Volvo Is Developing A Car That Valet Parks Itself

volvo self-parking car video demoVolvo’s new technology lets the car go find its own parking spot.

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.

volvo self-parking car video demo

Get out, and use your phone to turn your car into its own valet.

volvo self-parking car video demo

The car goes into self-driving mode.

volvo self-parking car video demo

Then it shoots off, finds a free spot, and parks.

volvo self-parking car video demo

Then it texts you to let you know where it is.

volvo self-parking car video demo

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.

volvo self-parking car video demo

And off you go.

volvo self-parking car video demo

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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