Mercedes has been offering parking assistance systems for a while now, and the newest system in the brand new Mercedes S-Class offers a true remote parking function that does not even require you to be inside, or near the vehicle.
Many other Mercedes models are expected to take advantage of this very system in a few year’s time, but even now modern Mercedes models are capable of self-parking capabilities with little driver involvement using the Mercedes PARKTRONIC Active Parking assist feature.
In today’s day and age of ADAS, and Tesla paving the way towards an autonomous future, these types of technologies are going to become more and more common. But no matter the case, you will always have to be the one responsible, so consider these systems as assistant systems, not driver replacement systems.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Mercedes E-Class, S-Class, CLS-Class and a few SUV models also offer a specific app that enable you to remotely navigate the car in and out of tight parking spaces and garages.
Mercedes W223 S-Class AVP system
One of, if not the most impressive feature of the W223 S-class is the AVP (Automated Valet Parking) system co-developed by Mercedes and BOSCH. In Mercedes-Benz language, the system is called INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT and it enables the S-Class to drive and park itself through a smartphone app.
Mercedes says that the S-Class has reached the peak of driving luxury, so Mercedes decided to make even the parking experience a feast of luxury and technology. This project aims to make the entire Stuttgart airport car garage a completely autonomous parking lot without any driver involvement whatsoever.
Mercedes has released a video portraying the new S-Class leaving the driver on a designated spot, and the car itself goes away and searches for an appropriate space to park. Later the driver comes back to that very spot, and his S-Class is there to greet him.
These technologies are incredibly advanced and impressive. Not many car manufacturers besides Mercedes, BMW, and Tesla with the ‘’Summon’’ feature are attempting to truly utilize such functionality.
Mercedes PARKTRONIC with Active Parking Assist
A more widespread parking assistance technology offered by Mercedes is the Mercedes PARKTRONIC system. This system is available on many newer Mercedes models, and the goal of this system is to completely smooth out the parallel parking experience, especially because some Mercedes models are huge.
The system works at speeds below 20mph, and the system will alert you if it reckons a decently sized parking space is available. Once you reach this stage, you will have to put the car in reverse, and the system will ask you if you want to utilize the PARKTRONIC feature.
Say yes and the system will completely operate the steering, but you still have to operate the gas and brake pedals. The system will tell you when to go forward or backward, just follow the instructions and you should be perfectly parked in a matter of seconds.
After you reach the desired position, the system will tell you that the PARKTRONIC system is finished. You are also able to exit the parking space with this feature, and if you take control of the steering wheel at any point, the system will stop functioning instantly.
Necessity/Reliability of the self/remote parking systems
According to AAA, as much as 80% of Americans are confident in their parking abilities which raises the question of the necessity of these systems. And it’s not as if people did not do parallel parking years before these systems were introduced.
But many things have changed, and many modern-day cars are extremely large and fairly limited by visibility. So there is some logic behind these systems after all. According to a few online outlets these systems are also fairly reliable, even though there were some instances in which people complained that these systems park too close to the curb.
As these types of technologies continue to progress, they will become more and more advanced, and more and more cars will start utilizing them. We are slowly, incredibly slowly, but almost surely moving towards a completely autonomous future, and systems like these might eventually take over completely.
Does the Mercedes PARKTRONIC system work for parallel parking only?
The initial purpose of this system was solely based around assistance in a parallel parking scenario, but, as time went on Mercedes has broadened the spectrum in which these systems are able to assist. This means that the PARKTRONIC system can assist you in almost every parking situation you might face.
Also, all the earlier systems were aimed to assist in parallel parking situations, but only in designated car parks, and at the side of the road. Newer systems can parallel park the car in many other situations as well.
Is the Mercedes PARKTRONIC feature worth the money?
If you are going to parallel park your car often, then maybe. And most people tend not to parallel park all the time. These systems require a bunch of sensors, and they cost a pretty penny, so if you are not going to utilize such functions regularly, you are better of spending that money on something a bit more useful.
Mercedes will tell you that these systems are necessary for all newer Mercedes models, especially the larger ones. But, new Mercedes models also come equipped with 360 cameras, and all-around parking sensors which are proven and regularly utilized for virtually all parking situations possible.
Is Mercedes PARKTRONIC better than Tesla SUMMON?
The Tesla SMART SUMMON feature is pitched as a far more advanced version of PARKTRONIC and Active Parking Assist. This system is more closely matched with the Mercedes INTELLIGENT PARK PILOT as it even enables the car to actively look for the driver on the parking lot itself.
The point of this system is that the car is able to drive itself for as much as 200 feet, so the owner does not have to walk to the car when wanting to leave. But these systems are not perfect, and a bunch of online videos suggests that many Teslas have found themselves driving into other cars or garage walls.
These systems are only intended for private garage use, a geofenced area that complies with all the variables of the system. And you will always be responsible for any potential damages, so use these systems with a grain of salt.