Volvo Cars Autonomous Parking Concept

Volvo Car Group has developed an ingenious concept for autonomous parking. The concept car finds and parks in an open space by itself, without the driver …

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The autonomous parking car. Personally, I am pretty good at parking and getting in and out of tight spaces, but the number of people I see on the road who don’t have those skills is high.

I’m sure you could quote examples that you have seen just in the last week or two of people having to make multiple attempts at getting in and out of a car parking spot, perhaps holding up traffic or bumping into an adjacent car.

I’m not a big fan of having an autonomous car when it comes to actual driving. I enjoy driving, always have, from the day I turned 15 and got my Learner’s License (OK maybe even earlier on motor bikes and cars).

I made up all sorts of excuses as to why I had to borrow my father’s 4 liter Straight 6, 2 and a half ton family car. Most of the time I actually had nowhere to go at all, I just wanted to drive. I did live in a city where public transport was pretty pathetic, so sometimes I truly did need it.

Doubling the clutch, juggling the clutch, brake and accelerator on the very steep hill T intersection at the end of my street was good for an adrenalin rush in the big car and curbside parking was a challenge because it was difficult to see over the big guards, so I learned to make really good use of the 3 mirrors. I only pranged it once parking, following my mother’s instructions “You have plenty of room, oh sorry, you actually didn’t”. At least that saved me a hiding.

Today with automatic cars that hold their position when you stop on on a hill, people don’t need to have the same driving skills. Although this is a problem when they have to drive a manual car. A number of cars are now coming out with automatic parking, which is cool. Not as cool as this Volvo video though.

I used to have a car with remote start and I loved it when it was in the company car-park outside my first floor window, or at the mall and someone leaned on it. They would always get a good fright. I’d love to have my car drop me outside the front door or my destination and then park itself, subsequently coming back to pick me up.

That would be a good starting feature towards autonomous cars  that could be introduced today. It would certainly be a cool factor for those who could afford it, because I’m sure it won’t be available at entry level.

I’d be very interested in the view of the insurance companies, because this isn’t anything remotely like today’s examples of standing your car next to the space you want and then allowing it to park for you.This car appears to be trolling for a car park and then telling you where it parked. What if it takes the boss’ park, or parks in a mobility park or a loading zone? How does it get through the payment barrier at the airport and come and find me? What happens when someone else wants the same park? Lots of questions which I’m sure will be answered.

I like the direction this is going. Let’s answer one question at a time. With so many people who aren’t great drivers, who are poor at parking in tight spaces, or at all, this will be a popular feature.

As to the example of being able to do anything you like when a car is driving itself, tuck that steering wheel away. Who could sit in front of steering wheel and not have your hands on it? “You can do anything you like when the car is driving itself”. The poor guy only had room to put his hands on his knees, he didn’t even have enough room to fold his arms. What else could he do while a steering wheel is turning in front of him?

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About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
This entry was posted in Autonomous cars, Driverless car, Motoring, the future and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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