Imagine you go to a packed mall and cannot find parking space, it really takes one off shopping mode. I also know most of us have a problem with “side parking” and have been driving for years and if it is the only parking left at the mall, we would rather find an excuse not to park there or wait for someone who is leaving. Worry not, VW has identified your problem and definitely made something just for you.
Volkswagen is pushing forward with a unique project that combines A collaboration between Volkswagen, Bosch and several technical universities has resulted in a car that can find an available parking space and go to it, where it will wait patiently to be summoned by the driver. Or, it can drive itself to an available wireless electric charger, connect, and then move to another location when charging is complete so another car can take its place. All of these features can be operated from a smart phone.
The V-Charge system is intended to maximize the efficiency of scarce charging stations so that one charger can service as many electric or plug-in cars as possible. The self-parking system is designed to save the driver the time and hassle of searching for an available parking space either outdoors or in a multi-level parking garage.
The project is still at an early stage and it will probably take five years to reach fruition. We are looking at 2020 before this system can be rolled out.
At a recent presentation in Amsterdam, VW showcased the system called V-Control which will surely render car valets redundant since all a driver needs to do is get out at a specially-marked lot and tell the car to park itself.
The vehicle finds a space and parks over an inductive charging plate which supplies electricity to replenish the on-board battery pack. As soon as recharging is completed the car rolls off to a vacant space. On return the driver recalls the vehicle using a Smartphone.
The test car in Amsterdam was a regular Golf kitted out with a raft of cameras and high-tech sensors. The car navigates communication technology and digital maps since GPS does not work well in underground parking garages.
Although most of us are looking forward to this, legal procedures might delay introduction since most countries’ traffic laws will have to be redrafted to take account self-driving cars.