly motivated IT specialists in Portugal. We are transferring the success story of our Berlin digital labs to Portugal, combining exciting tasks with the most advanced agile working methods of the IT scene.”
MAN Truck & Bus’s CIO, Stephan Fingerling, said, “We are gradually moving away from being a commercial vehicle manufacturer with a focus on hardware to become a provider of sustainable and intelligent transportation solutions. Digital services have an important part to play in this transformation.
“We already offer a wide range of online services for trucks in the form of RIO and MAN DigitalServices. Since 2017, our customers have been able to access the corresponding cloud-based services with any new MAN truck in Europe as standard. The new IT center in Lisbon will propel us considerably further on this journey.”