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07 August 2013

Is a Self Parking Volvo in Your Future? (With Video)

Words by Jose Carlo R. Sapera

Photos courtesy of Volvo Car Corporation

volvo self parkParking your car can be challenging at times. You drive into the mall parking area during peak hours and waste hours to find a spot. Too time consuming, frustrating and just ruins the day, if you ask me. Having your ride valet parked while an option poses its own sets of risks though too. What if, one day, all you have to do is walk away and let your car park itself? Sounds impossible?

Well, not anymore. Thanks to Volvo.

The Swedish car maker recently showcased its “self-parking” concept car that interacts with other road users.

This is how it works: first, the driver is informed by the Vehicle 2 Infrastructure technology if the service is available. Once ready, the driver gets out of the vehicle in front of the mall or hotel entrance (for example), navigates the smart phone to activate the self-park function, and lets the car find a spot all by itself. Owners are prompted if the car is parked securely and its exact location. They can retrieve their car at the exact same place where they were dropped-off by reversing the said process or simply tap the application and walk towards the slot where it is parked if they choose to do so.

A video released by Volvo shows that it can do reverse parking. We wonder if it can tackle parallel parking too. No worries of hitting a car or a running child as it is equipped with sensors and automatic braking system. There’s no need to build special facilities or platforms for this as well, because the current parking structures or layouts can be used - saving money and time.

According to Volvo, the development of independent driving plays a big role in their aim to have the safest cars in the world by 2020 - with no reports of fatalities or injuries involving a Volvo vehicle.

This high-tech feature sounds enticing, agree?

Perhaps one day, a driver-less car will become common place. And, while this option won’t be part the package quite just yet, an “autonomous steering” is said to become available for the next-generation XC90 some time next year.