Sick of driving up to the mall only to see all the parking spaces full? You follow behind someone who is looking for the same thing you are, so when a shopper returns to his car, you wait as the car in front of you prepares to take that spot — and for minutes that passenger gets ready to pull out. Why not save yourself the headache? Audi has a car that acts as its own chauffer — it can park itself.
As Annie Lee, Senior Engineer at the Electronics Research Lab of Audi, part of the Volkswagen Group, demonstrates in this video, your car can be commanded with your smart phone to go find a parking space for itself after dropping you off at the entrance of the mall. Then, when you are done shopping, you use the same app to tell the car to come pick you up.
The Audi cars use the same ultrasound sensors that are already in their vehicles. Future models may also use cameras.
Audi calls these vehicles “piloted driving” preferring the term to “autonomous” to remind us that the driver is still the ultimate responsibility of the car. This is a step in following Google, who have their own autonomous vehicle, which is legal in Nevada. The Audi’s may be driving themselves soon as well.