A newly developed parking guidance system is making its series production debut in the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class this autumn. The system uses radar technology to help the driver find a suitable parking space and park the vehicle.
When driving past at a speed of up to around 40 km/h, side-mounted radar sensors in the front and rear bumpers of the new luxury coupé measure whether the parking spaces on the driver and front passenger sides are sufficiently large for the vehicle. Once the system has found a suitable parking space on the front passenger side, a blue "P" symbol appears in the instrument cluster if the vehicle speed is below 16 km/h. Parking spaces on the driver’s side are shown if the indicator on that side is operated.
Once the driver has stopped the coupé in the position shown on the display and engaged reverse gear, the display shows a symbolic, bird’s-eye-view representation of the parking situation. Coloured guide lines show the driver how best to park: a red line indicates the current steering angle, while a yellow line shows the steering angle required for parking. The driver now turns the steering wheel until the two lines coincide, and can then begin to reverse slowly. As soon as the ideal and actual steering angles coincide, the guide lines on the display change to green. When reversing, an acoustic signal informs the driver when it is time to countersteer.
During the parking manoeuvre, the guidance system continuously monitors the steering angle and vehicle position. If the driver stops before reaching the recommended position, for example, the system automatically recalculates the ideal steering angle for smooth parking.
The new radar-based parking guidance system, which will be optionally available for the CL-Class from the end of 2006, works in tandem with the Parking Assist feature familiar from the S-Class. This system uses radar to measure the distance to obstacles in front of and behind the car, informing the driver by means of the display and an intermittent acoustic warning.