Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Prius parks itself!

Have you heard? Apparently it's old news, since it's been available in Japan for a couple years now, but I haven't heard about Toyota's Intelligent Parking Assist system until today. With this system, the Prius can park itself! It relies on a built in computer, steering sensor and a tiny camera in the rear of the car. Here's what says about how it works:

"A dashboard display shows the image taken by the camera. When you near a parking space and shift into reverse, computerized lines pop up on the display, along with arrows pointing up, down, left and right. Using the arrows, you move the lines around until they define exactly where you want the car to be parked. Then you push the "set" button on the display. Keep your foot lightly on the brake pedal, and the car will start backing up, the steering wheel responding to an invisible hand. Voila, the car will park itself in the spot you've chosen with the arrows."

Unfortunately, it won't stop if someone or something suddenly steps in its way. I can just imagine all the insurance reports this could cause!

Intelligent Parking Assist will also back you into a garage by "remembering" three parking spots.

Click here to view the video.

It looks like BMW also offers automatic parking. You can watch the video here ; keep in mind it's auf Deutsch.

Oh yes, here's a pic of the steering wheel inside the Prius. The freakishly tiny size of the Prius and its accessories led to the demise of our relationship. *sigh* I still miss the dream that could have been My Prius.

Look how close the steering wheel is to the driver window and then to the console. It really gives more of a perspective on its size. *shudder* It's a good thing I see these images occassionally, it reminds me of what I've "missed" out on.

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