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Self-Parking Cars Coming To U.S. 610

Posted by samzenpus
from the parking-is-hard dept.
Rio writes "Vehicles that are able to parallel park themselves while drivers sit and relax behind the wheel are coming to the United States, according to a Local 6 News report. New Toyota hybrid cars are now available in Britain with a $700 "parking assist" option. Local 6 news showed video of a driver sitting and allowing the car's steering wheel to turn on its own as it pulled into a tight parking spot on a London street. The reporter never touched the wheel as the car parked itself.Toyota says expect to see the technology pop up in the U.S. soon." Here is our previous coverage of their release in Japan.
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Self-Parking Cars Coming To U.S.

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  • by RedHatLinux (453603) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:19AM (#15063716) Homepage
    Now, I can relax and not have to worry about learning how to parallel park in the city.
    • Re:Thank you Jesus (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:35AM (#15063781) Homepage Journal
      I never understood how it can be THAT HARD.

      1. Pull up next to the car in front of the parking space, to where a 1" of your ass end "hangs" behind the said parked car.
      2. Put car into reverse
      3. Turn the wheel slowly and release the break slowly so that you enter the parking space at ~60 degrees
      4. When you are 1" away from the curb, slowly bring the wheel back to rest state
      5. Enjoy your parked car


      If you can't master this after about three attempts, let's just say I would recommend a nice icepick lobotomy.
      • I've seen people parallel park and hit a car when they had roughly 10 car lengths between the two said cars.

        That was a new level of sad.

      • The last time I had to parallel park was when I took the driving test for my driver's license. That was a long time ago.
      • I had to commute to college. I could either spend $200+ for a parking garage spot/quarter (those bastards!) or I could park on the street (i.e. parallel park most of the time). So I practiced for a week and never payed for the garage and just parallel parked every morning, no computers, no rear view cameras, just my head and my hands and feet (wow, what a concept!).

        If someone so un-coordinated as me can do it, anyone can do it. So in the end after a week of practice and 5 years later I ended up with $200/q

      • Re:Thank you Jesus (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jeremi (14640) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:23AM (#15063982) Homepage
        When you are 1" away from the curb, slowly bring the wheel back to rest state


        That is the tricky part there. How do you know how close to the curb you are? If you have a good sense of spatial reasoning, you may have a "feel" for it, but a lot of people don't have that skill. The view shown in your mirrors is misleading. If the curb isn't too tall, you can do it "by feel"... you know you're at the curb when the back right tire pushes up against it. On the other hand, if you are parking next to a wall, that's a good way to scrape up your rear fender.


        It's not terribly hard with practice, but it does take some skill and if you're not good at it you risk damaging your car, someone else's car, or pissing people off as they wait to pass while you mess it up and have to try again. That's more stress than many people want to have, so I can see why they might like this device.

      • by gameforge (965493) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:09AM (#15064280) Journal
        If you can't master this after about three attempts, let's just say I would recommend a nice icepick lobotomy.

        And after three attempts, the guy waiting behind you might just be ready & willing.
    • by basingwerk (521105) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @04:51AM (#15064555)
      What is the point of having sensors and computers when it is so easy in my beat-up Toyota? Just back up until you feel a slight jolt from the car behind, or the alarm goes off, then pull forward a few inches.
  • A Tight Spot??? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wellerite (935166) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:19AM (#15063718)
    a tight parking spot You must be joking - you could fit a Hummer in that spot.
    • Re:A Tight Spot??? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:30AM (#15063759) Journal
      Indeed. Call me when somebody builds a car that's actually designed for parallel parking---direct drive on all four wheels and wheels that rotate a full 90 degrees.... Then it will be interesting. Until my car can move straight sideways, I'm rolling my eyes instead. :-)

      • It could be coming. [wikipedia.org]

        Its not exaactly what you ordered, as the rear wheels don't steer, AFAIK. But it does have such a negligible turning radius that you could literally drive forward into a parking spot, and then turn the car... well, any way you wanted.

        Too bad the thing looks like a baby carriage. Probably has the crash rating of one too.
      • wheels that rotate a full 90 degrees...

