Volvo call it autonomous parking … it’s a package that they now have in a concept car … but in every day terms what Volvo have developed is the car that parks itself.
Not only will the car park itself but the driver doesn’t even have to be in the car … watching the car … or even thinking about the car for that matter … while it is parking itself. The driver doesn’t even have to find a parking spot because the car will do it for him or her.
And it doesn’t matter that the driver doesn’t know exactly where the car is located because when the driver wants to leave and drive somewhere else the car will come to the driver. At all times when the car that parks itself is in autonomous mode … i.e. without the driver in control or even in the car … the car is interacting with itse surrounds via sensors that detect stationary and moving objects around it.
Speed and braking are all governed by that is safe in the environment around the car.
While this all sounds like the sort of automotive technology that is years away it’s coming in 2014. Volvo currently plants to incorporate a small part of this technology … autonomous steering … in the 2014 XC90 model.