VW Testing Autonomous Airport Parking

Tired of puttering around looking for a parking space and then dragging your luggage miles to the terminal? Volkswagen is testing out autonomous parking at the Hamburg Airport.

VW says Germans spend 41 hours a year looking for a parking space. Of course, that’s more efficient than the Brits at 44 hours, and the “why do you even try” 107 hours that New Yorkers spend looking for parking. Volkswagen wants to give you back some of that time. The new pilot project is testing out autonomous parking with VW, Audi, and Porsche vehicles letting them find a space while you get on with your day.

Johann Jungwirth, Chief Digital Officer of the Volkswagen Group, says: “With new mobility solutions we want to give people more time and quality of life by reducing the time spent and stress in road traffic. Our vision is mobility that is available to everyone, everywhere and at all times at the press of a button – and autonomous vehicles play a decisive role here. People currently spend around 30 percent of their driving time in urban areas looking for a parking space. Autonomous parking like we are testing here at Hamburg Airport is an important step on the way to autonomous driving.”

In the test, users book a space at the airport from home via an app. Then they just leave their car at the parking garage entrance. Everything else is automatic. The car will even find a space with a charge point if it’s an EV. It’s not clear who is going to plug the car in, however.

VW will also allow parcels and dry cleaning to be delivered to the parked car. Although having your clothes and packages delivered to a car that is sitting in an airport garage doesn’t sound all that great.

When you arrive, send a message using the app and the car will meet you at the garage exit.

The to-car delivery service is going to be available elsewhere in Hamburg, in partnership with DHL. The We Deliver service will let the parcel service drop a package in your boot around the city using the app.

VW subsidiary MAN will also test autonomous trucks in the port of Hamburg.