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Ericsson technology seeks out smartest and sunniest parking spots

The company has teamed up with Solar Team Eindhoven to demonstrate Solar Smart parking that autonomously drives a car to the parking spot with the most sunshine for recharging.

The Stella Era car which features Ericsson's Solar Smart parking technology
The Stella Era car which features Ericsson's Solar Smart parking technology

Ericsson is again collaborating with solar car developers Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) to harness the power of solar energy and the Internet of Things (IoT) for more sustainable transport solutions.


The team, a multidisciplinary group of students from the Technical University Eindhoven in the Netherlands, have developed the Stella Era solar car, which is capable of travelling 1800km in part through more efficient use of solar energy.


Smart parking


The car features Ericsson’s Solar Smart parking solution, which enables it to drive autonomously to a parking spot with the most sunshine in order to recharge its batteries. It can also share its energy with other electric vehicles that are parked next to it.

The Solar Smart parking solution is based on Ericsson’s Connected Vehicle Cloud, a digital service platform that enables vehicle manufacturers to develop and manage new services for connected vehicles.


“Ericsson supports the Solar Team Eindhoven not only because their innovative programme has strong links to our core business of IoT, cloud and mobile broadband, but because we strongly believe in the role of technology to contribute to a low-carbon society,” said Everth Flores, country manager, Ericsson Netherlands.


“The development of a solar car is an excellent example of our commitment to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through our innovative infrastructure solutions and partnerships, we are co-developing cases that can be scaled and inspire any entire industry.”


“We strongly believe in the role of technology to contribute to a low-carbon society”

The car recently won first prize in the Cruiser Class of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) for the fourth time in a row. It completed the more than 3,000km drive from Darwin to Adelaide with the highest efficiency score of all teams.

The students drove at an average speed of almost 80km/h and charged an additional 71.24 kWh over the entire distance via a charging station. As a comparison, an ordinary electric car, without solar panels, has to charge about ten times as much energy.

In preparation for the 2017 World Solar Challenge, which STE also won, Ericsson, along with several partners, developed a navigation software solution that supports the driver in taking the most weather efficient route, while observing the charge of the battery.


By collecting current weather and traffic data, Solar Navigator gives suggestions for the optimal route, which helps drivers make better decisions on things like speed and charging level.


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