Volkswagen has unveiled a prototype ultrasonic-based parking system that allows fully automatic parking by remote control—all without the need for a driver even to be in the car, AutoWeek reports.
Dubbed "Park Assist Vision," the new system is a development of the "Park Assist" system available as optional equipment on various Volkswagen models in Europe, including the Touran, the Tiguan and the Passat. Park Assist helps with pulling into parking spaces.
Park Assist Vision uses cameras mounted around the car, a series of ultrasonic sensors, an electromechanical steering system and a computer to determine the size of a parking space. When commanded, it automatically parks the car.
Lexus includes automated parking on its LS sedan. But that system requires the driver to remain in the car with a foot on the brake to control the operation.
According to AutoWeek, with VW's technology, the driver starts the parking system by selecting the desired parking space as shown on the in-dash monitor, moving the shift lever to P and, if he or she wants to, getting out of the car--crucial in Europe, were parking spaces can be extremely narrow. The rest of the parking process is operated with a button on the key fob.
The car automatically backs into the parking space, guided by the ultrasonic sensors. Once the car is parked, the system shuts off the engine and locks the doors.
Although the system is still under development, Volkswagen says it is confident that it will go into production someday.