        Great, until a software glitch causes this "feature" to kick in at highway speeds... now that I'd like to see.
        • Err, where did he say he wanted software control on his wheels? It's no more likely for your wheels to suddenly and unexpectedly turn 90 degress than it is for them to suddenly turn 30 degrees in your current car. Either one would screw you up on a highway.
      • Re:A Tight Spot??? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:52AM (#15064079) Homepage
        I distinctly remember a car from the 50's which had a 5th wheel which would come out the back. This allowed you to drive head-first into a parking spot, then flip a switch to cause the hydrolic wheel to come down and swing the back end off the car until it was parallel.

        Does anyone else remember this car? Any footage or info online?
        • 1933 Dymaxion Car (Score:5, Informative)

          by mzs (595629) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:58AM (#15065924)
          I think you are thinking of Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion Car. There are some videos of it here at the American Master's site, but not of it parking. Though there is one of it pulling a tight U-turn around a police officer. I do think this is the same car I saw a video of where the car came in at an angle and then turned it's rear wheel and eased it's back in to parallel park. There is a bit more info on wikipedia too [wikipedia.org]. (also here [washedashore.com] and here [3wheelers.com])
    • by Anonymous Coward
      A Hummer will fit anywhere. Just drive over the other cars parked there.
      • A Hummer will fit anywhere. Just drive over the other cars parked there.

        I think you're confusing the highly durable military grade Humvees against the vastly inferior (and overpriced) consumer edition. My sister-in-law was an army sgt. and says you could literally drive a mil-spec Humvee down a hill into a tree and the car would be fine. Attach a snorkel and the damn thing can go thru deep water. And up on top, you can mount a friggin' machine gun.

        None of the above applies to the horrendously fragile

    • by lastberserker (465707) <babanov AT earthlink DOT net> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:13AM (#15064296) Homepage Journal
      Tight spot or not, Shaolin training is the answer to your problems: just watch the last 10 seconds of the trailer here [apple.com] and learn! ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm surprised Toyota's insurers are allowing this. I imagine that every person who gets touched by one of those things moving on its own will sue for $millions.

    dom
  • Smarter cars (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:22AM (#15063731)
    Smarter cars will just make dumber drivers.
    • Maybe in the short term, but once the car vs. human war really kicks off natural selection will kick in and start weeding out the stupids.

      If you don't know what I'm talking about, think about this: If cars can park themselves what do they need humans for? .. ..

      The answer is lots of things, but nevermind that. Anime and Asimov have taught us that autonomous machines will inevitably rise up against us, this self parking thing is just the first of several tiny robot steps into a dark, tentacle-rape filled fu
      • Anime and Asimov have taught us that autonomous machines will inevitably rise up against us, this self parking thing is just the first of several tiny robot steps into a dark, tentacle-rape filled future.

        I'd recommend Daniel Wilson's How To Survive a Robot Uprising [amazon.com] . It has the skills you need to protect yourself when the metal ones come for you.

    • Agree. There will have cars that will slow down or speed up to keep pace with the trafic. Then they will have cars that stay in their own lane automatically, cars that warn the driver if there is a person behind when backing up. All this means is that there will be more and more reliance on software to keep people's lives safe. And if companies will want to cut corners here and there and will just install Windows or Linux on the computer they won't stay business for long. Even Linux is not good enough (/duc
    • Not everyone is born with perfect parking skills and abilities, but practically everybody has to drive if s/he wants to work in a city. Would you force a genius violinist to suffer parallel parking trial each day if he just can't figure out how to do the damn thing - despite him fiddling quite well on his Stradivari?

      This is not a contrived example. When many years ago I went to get my drivers' license someone else, a man about 30 years old, failed the test. He then proceeded to complain louldly: "How co

    • If this trend continues, someday kids won't know how to adjust the spark advance to match the engine RPM, or patch an inner tube, or adjust the fuel idle mixture based on the temperature and humidity!

      Imagine a driver who can't fashion a new engine bearing from with a coffee can and a tin snips, and can't fill an acetylene running lamp!

