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Autonomous Driving Could Solve Parking Shortage

By raccars Published

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Volvo has suggested that autonomous driving systems could completely change the landscape of overcrowded car parks in urban areas. The firm believes that self parking systems could help to free up masses of space in existing car parks, leaving room for more cars.

While cars grow ever larger, parking spaces have failed to grow to keep up with them, meaning getting into parking spaces is more challenging than ever. While motoring organisations are urging local authorities to create larger parking spaces to meet the demand, Volvo believes it has solved the problem from a completely different angle.

At the LA Motor Show this year, the company pointed out that remote control car parking technology being installed in newer models is capable of parking vehicles with gaps of only millimetres between them. This is because drivers can exit the car before it enters the space, so no room needs to be left to get in and out next to other cars. Not only does this free up horizontal space but also means the standard parking scrape will become a thing of the past, as the technology is far more accurate than human drivers.

Motorists can even drop their cars off at the car park entrance and allow the autonomous parking app to complete the operation alone, simply recalling the vehicle to the exit when they are ready. This allows car parks to fit many more cars side by side in the same amount of space. Autonomous parking also effectively provides the convenience of valet parking.

These sorts of convenience features are helping to convince the public to invest in clever new cars - even those who consider themselves resistant to new technology. While autonomous driving still provokes scepticism, manufacturers are determined that it will be the future of our roads. Volvo believes autonomous driving will help it to its goal of zero fatalities in any of its new cars by 2020, by removing the possibility of human error, which it claims accounts for the vast majority of road accidents. By removing the human element, Volvo believes you remove the majority of the risk.

The firm is currently running a 100 car pilot scheme in Sweden to trial its autonomous driving technology, with the aim of delivering self driving cars to the market by 2017. 'Project Drive Me' sees drivers using situation specific autonomy, allowing the car to take over in selected situations, such as while browsing a smartphone or reading text.

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