Connected Car: The OEMs at CES 2016
Audi’s Self-parking Technology
Audi has always been a leader in adapting new technologies to its vehicles. But how about adapting Audi technology to a city? That is a bold, first-ever automaker move. Everyone knows how difficult it is to park around city centers. The Boston metropolitan area is the fastest-growing economic region in the U.S., after Silicon Valley. At the heart of this is Somerville, once an important rail transport junction, now a prospering suburb of Boston. “Somerville has a very young population. The proportion of Millennials – the generation born between 1980 and 2000 – is 43 percent, the second-highest in the USA. This generation pioneers the digitization and networking of society, making Somerville the ideal test laboratory for the future of urban mobility,” said Philip Parsons, an urban planner and strategic consultant who lives in Somerville. The city is a model for many others in North America. Around 60 million Americans live in cities of a similar size to Somerville. In the framework of the Urban Future Partnerships, Somerville is serving as a testing ground for new technologies with Audi. Together with specialists like Parsons, Audi technicians have analyzed the area around Union Square in Somerville, and produced solutions. One important factor is to defuse the critical parking situation. The frustrations of driving around in circles will cease in the future, when cars have an automated parking function: Audi’s calculations show that a parking garage can accommodate up to 60 percent more cars if they have a piloted driving capability and can park very close together. In this way, parking spaces can be transferred from the curbside to the garages. The aim is that parked cars or vehicles looking for a parking space will disappear from the city streets. Theoretically, we’ll only be left with UPS and FedEx trucks!