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Self Parking Cars Coming to Parking Space Near You

Self Parking Cars Coming to Parking Space Near You

Self parking cars. Auto makers are not kidding. Just about the time I think I have seen everything, along comes a new technology meant to make our lives easier. This time it is the self parking car. Actually a self parking car is not a totally new technology as its been used in Japan for more than two years. Now luxury car maker, Lexus has introduced the self-parking option on one of its luxury sedans in the U.S. This self parking option is bundled with several other options and comes with a price tag of $4,000 to $5,000.

A demonstration of this self parking option revealed the use of sensors, gears, rear mounted cameras and a computer program that all work together to take the pain out of parallel parking. The computer program and monitors constantly scan for available parking spaces that fit the size criteria for parallel parking the vehicle. When a suitable parking space is located, the driver is notified via a computer screen. Then the driver activates the auto parking option and lets go of the steering wheel and takes their foot off the gas pedal. Using the brake to regulate the speed of parallel parking, the driver watches while the car expertly goes into reverse and backs into the selected parking space. A calm and slightly seductive female voice then announces that parking guidance has been completed. All the driver has to do is place the car in drive and pull slightly forward, straightening the car out in the parking space. The manufacturers note that this technology is not suitable for parallel parking on hills.

So who needs an advanced parking system like this? Well certainly lazy drivers do. Those that just can’t wait to have the latest and greatest gadgets will adore this gadget and will probably offer to drive the office gang to lunch a little more just to ensure their friends get to experience this technological wonder. Drivers with neck problems would benefit from this also. But are folks with impairments to turning their necks supposed to be driving vehicles? So who will truly benefit from this self parking car option? I wager that there are a lot of folks out there just like me who are awful parallel parkers. We would rather drive around the block or walk a greater distance than have to endure the stress of parallel parking. This anxiety producing activity is only made worse when driving a larger vehicle or SUV. I personally can’t wait until they make this option available at a price everyone can afford. I hope that this option will come down in price as it is on the market longer. Perhaps it will follow the path of the calculator, which also entered the market as a rather pricey piece of technology. Last time I looked, calculators could be found at the local mega mart for about two dollars.

The self parking car option, also called the advanced parking system, is currently available on the Lexus sedan in the U.S. It has been available in Japan on the Toyota Prius at a price tag for the option of approximately $700. Look for this option to enter the U.S. market on a wider basis very soon.

If self parking cars are here, you can bet that self driving cars are already on the horizon.