31. August 2021 | Press releases:

Intelligent parking of the future Vehicles autonomously find their place in the Braunschweig research parking garage

Parking autonomously without the hassle of searching for a parking space –  Scientists at the Technical University of Braunschweig have made this vision of autonomous parking a reality. The parking garage at the airport became a test zone for over two years as part of the SynCoPark research project. The results were presented today.

Autonomous driving on the highway and in urban traffic is an integral part of the TU Braunschweig’s mobility research focus. With autonomous parking and the SynCoPark project, short for “Synergies from cooperation and standardization in manufacturer-independent automated parking”, a further component was added in 2018. As part of the project, scientists from the TU Braunschweig and various industry representatives worked together to ensure that through standardization autonomous parking would soon be available more widely. The aim was to carry out parking operations at different levels of automation independently of the vehicle manufacturer, infrastructure service provider and parking garage operator.

The tests took place in the newly built research parking garage at Braunschweig Airport. In consultation with the city, Braunschweig Research Airport and Braunschweiger Parken GmbH, the structural requirements for research operations were created there. Several parking spaces were made available to the Lower Saxony Vehicle Technology Research Center (NFF) of the Technical University of Braunschweig as a test field for parking operations, and corresponding digital infrastructure such as laser scanners and cameras were installed.

Specially equipped research vehicles were used to test various combinations of vehicle- and infrastructure-based “intelligence” for automation in a protected space and in mixed traffic. For the researchers, one of the challenges of autonomous parking in parking garages was to develop reliable systems for localization and communication, since localization with GPS is not possible in parking garages.

Apart from technical aspects related to parking garages, economic and legal issues were also addressed. “The development toward intelligent parking garages will change existing business models and give rise to new ones,” sums up Prof. Dr. David Woisetschläger from the Technical University of Braunschweig, who is also involved as Chair of Service Management. “Resulting services were designed and then empirically examined in terms of intention to use as well as willingness to pay.” One result: parking garages can, for example, become hubs for passenger and goods transport, for services or become filling stations for alternatively powered vehicles.

At the same time, accompanying legal research was conducted by the Mobility Law Research Center to clarify the resulting complex legal issues. Who owns which rights, and what responsibilities arise in mixed traffic operations in future parking garages with so-called “Automated Valet Parking” (AVP)?

Project manager Prof. Dr.-Ing. Roman Henze explains one of the most sustainable results of the research project: “The results and systems developed in SynCoPark provide important contributions to ongoing standardization efforts of automated valet parking and ensure the transferability of the results to existing parking garages through retrofit solutions.” Henze, who heads the research field “Intelligent Vehicle and Connected Driving” at the NFF, gives a concrete example: “The transfer of the functionality and hardware to the Elbphilharmonie parking garage in Hamburg, which will conclude the project, ensures proof of the general applicability of the technologies and communication interfaces developed in the project. After completion of the project, a demonstration of the AVP functionalities is also planned for the ITS World Congress in 2021.”

Project data:

SynCoPark was funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) with 2.5 million euros for 33 months (December 2018 to June 2021) from funds of the research program on “Automation and Networking in Road Traffic”.

In addition to the consortium leader, whose role is assumed by the Lower Saxony Vehicle Technology Research Center (NFF) of the Technical University of Braunschweig with the Institute of Vehicle Technology (IfF), the Institute of Automotive Economics and Industrial Production (AIP) and the Mobility Law Research Center, the project includes APCOA PARKING Deutschland GmbH, EDAG Engineering GmbH, GOLDBECK GmbH, NavCert GmbH and PRETHERM GmbH. Associated partners of the project are Allianz für die Region GmbH, ITS Deutschland GmbH, Leica Geosystems GmbH, Volkswagen AG and the BMW Group.