Oct. 5, 2012 at 2:44 PM ET
If you find yourself hunting for an elusive parking space at the mall this holiday season instead of picking out that perfect gift, you might want to put Nissan’s self-parking car technology on your wish list.
The concept vehicle was shown off this week at an electronics show in Tokyo. It uses onboard sensors and cameras to park itself, allowing shoppers to shop instead wasting precious time in the parking garage.
In theory, drivers will pull up to the main entrance, hop out and hit a “park” button on their smartphone. Once they’re done shopping, another press of the button summons the car, which detects the owner’s position and drives to them.
And if the car parks itself in a shady corner of the lot prone to break-ins, don’t worry. The cameras monitor the car while you’re looking for that perfect gift and send alerts if it detects suspicious activity.
The technology will be fully viable by 2015, according to a Nissan news release.
A Nissan representative told the technology video news website DigInfo that the self-parking ability could also be useful for non-contact charging systems for electric vehicles, which requires precision parking best left to the car than harried drivers.
“We think this system could lead to the implementation of a variety of technologies,” the representative said.
California, Nevada and Florida have all passed laws allowing self-driving cars and several research groups are working on the safety and public acceptance aspects of the technology. Not mentioned, but perhaps alluded to, is the widespread adoption of driverless car technology not just in parking garages, but city streets and highways.
— via DigInfo News