Volkswagen unveils car that parks itselfBut the technology is still in development

23 April 2008

The system will allow cars to park themselves

Volkswagen has unveiled a new system which will allow cars in the future to park themselves.

The carmaker says its ‘Park Assist Vision’ technology can independently guide a car into any parking space.

The driver can get out of the car, aim a remote control at it the vehicle and it then reverse parks itself into the available space.

The car will then cut the engine and activate the locks.

Exterior cameras

Two cameras located in the left and right exterior mirrors are responsible for gauging the dimensions of the parking space.

These are then analysed by a computer system which sends commands to the steering and drive systems.

Two additional cameras at the front and rear of the vehicle, together with ultrasound sensors, monitor the operation and stop the vehicle if necessary.

Volkswagen says the feature has the ability to guide a car with absolute precision into a narrow, perpendicular parking space – such as the ones found in parking lots and underground car parks.

Semi-automatic system

However, motorists will have to wait for this latest innovation as Volkswagen says the technology is still in the trial phase of development.

But it’s already launched a semi-automatic park-steering system - the ‘Park Assist’ - in its Touran, Tiguan, Passat and Passat estate to help drivers parallel park.

Which? motoring expert George Marshall-Thornhill has already tried out the semi-automatic version on the new Tiguan.

He said: 'The system worked well in our trial although we've yet to see how it fares in congested suburban areas. 

'It has the potential to take the hassle out of parking, and the option is well priced at around £500.'