A car that can park itself made its entrance in the United States in 2006. It was the Lexus LS 460. This vehicle highly impressed the technical geeks and has led other auto manufacturers to create their own self parking vehicles. But first, how do self parking vehicles work?
The Lexus LS 460 parallel parks itself. The driver is required to go no faster than 12 miles per hour. The vehicle contains sensors in the back and the front; the back has four sensors that will be able to detect when a vehicle is present, and the front has six sensors. These sensors also ascertain how much space is between the two parked cars.
In addition to the sensors, the vehicle has a back-up camera. As the vehicle is placed in reverse, the screen shows the driver a picture of a car. The driver must push the button on the screen in order to activate the process. The process, self parking, will begin if the gap in between two parked cars is more than 6.5 feet longer than the Lexus.
In order for the system to take over, drivers must keep their feet on the brake; placing their hands on the steering wheel or their feet on the accelerator will terminate the process. What will also end self parking is if the drivers increase their speed to over 2.5 miles per hour. With everything being performed correctly, the car parks itself, then lets the driver know it is finished. That is pretty impressive.
Since the introduction of the Lexus LS 460, Ford has introduced the Escape SUV, Toyota has invented the hybrid vehicle the Prius and BMW has created the 5-series. All three of these automobiles have been enhanced with the self parking feature. The self parking advantage increases these cars’ purchase price by $4,500, so these vehicles have been tested in order to determine if it is worthwhile to customers to pay this extra amount to obtain this feature.
Of all three of the latest self parking vehicles, Escape, Prius and 5-series, the Prius appears to have the best system. All three appear to have similar technological capabilities; all of their components are operated via computer, and they all use a detection system that identifies where other cars are parked. They all perform much as has been described above with the vehicle guiding itself into the space; the driver only has to manage the car’s speed.
Because the Prius has the capability to back a car into a parking space as well as parallel park, this vehicle has been determined to be the best self parking vehicle for North Americans. The BMW 5-series works very much like the Prius, but because it is a European vehicle designed for the roads of Europe that tend not to have parking spaces in designated lots, they neglected to add the back-in feature. This fact would make the BMW-series the better choice for Europeans.
With the Ford, drivers will choose the spots they want to park in by first accelerating and then applying the brakes until the vehicle has been safely parked. Troubles with the Ford came into play when it had difficulties parking with other objects in the area. The Ford’s system could be confused by other parked cars and even by pedestrians. This would be an impractical circumstance in densely packed areas where there are several cars and people walking around.
Overall, drivers who would like to have the technology of a self parking vehicle at their fingertips have the best choice in the Toyota Prius. It does not appear to have the sensory problems of the Ford Escape, and it does more than the BMW 5-series than parallel park with back-in parking capabilities. Not every reviewer believes that this technology is a must for very vehicle, but they do agree that it has one very important positive attached to it; it prevents people from running into other cars when they are parallel parking. This saves them a lot of money on auto repair bills.
Guest post by Nicole Rodgers.
Nicole Rodgers has been blogging in the technology and finance industries for the past three years. She is currently contributing to an auto insurance blog and in her free time, she enjoys helping teens pass the California DMV test.