Volvo is among the slew of companies working toward a future where human drivers are unnecessary, and the Swedish automaker known best for making safe cars is taking another step forward.
In a recently released video, Volvo shows off how a car that not only parks itself — which is somewhat old hat — but also drops you at the curb and finds a parking spot on its own.
This system, like all self-driving car technologies, has a lot of hurdles to clear before it can be put into use by the public. Parking lot navigation raises its own questions: Will the car be able to tell which lanes are one-way only? If there are no spots available, what does it do? Will it be able to move a shopping cart blocking the only free space? (I’m guessing no.)
Nonetheless, this is a neat application of a technology that is definitely on its way. Here’s how it works:
Drive to a designated drop-off spot, near the entrance to the parking lot.
Get out, and use your phone to turn your car into its own valet.
The car goes into self-driving mode.
Then it shoots off, finds a free spot, and parks.
Then it texts you to let you know where it is.
This an unnecessary step, because you don’t have to go find it yourself. Like a real valet, the car picks you up when you’re ready to hit the road.
And off you go.
Here’s the full video, which includes thoughts from folks at Volvo on the importance of self-driving technology in making driving safer:
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