‘I have seen the future and it’s automatic valet parking,’ says DT

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Deutsche Telekom Global Services is at the centre of a project to develop an automated valet parking system for cars, that should be in place by 2024.

The company is developing the service with German carmaker BMW and French auto parts company Valeo, said Rolf Nafziger (pictured), CEO of Deutsche Telekom Global Services, at ITW on Wednesday.

“We are the commercial owner and we are the ones who will realise it,” Nafziger told Capacity at ITW, which takes place just outside Washington DC until Thursday.

“But we have not defined with it will be fully commercialised,” he added. “Valet parking will be just one service.”

DT Global Services has put together an alliance called Camara, with members including the GSMA; operators such as AT&T, Orange, Telefónica, Telus, TIM and Vodafone; vendors such as Ericsson, Intel and Nokia; and service providers such as IBM and Microsoft.

“This will only be feasible if it operates all over the world,” said Nafziger.

He pointed out that valet parking, by humans, is a mainly US institution, but that automated systems could make it available worldwide, for offices, airports and other locations. “It will convert and disrupt the way we park,” he said.

The so-far unnamed service will use open application programming interfaces (APIs) and 5G mobile technology, but he commented: “APIs were not very sexy in the past.”

Nafziger said: “The reality is that for the next steps we have to equip cars.” He was sure “carmakers will come”.

As a partner in the project, Valeo is already focused on automated parking. Intriguingly, six weeks ago the Orange board of directors proposed Jacques Aschenbroich, chairman and CEO of Valeo, as the new chairman of Orange.

The annual general meeting of Orange on 19 May will consider Aschenbroich as a director. If approved the board will later appoint him as its chair.