The Active Parking Assist from Mercedes-Benz recognizes empty parking spaces by simply passing them. That brought us to the idea: If the car knows where the empty parking spaces are – then everybody should know.
Just before Christmas when parking slots were hard to find, the Mercedes-Benz Tweet Fleet with its Active Parking Assist tweeted empty parking spaces in downtown Stuttgart.
The cars automatically generated a tweet with GPS data out of every empty parking space they passed. Via Arduino the onboard electronics were connected to a GPS/GPRS-Shield. Tweets were generated with a PHP Relay which sent the GPS-Data. This is how people could find empty parking spaces near them on twitter and even be navigated there by a linked Google map.
The press released this Christmas service the night before the promotion. Within a day, Mercedes-Benz Tweet Fleet was ranked top 3 of the most discussed topics in the German-speaking social web.
Not only did this bring the Active Parking Assist up for discussion, but it also proved the innovation leadership of Mercedes-Benz.