      The horror!
    • Re:Smarter cars (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jayloden (806185)
      Maybe it's just me, but it seems to me like driving a vehicle with a manual transmission actually causes you to be a better driver in some respects.

      a) You can't eat/talk on a phone/shave/apply makeup etc nearly as easily when one hand is needed to shift. Obviously this isn't as true on the highway, but definitely for in-town driving.

      b) You can't zone out and totally ignore the road, unless you like the roar of an engine banging against the rev limiter nonstop...

      c) When you drive a manual transmission, you t
  • Wow ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by bagboy (630125) <neoNO@SPAMarctic.net> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:22AM (#15063732)
    Now my kids won't need drivers ed, and I'll save a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to....
    • Re:Wow ... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The Cisco Kid (31490) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:28AM (#15063749)
      Trust me, your kids will still need driver's ed, so they can learn that the left lane is for PASSING, IDIOT, and if you arent PASSING, get OUT of the left lane, IDIOT! Not to mention the whole turn on your turn signal BEFORE you start to turn, and BEFORE you start to brake for the turn. Oh, and the that the accleration lane on an highway onramp is for ACCELERATING, as in you are supposed to match speed with traffic already on the highway, not force it to brake heavily or swerve so you can merge on at 40MPH. And for good measure, I'll throw in when turning at an intersection, turn into the CLOSEST lane. Eg, if you are turning right, turn into the RIGHTmost lane of the road you are turning into, and if you are turning left, turn into the LEFTmost lane of the road you are turning into (and then merge to the right, if you arent passing).

      Of course, I suspect its been a long time since driver's ed taught any of that, since so few people seem to be completely ignorant on those issues. And dont even get me started on the idiots that turn right into the left lane without signalling, and then cruse along at 25MPH on the left lane while gabbing on their cellphone, completely oblivious to the line of traffic that has formed behind them thats actually trying to get where they are going.
      • Re:Wow ... (Score:5, Funny)

        by cubicledrone (681598) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:48AM (#15063838)
        How about the asshole in the F150000000000000000000 super-duper-uber-wow-duty my jeans would chafe the asphalt off Interstate 15-my truck has more chrome than your truck has paint-5-ton aircraft landing lights on highbeam clamp-riveted to your ass for 150 miles in the passing lane who, instead of taking 30 seconds to change lanes, has decided that no driver has a sufficient cruising speed?

        After that, we can deal with Miss "my kids are more important than everyone on this planet" who rockets through grocery store parking lots at 40 MPH in a 28 foot SUV terrifying everyone within 75 yards so she can pick up her dry cleaning 90 seconds earlier.

        • 150 miles? (Score:2, Insightful)

          by HornWumpus (783565)
          And you still have'nt pulled into the cruising lane?

          Grandparent poster allow me to introduce you to the parent poster.

          He's the idiot that thinks you should undertake him because 56 is a plenty fine cruising speed for the passing lane.

          Please bitch slap him for all of us.

          • by cubicledrone (681598) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:55AM (#15064429)
            And you still have'nt pulled into the cruising lane?

            You could be doing Mach 3 and there would still be some "I'm more important" assmunch following at a range of eight feet with their "mall parking lot searchlight" highbeams pulling 500 amps from the backup battery.

            I don't get within 50 yards of the asshole lane. I'd rather not sail over a flood control channel with Captain SUV and four other cars in a fireball that would be visible from 30,000 feet. Thanks.

      • and if you are turning left, turn into the LEFTmost lane of the road you are turning into
        In California, it's legal to turn into any lane when you're turning left (assuming there's only one left turn lane). Of course, it's still a good idea to turn into the leftmost lane, but it's not required. (People turning right have priority anyway, so legally you still have to wait for them, no matter which lane you want to turn left into.)
        • People turning right on red have no priority whatsoever, and if you are turning on green you still have to try to miss the pedestrians.

          Also, in Canada left turn is allowed only into the leftmost lane; you move as necessary afterward.

        • Re:Wow ... (Score:2, Informative)

          by Pfhorrest (545131)
          In California, it's legal to turn into any lane when you're turning left...

