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Automatic Parking Cars: Quick Guide

Automatic parking might sound like something from the future, but it is already available in modern cars of all sizes and shapes. Parking spaces, especially in city centres, can often be tight, and many drivers find the experience of parking a car less than exciting. In fact, it is not uncommon for drivers to avoid parallel parking spots at all costs. Luckily, car manufacturers have caught on and are now offering drivers a clever solution to make it easier to park a vehicle in a tight spot.

Automatic parking cars are equipped with sensors that allow vehicles to identify a suitable parking spot before steering themselves into the parking area. In many cases, the driver has to follow a few simple instructions displayed on the car’s dashboard. These usually involve selecting a gear and controlling the accelerator and brakes. Automated parking aids are the ideal solution to the parking woes of many drivers.

Automated parking systems have been around for quite some time, but until recently, they have been limited to flagship models and were not available on mid-and entry-level vehicle models. However, this has changed in the last few years. An ever-increasing number of manufacturers now offer automated parking assistants across their model ranges. They often include entry-level city-driving models, which are ideal for use in busy city centres.

How do automatic parking cars work

As mentioned previously, automatic parking cars rely on sensors and the car’s onboard computer to identify a suitable parking space and steer the vehicle into the parking space. Automated parking systems are very user friendly, and they do not require too many inputs from the driver to work. Many systems only require the driver to control the brake and accelerator while the vehicle does the steering automatically.


Although each vehicle manufacturer uses its own unique system, the general operating method is the same in most cases. Most parking systems only work below a specific speed, so it is important for the driver to slow the vehicle down below this speed before engaging the parking system.


As soon as the driver has reached the area where they want to park their vehicle, they can engage the parking system. Once engaged, the automated parking system will begin to search for a suitable parking space. It is done using ultrasonic sensors and a camera that scans the area for parking spots that are large enough to accommodate the vehicle.

Once an appropriate parking spot has been found, the system will usually alert the driver with a ding. Then the driver is required to confirm that they would like to park the car in the identified spot. After confirmation, the vehicle will usually provide the driver with detailed instructions regarding the gear to select and the speed to approach the parking space. While the driver controls the vehicle's speed, the automated parking system will steer the vehicle into the parking space.

Most modern automatic parking systems can be used to perform various parking manoeuvres, including parallel parking.


Are automatic parking cars safe?

Thanks to an array of sensors, automatic parking cars are safe

Although it might be frightening to hand control of your vehicle over to a computer, automated parking systems are generally very safe. Many people who use these systems for the first-time report feeling anxious that their car might bump into another car or other obstacle while performing the parking manoeuvre.


While this anxiety is completely understandable, automatic parking systems are generally very safe, and the risk of dinging another vehicle or obstacle is very low as long as the driver remains focused and follows the instructions that the car issues.


Automatic parking car systems

Automatic parking car systems make use of a large number of sensors to ensure that the vehicle never bumps into something else during operation, but it remains the driver’s responsibility to monitor the situation and intervene when necessary.


Vehicle manufacturers are very particular to point out that automatic parking systems are designed to help drivers, but they cannot replace drivers. Nonetheless, automatic parking cars are a great option for those times when you need to park in a very tight spot.


Are automatic parking cars easy to use?

Yes, in general, automatic parking cars can be used easily and quickly. With that being said, it is important to ensure that you read all the instructions that came with your car to ensure that you know how to operate the system effectively and safely. In most cases, automatic parking cars simply require the driver to press a button in order to activate the system. Once the parking system is active, the driver is provided with easy-to-follow instructions via the vehicle's onboard computer and no special skills are required to operate the system.

Automated parking systems are available in both manual and automatic vehicles, but the system is often easier to operate when using an automatic vehicle. This is because automatic vehicles do not require the driver to operate a clutch pedal, and, in many cases, it is only necessary to operate the brakes. Although each vehicle manufacturer’s automated parking system is different, many systems can even change gears by themselves so that the driver only needs to control the vehicle’s speed during a parking manoeuvre. An automatic vehicle with a built-in parking system is often the best choice for those who prefer to worry about as little as possible when using an automated parking system.


Although automated parking systems have found their way into entry-level vehicles, the systems that are available in high-end vehicles offer much more than just simply parking a vehicle. Some luxury automakers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have introduced systems that do not require any driver input whatsoever. In fact, some systems do not even require the driver to be present in the vehicle while the parking process takes place. These types of systems are especially useful when you need to park a large vehicle in a confined space such as a garage. For example, some vehicles can be parked remotely by using the vehicle’s key to initiate the parking manoeuvre. When it is time to leave the garage again, the same process can be repeated to retrieve the vehicle.

These systems make use of the same sensors and systems to guide the vehicle into a parking space but don’t require a driver to control the vehicle’s speed. For safety purposes, the maximum distance that the vehicle can travel is limited to only a few meters, and the driver is required to remain within proximity to the vehicle throughout the procedure.


Can automated parking systems be used anywhere?

Automated parking systems can be used in most places, but there are limits. In general, parking systems identify parking spaces by looking for painted lines via the vehicle’s reverse camera. This means that automated parking is not always possible when the vehicle needs to be parked in areas that are not properly demarcated. In addition to this, parking systems generally work best on asphalt or concrete parking spaces, and it might not always be possible to park your car on grass or other natural surfaces.

However, automated parking systems work very well in most areas, and there are very few cases in which it is easier to park the car manually. Because of the simplicity of automated parking systems, they can be used by almost anyone, whether for convenience or because you find it difficult to manually park in a specific spot.

Whenever you use an automated parking assistant, it is important to remember that you should only do so once you are sure that there are no people or animals present in the area, and you should always concentrate fully on monitoring the process. Children and pets can often be difficult to see in a rear-view mirror, but thanks to highly sensitive sensors, a vehicle with an automated parking system can warn drivers of the presence of unseen objects, which makes the entire parking process much safer.


Conclusion on Automatic Parking Cars

Until a few years ago, it was unimaginable that vehicles would be able to park themselves, but thanks to improvements in technology, it has become possible and affordable to fit these intelligent systems to vehicles of all types. While automated parking systems do not, and should not, completely replace drivers, they make it much easier to go about your daily business in crowded city environments.


Automated parking systems will likely become even more advanced in the future, and soon our cars may be able to guide us to the nearest parking space in record time. Systems that make use of GPS and real-time traffic data are already in the works, and they will be able to provide drivers with navigation instructions to the nearest parking space without needing to drive around endlessly while searching for a suitable parking space.

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