Remote parking is blocked by law in South Africa, and is preventing owners of certain cars from using the feature in the country.
This is according to a report by MyBroadband, which stated that owners of certain Mercedes-Benz models are not able to use their Remote Parking Assist service.
Remote Parking Assist lets drivers manoeuvre their car into a parking space remotely through a smartphone app – while standing up to three metres away from the vehicle.
The report looked a specific example of a South African user who purchased a Mercedes-Benz car and attempted to use the Remote Parking Assist feature.
When he opened the linked app, a notification was displayed that said: “South African law prohibits the use of Remote Parking Assist on public roads.”
The app to use the service is available on Android and iOS, while Mercedes-Benz charges R879 per year to keep the service active.
South African law
The blocking of remote parking is clear when looking at South Africa’s National Road Traffic Act.
This states that a person driving a vehicle on a public road cannot “cause or allow the engine thereof to run while the motor vehicle is stationary and unattended”.
Without a driver behind the wheel, a car therefore cannot have the engine running and be remotely piloted into a parking.
The report added that Mercedes-Benz South Africa does not indicate anywhere that its Remote Parking Assist is not available for use on the country’s public roads.
In fact, the marketing material for the service states it is a good tool to use to fit into tight parking spots in a city centre.
MyBroadband asked Mercedes-Benz South Africa for comment on the matter, but it did not provide feedback.