The car that parks itself (sometimes on the kerb)

Siemens VDO in Germany is working on a vehicle which not only parks itself, but even scans the street to find a space.
Once it has spotted a space, Parkmate works out the geometry, and makes a melodic chime to tell the driver to stop and let the car steer itself into the gap. Then, the steering wheel turns and the car can squeeze into the space, even if it means mounting a kerb.
However tests showed that the system is not flawless, which is expected to be available from 2008, but other Siemens VDO projects are almost ready to go on the market.
A blind spot warning system, which flashes an alarm when a vehicle comes alongside and an another alarm system which makes the steering wheel shake if the driver starts drifting into another lane, should both be available within a year.
A speed limit recognition device – which flashes the information on to the windscreen- should be an option by 2008. This technology reads road signs and cross references them against speed limit data loaded on digital maps in an on board computer. It can even pick up variable speed limits – ones normally marked by electronic signs on a gantry.
A form of cruise control which prevents tailgating by slowing down when the car gets too close to the vehicle in front, should be on sale in 2007.
Night vision is slightly further away. It comes in two forms. One flashes an image of the road ahead on the screen. While it gives a far better indication of what the motorist cannot see, the driver feels as if he or she is playing an arcade game.
Thermal imaging, which detects pedestrians and large animals in the road ahead, highlighting them with a pink circle, is more user-friendly. Both should be on the market in about five years.
Via Transport Trends Telegraph.
Related: Toyota has also a “car that parks itself”. Image, self-steering vehicles, Augmented Reality Navigation for bus drivers.