Park the car at the push of a button

On-board computers in cars can help you avoid traffic hot-spots but, once you’ve reached your destination you still face the daunting task of trawling through the local NCP for a parking space.

Such blood-boiling trauma could be banished forever, though, with DaimlerChrysler’s prototype parking destination guidance system.

The on-board computer, which is activated by the press of a button or voice command, sends the drivers request and vehicle location to the ‘parking headquarters’ via mobile radio.

The most suitable car park is then selected on the basis of information supplied by a database and the respective municipal or other parking guidance systems.

Parking capacity data is constantly kept up to date, since the parking headquarters calls up information from these guidance systems’ computers at regular intervals.

Parking capacities are also transmitted via Digital Audio Broadcast and can be called up on mobile telephone through SMS news bulletin network.

Once the parking headquarters has located a suitable carpark, it transmits the co-ordinates, through mobile radio, to the cars on-board computer.

Within about 15 seconds, the driver is given the information on the car parks destination along with the number of free spaces, parking fees and opening times.

Finally, the destination guidance system uses the car park co-ordinates to usher the driver to the car park.

DaimlerChrysler envisage a comprehensive traffic information network consisting of databases from public traffic authorities that can be implemented throughout Germany. Co-operative agreements with the cities of Stuttgart, Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt have already been established or are under negotiation.

It will be interesting, however, to witness the scene when a number of cars, all with the same device, hunt for a single parking space in the same vicinity at the same time.