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No time to park? Volvo develops a car with autonomous parking capability

By Randell Suba , Jun 26, 2013 11:42 AM EDT

In a hurry and no time to park the car? Volvo is developing a technology that will allow drivers to hop off the car and let its autonomous parking technology find the space and squeeze it in between parked vehicles.

The car manufacturer demonstrated the technology using a Volvo V40 prototype. The said functionality can take the car to a parking space while safely dealing with pedestrians and other cars in a car park.

"Autonomous Parking is a concept technology that relieves the driver of the time-consuming task of finding a vacant parking space. The driver just drops the vehicle off at the entrance to the car park and picks it up in the same place later," explained Volvo Car Group senior safety advisor Thomas Broberg in a press statement.

According to Volvo, the smart self-parking vehicle needs to depend on Vehicle 2 Infrastructure, a network of sensors on the road that will allow that car to do the task.

Drivers can get out of the vehicle and use a smartphone application to tell the car to find a vacant parking space. Once the car successfully parked itself, the system will send a notification to the driver. The vehicle can be picked up by using the mobile app and the driver will go to a designated parking spot.

"I think the main advantage of Autonomous Parking is the added convenience of not having to park the vehicle by yourself and also that you can save time," said Mikael Thor active safety engineer at Volvo.

Autonomous parking combines auto braking and detection technologies to interact safely with pedestrians and other vehicles. Volvo is the first vehicle manufacturer to produce a prototype of a self-parking car.

Volvo has also been looking into autonomous driving technologies. It is the only carmaker that participated in the Safe Road Trains for the Environment project that was completed with other partners in 2012. The SARTRE technology allows a platoon of vehicles to cruise on highways at speeds of 56 miles an hour while driving autonomously.

The new Volvo XC90 due before the end of 2014 will bring to consumers the technology of autonomous steering.

Watch the promo videos about Volvo's Autonomous Parking technology below:

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