          Also in California here, and I'd like to add that the GP was incorrect about passing lanes here as well. The left lane is the "fast lane", not the "passing lane", and if you are driving at the speed limit you are welcome to stay there as long as you'd like. I make a lot of long drives on two-lane highways along the coast where speed traps are prevalent and so are people who like driving 10-15 miles under the limit, so I cruise the en
          • Re:Wow ... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Tmack (593755) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @02:42AM (#15064203) Homepage Journal
            In Georgia, you would get shot for doing such a thing... see this video [google.com], shot here by GSU students. Abiding by the speed limit is one thing, but holding up traffic while trying to correct everyone else is not a good idea. The left lane is the "fast lane" in the sense that you are moving "Faster" than those in the lanes to your right. Here, we have signs stating that specifically: "Slower traffic keep right". Meaning if you are not passing, move into the right lane. In Germany and other countries you will be arrested if you are found driving in the left lane and not passing, the left lane is strictly for passing there.

            tm

          • Re:Wow ... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by donutello (88309) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:10AM (#15064284) Homepage
            You're an asshole and besides that you're wrong. The left lane is not the "fast" lane. It is the passing lane. You know all those "KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS" signs you see all over? What do you think they mean, numbnuts?

            California state law [ca.gov] states:

            21654. (a) Notwithstanding the prima facie speed limits, any
            vehicle proceeding upon a highway at a speed less than the normal
            speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time shall be
            driven in the right-hand lane for traffic or as close as practicable
            to the right-hand edge or curb, except when overtaking and passing
            another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing
            for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or
            driveway.
                  (b) If a vehicle is being driven at a speed less than the normal
            speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time, and is
            not being driven in the right-hand lane for traffic or as close as
            practicable to the right-hand edge or curb, it shall constitute prima
            facie evidence that the driver is operating the vehicle in violation
            of subdivision (a) of this section.
                  (c) The Department of Transportation, with respect to state
            highways, and local authorities, with respect to highways under their
            jurisdiction, may place and maintain upon highways official signs
            directing slow-moving traffic to use the right-hand traffic lane
            except when overtaking and passing another vehicle or preparing for a
            left turn.

            Asshole.
      • Re:Wow ... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by oirtemed (849229)
        The left may be for PASSING but it is NOT for SPEEDING. There is a difference you know, which seems to be be lost on people.
      • Re:Wow ... (Score:5, Informative)

        by huge colin (528073) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @08:47AM (#15065365) Journal
        I'd like to add some:

        DON'T brake hard at the last second, especially when approaching an intersection. It makes other people at the intersection nervous.

        DO pay attention to traffic lights, especially when first in line. React promptly when they change.

        DON'T attempt to perform a task that requires the continuous use of one or both hands. (Using a phone, eating, shaving, etc.)

        DON'T follow closely, especially at high speed. During normal traffic flow on the highway, you shouldn't need to use the brakes. If you are braking periodically to avoid running into the back of the car in front of you, then you are too close.

        DON'T use the horn when stopped in heavy traffic. It's not because someone forgot to continue driving that traffic isn't moving, so reminding them won't help.

        DO pull off in a safe place to consult a map (or ask for directions) when unfamiliar with an area. Do NOT simply drive very slowly while searching for your destination.

        DO drive with appropriate equipment in adverse weather conditions. Summer tires on a rear-wheel-drive car in the snow is a hazard to yourself and other drivers.
    • >> Now my kids won't need drivers ed, and I'll save a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to....

      With the US so sue-happy this is a series of law-suits waiting to happen. Even when people don't have it engaged and screw up who are they going to say did it? Themselves or the device? The driver may be responsible for hitting the gas pedal but when you introduce a degree of fault by having the car control the steering you're looking for trouble.

      Wait for the 90 degree wheels. I seem to rememb
  • Liability issues (Score:5, Informative)

    by Samir Gupta (623651) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:24AM (#15063736) Homepage
    This has been available for several years now in Japan and other non-US markets. The reason why Toyota didn't release this tech in the US was fear of liability lawsuits in the US' sue-happy culture if something went wrong. Have they changed their stance on this?
  • by wildsurf (535389) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:25AM (#15063737) Homepage
    Self-posting stories coming to Slashdot.

    This involves the finely-tuned process of randomly selecting an article from two days ago, changing a few words around, and clicking "Submit."

