Mercedes-Benz MBUX user interface
In the near future, Mercedes-Benz cars will tell drivers the safest place to park to avoid crime-filled and unsafe areas. New technology from the brand is under development to reference police statistics and highlight the best parking areas.
According to Drive, which reported on the technology Tuesday, Mercedes' future nav system would look at areas where drivers could be most likely to encounter vandalism, assault, and other crimes. It would then show parking spaces and areas in a color-coded format. Green means the area is recommended, yellow means it's OK, but another area is more suitable, while red means "you don’t want to go there," Mercedes software developer Markus Ehmann said.
Ehmann added the team is able to analyze data showing what kind of crime and how much has happened in a particular spot over the last weeks. The first trials came from open data in Seattle, Washington, which software engineers cross-referenced with parking spaces at a target location.
The system is still under development and will likely be limited to certain areas when it does launch, though it's unclear when Mercedes may officially begin rolling the service out. The service will have to rely on up-to-date data, however, and can't rely on just annual reporting.
The technology is somewhat similar to a patent ride-sharing company Uber filed for earlier this year. Uber's technology could give riders the option to select routes outside of unsafe areas and opt out of rides in older cars. The technology stirred controversy for discriminating against Uber drivers that may operate older vehicles.
Critics added the option to avoid "unsafe" areas will obviously lead to skipping routes through poorer areas. Uber's technology would take governmental data, social media, news media, and academic data into account to compile "incidents of violent crime" or "negative or positive news stories" about a location.