Audi Will Test Self-Parking Cars at Assembly Row Somerville  


Audi will work with Somerville to test self-parking cars at Assembly Row.
Courtesy release by Boston Business Journal


Somerville will serve as a testing ground for the new technology.


Mayor Joseph Curtatone: “Cars that park themselves without you in them? Honestly, how cool is this? We’re really gaining recognition as a forward-thinking city where new ideas can flourish.”


Imagine in the future that you need to go to the store, but you don’t want to worry about parking. So you drop your car off in front of the store and your car parks itself in a nearby parking space.
That could soon become a reality for one Massachusetts city. Audi recently announced that it will be testing that technology in Somerville after Audi CEO Rupert Stadler and Mayor Joseph Curtatone signed an agreement that will let the German car maker use Somerville as a testing ground. The two announced the deal at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona.
Courtesy photo/Audi
As part of the deal, Audi and Somerville will create “an urban strategy” for applying technologies such as automated parking and networking cars with traffic lights.
“The intelligent car can unfold its enormous potential only in an intelligent city,” said Stadler in a statement. “Our joint work on urban innovations and the exchange and analysis of data are the key to beneficial swarm intelligence.”
The goal, according to the program, is to develop innovations that both reduce the space requirement of cars in the city and increase the speed of traffic flow.
A key part of the plan is to integrate its traffic-light assistant technology into soon-to-be-redeveloped neighborhoods such as Union Square, helping traffic flow faster. The traffic-light technology shows the ideal speed for reaching the next lights on green.
But a key part of the futuristic Somerville-Audi partnership is the automated parking technology. Audi will test the technology out at the gigantic mixed-use Assembly Square project.
Audi claims a fleet of self-parking cars would save space and reduce costs in Assembly Row “up to a theoretical amount of $100 million, and could be managed intelligently by means of an exclusive sharing arrangement.”
Representatives from Audi and the city of Somerville were not immediately available for comment.

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