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Americans Still Want to Park Their Own Cars

Despite the fact that their vehicle may be better at it.

by on Sep.23, 2015

While the autonomous system may be a better parallel parker, Americans don't believe it.

While the future isn’t entirely now when it comes to autonomous vehicles, some aspects, such as self-parking, are; however, Americans seem to be unsure if they’re willing to give up control.

A new survey from AAA shows that when it comes to parallel parking, they feel like they’re better at than the best autonomous vehicles on the road. Eighty percent of those surveyed were confident in their ability to squeeze their vehicle between two cars and next to the curb. However, just one in four were willing to let the vehicle do it on its own.

Tech Know-How!

“Autonomous features, such as active park assist, are rapidly being introduced into new vehicles, yet American drivers are hesitant to let go of the wheel,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. (more…)

Autonomous Cars and Angry Robots: Inside Volkswagen’s Electronic Research Lab

California R&D center aims to tap Silicon Valley’s “out-of-the-box” thinking.

by on Aug.04, 2010

This prototype car can park itself without anyone onboard to assist.

The sedan sweeps into the parking lot and makes a beeline for an open spot, coming to a halt only briefly before backing into place behind the non-descript office complex in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Nothing unique about that, you might think – until you realize there’s no one behind the wheel of the little blue wagon.  That’s because it is a Volkswagen prototype designed to park itself autonomously.

“How nice would it be,” asks VW research engineer Dirk Langer, “if you could get the entrance of a parking lot, push a button, get out of the car and let it find a spot for itself?  When it’s time to come back, you would just call the car on your cellphone and it would be waiting for you.”

While a number of makers – including VW – already offer parking assistance systems, it’s likely to be at least a few years before a completely autonomous car comes to market.  Not that Volkswagen isn’t trying.  The maker’s Electronic Research Lab, or ERL, in Palo Alto, California, helped develop the fully autonomous car, nicknamed Stanley, which won the DARPA Challenge, several years ago.

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Inside Sources!

But teaching cars to drive on their own is only one of the goals of the ERL, which is working on projects as varied as touch screen displays that can cover the entire instrument panel, navigation systems that can provide actual images of the road you’re driving on, and a robot co-pilot who expresses pleasure – or anger – with the way you’re driving.

(more…)