The internet is abuzz with Volvo’s newest You Tube video of an autonomous self-parking car. The website Motorauthority is even going so far as say this feature will be offered on the upcoming 2015 XC90.
The system, by the way, is not truly autonomous in the sense that your car will wander around seeking a spot until it finds one. It will, rather, work with specific parking garages set up with an interface that will guide the car to open parking places. An in-car system will notify the driver if the service is available and if there is an available space. Sensors in the car will allow the vehicle to interact with other non-autonomous cars and people.
Naturally this whole thing adds further fuel to the fire of autonomous cars and the regulatory implications of a vehicle operating without a licensed driver behind the wheel. In this author’s opinion, Volvo is clearly pushing the envelope if they plan on including this feature on a vehicle in the next few years. Likely this system will first see operation in large parking facilities located on private property to avoid the various legal issues that are sure to crop up. Still, the future must start somewhere and, as I have said before, I welcome the better, brighter future our new robot masters are set to deliver.