    Come to think of it, this has been going on for quite some time now.
  • by mobiux (118006) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:28AM (#15063744)
    So if this system screws up, mis-calculates the available space and dents a ferrari, is toyota going to pony up?

    • Of course not. I'm willing to bet that the lease/sale contract will specifically cover Toyota if there is an accident during park assist. Since the driver still needs to be controlling the speed, via the brake, the driver must be paying attention and is in a position to prevent an accident. Therefore, without a serious system failure (along the lines of any other manufacturing defect), it will still be the driver's fault.
    • by McCarrum (446375) <[mark.limburg] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:08AM (#15063928)
      If you have Cruise Control active, and you hit someone, can you claim against that?

      No.
  • How soon? (Score:5, Funny)

    by toupsie (88295) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:28AM (#15063745) Homepage
    How soon will there be legal ads on TV asking if you have been injured by a self-parking car?
  • by icepick72 (834363) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:29AM (#15063750)
    But is it smart enough to move itself when it senses the parking enforcement officer approaching with a ticket.
  • by stox (131684) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:29AM (#15063753) Homepage
    on driving tests to keep the completely brain-dead off the road will be eliminated. I hope examiners will demand that this feature be turned off for testing.
  • Figuring out how to parallel park is a right of passage worth preserving. Just like learning to spell parallel.
  • by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:30AM (#15063756) Homepage Journal
    This is great and can't possibly get to the U.S. fast enough, but what it really needs to have is the feature for reversing the process so people can get out of parking spots (maybe it does, can't view the video on this computer). Any parking spot. I can't count how many times I've seen a driver so damn eager to get on the cell phone as soon as he gets in the car that he can't get out of the parking spot without tying up street traffic or parking lot traffic while driving with one arm and half a brain, 'cause god forbid one should put that stupid phone down and drive.
    • Parallel parking isn't too difficult - I did it in my car all the time (I've moved to a location where I no longer need the car, public transport suits me fine and I like not having to pay all the taxes)... tight spots aren't a problem.

      But along comes some asshole who turns that tight spot into an impossible spot by parking in front of / behind you without leaving enough room for you to get out comfortably. More often than not, you're not going to find the person to ask them to please move their car - or p
  • Here is a video (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:30AM (#15063758)
    http://m90.org/index.php?id=13279 [m90.org]

    Shows a BMW parking itself
  • tight ? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by phreakv6 (760152)
    you could land a jumbo fscking jet in that tight spot
  • Parking meter... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cl191 (831857)
    Now if this thing will have on board RFID to the parking meter or somehow has an arm to put quarters into the meter will be perfect.
  • Obligatory (Score:3, Funny)

    by gbobeck (926553) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:48AM (#15063840) Homepage Journal
    In America, cars parallel park you.
    In Soviet Russia, you parallel park cars!
  • Autovalet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:54AM (#15063875) Homepage Journal
    Now if these cars would just park themselves far from where they drop me off, we can get rid of street parking in Manhattan. The cars can park themselves outside the city center where parking is plentiful/cheap/free, and we can triple the capacity of our existing streets.
    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:40AM (#15064043) Journal
      I think they call it public transport although what you in the colonies call it I have no idea.

      Amazingly public transport companies park their vehicles outside the city as well. Not many bus depots in the city centers.

      Oh and taxi's also serve a similar function. I believe they paint them yellow over there instead of the normal black that civilized people use.

      While your idea sounds nice it has just one small drawback. If you equip every car with it you have just doubled the traffic in and out of the city center. Your car driving you to your work and then driving itself out to a parking lot. The last thing busy cities need is more traffic.

      Oh and an other version of truly "self parking" cars? Getting a ride with a co-worker. Drops me off in front of the office. All it costs is to make two cups of coffee.

      • You're talking to a native New Yorker, so let me clarify the reality to royal subjects:

        Subways don't stop at your building, though mine does have a station in the basement. Subways also don't have a sunroof, swing by your girlfriend's place, wait outside the deli. They do have lots of strangers, often rude and even smelly. They make you wait for up to half an hour in the middle of the night. And you can't race the other guy.

