Published: November 8, 2017, 2:08 PM ISD
For the first time in the Emirates remote parking system was tested at the International Conference for Future Mobility (ICFM) on the 7th of November. UAE continues to explore the latest in transport technology in its march to embrace smart mobility.
The mobile-app based parking system was on display at the conference and exhibition organized by the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA).
Developed by Mercedes Benz, the system that is already live on some of its European models, is going through trials and certification process in the UAE and could be available soon.
The Mercedes ‘me connect’ enables the user to park in any type of parking, including parallel, horizontal and angled, without any human interference.
The car locates a parking spot, and as the driver steps out and makes a circling sign on the ‘me connect’ app, the car man oeuvres on its own, reversing, forwarding, turning and finally smoothly slipping into a parking spot. The feature is particularly handy in congested areas of the city, where there are very narrow spaces to park. The system requires the driver to be within the radius of three meters, while the driver also has to keep circling on the mobile app when the car is maneuvering.Oliver Niederer demonstrates the Mercedes Benz ‘me connect’ system that lets a car maneuver into a parking spot without human interference.
“This feature is still not available in the UAE, we are currently working through the certification process, and we will soon make it available here,” said Oliver Niederer, a Mercedes ‘me connect’ executive.
Other car manufacturers too have autonomous parking feature, which is the first step towards fully automated driving. BMW launched a remote-based parking which works only in the garage.
Autonomous technology is still in different stages of development and it is developing fast. Though fully autonomous cars are already available, we are still not ready for roads. The technology will require a lot of steps before it is introduced on the roads. I feel driverless parking is the first natural step towards autonomous driving. This is the first time trials on autonomous features are happening in the UAE and I am sure we will continue to move forward,” said Abdullah Al Muaini, director-general of Esma.
Apart from autonomous vehicles, mobility sector has also been introducing hydrogen vehicles as well as having higher capacity electric and hybrid cars.
“Hydrogen fuel technology is another thing we are focusing on right now. We are in discussion with the industry leaders, experts and other government bodies to formulate regulations for hydrogen-powered vehicles and I believe by next year these vehicles will be on UAE roads,” said Al Muaini.
The exhibition also showcased advanced hybrid vehicles that could go up to 40km on just one litre of fuel, making a Dubai to Abu Dhabi trip at a cost of just Dhs 6.
Over the last 10 years, Dubai has saved around 6,000 tons of CO2 through 1,200 hybrid vehicles, mainly operating as taxis.