Mercedes-Benz is working on a cloud-based parking spot database populated with real-time updates from its cars as they drive past empty parking stalls.

The technology is being developed in partnership with Mercedes-Benz’ parts supplier Robert Bosch GmbH and aims to reduce the time required for drivers to find open parking spots in high-traffic urban centres, reports Bloomberg.

Once up and running, the system will use ultra-sound sensors mounted on the exterior of Mercedes cars to scan for and identify parking spots that are big enough to fit a full-size vehicle. The sensors will be capable of scanning for empty spots at speeds of up to 55 kilometers per hour.

The technology will be developed in two stages: in the first stage, the system will share the probability of finding a space on a specific street, showing diminished chances as time passes since the spot was first identified; in the second stage the car’s navigation screen will show real-time updates of parking spot locations as they are identified by other Mercedes cars in the area.

“Nearly all of our Mercedes-Benz cars are connected,” said Sajjad Kahn, Mercedes’ head of digital vehicle and mobility.

“If a car then also has the right sensors, it’s logical to try and use the data generated while driving past to help speed up the search for a parking spot.”

A reduction in the time required for drivers to find parking spots will also yield a reduction in overall vehicle emissions, as cars spend less time circling city streets in search of an empty spot.

(Bloomberg with photo via Mercedes-Benz)