        Taxis usually don't let you race the other guy, either. They often come with rude an
    • Re:Autovalet (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dodobh (65811)
      Now if these cars would just park themselves far from where they drop me off

      Out here, we call that a taxi. There are even bigger vehicles available, which run on fixed routes and are called buses. And then we also have trains. Perhaps you need to explore alternatives?
  • Lose control? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mercuryswitch (952779) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:02AM (#15063905)
    What I'm concerned about is what if you accidentally hit the assist switch while driving on the freeway, or if the auto-pilot device could be over-ridden, or hi-jacked, and perhaps you can lose control of your car, from some mischievous kid tampering with your on-board computer system.
    • Re:Lose control? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MachDelta (704883)
      Well for starters, im gonna guess you need to be stopped to engage the assist mode. Also, I don't think your average young mischevious punk could figure out how to 'hack' the thing. Car computers tend to be magical black boxes whos inner workings are carefuly guarded secrets. And lastly, all else failing you can always just hit the brakes. Thats what they're there for.

      New vehicle technology always sounds scary, but eventually you'll wonder how you ever survived without it. ABS, anyone?
    • In Prius the gear selector is completely foolproof because it only signals the car's computers what you'd like to do - and that does not mean a thing if the computer thinks it unwise. For example, switching to reverse at 60 mph won't break anything (and nothing would happen.) The worst you could do is to accidentally switch to 'B' position and lose some efficiency (this setting activates engine braking instead of regen braking.)
  • I can't imagine myself ever using anything like that. I can park and get out of a space that is like 10cm longer than my car, sure it takes some time, but could a robot car do that? Not unless it has 90degree rotating wheels.

    So, if you know someone who gets a car like that, would you trust that person with your car?

    Will this feature be allowed in driving tests? :) How about electronic brains, will they be allowed?
    • Huh? If you can do it, the car can do it too. If the car couldn't do it, then how the hell would you? Unless your idea of parallel parking is to get out and *lift* your car into its parking spot, Ahnold. ;)
      • I can do it because I have basically unlimited capabilities when compared to a robot. I can roll down the windows and look straight down, or at an angle, I can get out and check the position in the very worst case scenario. I have the overal picture of the site and I can push the boundaries. When robots can do all that, will they be much different from people?
    • by tftp (111690)
      can park and get out of a space that is like 10cm longer than my car

      Sure you can. But is the owner of the car ahead of you (or behind you) just as skilled as you are?

      Myself, I don't remember when I used parallel parking last time. Must be sometime around 1998, most likely. There isn't much need for this skill here.

    • by Cederic (9623)

      I don't believe you. Unless you're on a motorbike, or have the ability to move your card sideways. Or have a car under 1m wide.

      Why? Simple mathematics. As soon as your car is more than 1 metre wide it's length across the diagonal is at least 10cm longer than its long front to back. So it physically wont fit in the gap to get out.

      You're right - the computer wont be able to achieve that. Computers are constrained to the possible.
  • Great.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:16AM (#15063961) Journal
    This is all fine and dandy untill it hits a kid. Then who is to blame for it? The driver, the company who make the car or none of the above (which I bet the company will try to claim)?
  • $700 for a system to self park a car they size of a postage stamp.....bah....if you can't parallel park a prius you shouldn't be allowed to drive.
  • Great... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chicane-UK (455253) <chicane-uk@@@ntlworld...com> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:50AM (#15064411) Homepage
    Excellent. Another 'convenience' feature which helps out people who are clearly far too STUPID to use a car.

    I remeber reading an article recently that put people with high end, well kitted out cars in cars with NO driver aids and subjected them to a few tests such as skid pans and high speed maneuvres(sp?!) - the results were fairly predictable. Most were so used to the features that automatically kicked in when they did something stupid that when faced with a car that didn't have them, they had NO idea what was going on and lost control in all circumstances.

    I personally feel that there needs to be more driver education and less dependence on these driver aids! I appreciate they might be important in an accident of course but not all circumstances where driver aids may be used could be classed as accidents!
  • Insurance Rates.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by daitengu (172781) * on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:07AM (#15064609) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if having this feature will drop insurance rates?

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