Automakers are doing all sorts of things to cars to make them smarter and more autonomous, as regular readers are aware. Here's a new one: GM wants to take self-parking cars to a new level, letting them drop off their drivers and go off in search of empty spaces on their own. It'll be more fuel-efficient than having humans circle the block waiting for a spot to open up, GM says.
Fuel efficiency is one of the promised benefits of increasingly intelligent cars, which could cut down on fuel consumption by predicting where drivers will go, re-routing around predicted traffic jams and traveling in convoys. Smarter cars would also be able to communicate with each other, preventing collisions and congestion.
We have seen several self-parking car concepts, and GM has demonstrated the technology with its EN-V concept, says Technology Review. But self-parking has mostly been limited to some bleeping sounds as an SUV glides into a tight parallel space — the driver is still there and can resume control at any time.
This new concept lets the driver hop out, leaving the car to drive itself to the nearest available empty space — even if that's several blocks or even miles away, Tech Review says. When it's time to leave, the driver can summon his or her car via a smartphone app, and it will reappear KITT-style to whisk its driver away. GM's Electrical and Controls Integration Lab is developing the technology to make this possible.
For anyone who has ever tried to park in, say, New York or San Francisco, this sounds mighty handy. But would you trust your empty car to go find a safe spot to bide its time while you go about your business? In some ways that may be a greater leap than the technology itself.
There con people who through themselves in front of a moving car to collect on a law suit. This would seem like an easy con\fraudulent law suit to do, since the victim maybe the only witness to the hit and run, while this car is autonomously trying to park.
wow people really....so negative
The engineers, programmers are really inventive.
agreed, great job!
I'd feel like Micheal Knight with one of these cars.
Not a great job. A poor fix to a problem. You don't fix the issue with this. You have invented a new problem.
The problem is too many cars, too few parking spaces (related to price in some cities.) and too stupid and lazy of drivers. One can walk a few blocks and get there just as quick. In many cities a few blocks is the difference between free and pay even. One could and I hate to say this, take the bus.
NOT THE B'B'BUS !!! NOOOOOO
bored? lets go mine the stars... ^^
I have to disagree with your summation D13. Specifically your claim that all cars would have to make a switch at the same time.
I recently was allowed a private tour of Google and got to talk with their engineers working on autonomous cars. The topic of switching the entire industry at once was briefly brought up. It was quickly established that that would not and could not happen. Logically and logistically speaking you can't expect a populous to be able to afford a new car all at once.
Now one of the engineers real concerns, and a major hurdle that needs to be overcome, is small object identification at high speeds, i.e a mattress on the freeway. Or a small dog.
The day that autonomous cars are on the road will be the day after the cars prove to be better drivers than humans. They will have to be able to look around them and make millions of decisions a second, and more importantly, act accordingly.
People could stop being lazy and park where they know spaces will be available and walk a few blocks to where they need to go.
Personally, I refuse to drive around looking for a space. I go the opposite way of all the traffic, park, and walk the few blocks to the restaurant or wherever else I am heading to. My friends think I am weird but I enjoy not having to circle multiple times looking for a space. It is also nice to walk off all the food I just ate instead of immediately getting into my car. Oh, and a plus, I often either get free parking or save on parking because I have avoided the high traffic areas for parking.
You bring up very valid concerns that absolutely need to be addressed. Which is why we don't see them on the road today. But according to the experts, which I am not, we will see them coming out around 2020. Which doesn't seem very far from now. I don't know about any one else but I'll be very excited when I don't have to drive and can be productive during commutes or trips.
But like I said it will be a gradual change so if you like driving cars you still have some years before it's a mandatory switch.
Also all the fat lazy people around the world reading this article got really excited!
that means yo momma got excited son
Regarding the legal implications - this car will probably have 360 degrees of camera vision. If not, add it anyway. Then the car will continuously record video while it's in auto-drive mode. In the case of a crash, they just need to look at the video and see who's fault it is (eg. if someone throws himself in front of the car at the last second to collect insurance money).
If it's the car's fault - the registered owner of the car coughs up (same as any other collision). But the car is driven by computers - and we all know that computers don't make mistakes, it's the other humans on the road that do...
As for causing a road block? What does a normal driver do? Beep the horn, try and find a safe way around the blockage, call the police. Anything except for getting out of the car and hurling abuse at the guy...
And parking in front of an important building with a bomb inside? You and I have both seen how easy it is to convert a full-size car into running by remote control (MythBusters, Fifth Gear, top gear...). Automated cars won't change anything in this respect. It's just harder to get it to park in exactly the right place.
As for hacking and so on, I'm sure there are firewalls and technologies that can be used. Up to and including having a dedicated embedded system to do all the auto-driving and everything else (internet connection, navigation, user interface etc.) running independently to that. Short of an EMP pulse generator (if such a thing could be created) there would be no way to mess with the car.
And finally, the car would be locked at all times when in auto-mode, and only the driver's key could unlock it. Same as any normal car with locked doors really...
Ok people dont forget that Google has fully autonomous cars on the road already which have logged nearly 200 thousand miles. The technology exists right now but its going to take a decade for the tech to becom widespread.
Now the reason I logged in was to say car ownership is not going away anytime soon!!!! DO YOU HEAR ME!!!! PEOPLE LIKE OWNING THINGS ESPECIALLY THEIR CARS!!! DO YOU HEAR ME LOUD AND CLEAR!!!! THIS IDEA OF PEOPLE SHARING CARS IN THE FUTURE IS FALSE!!!! IT WONT CATCH ON!!!! PEOPLE LIKE OWNING THEIR OWN THINGS!!!! WHICH IS WHY CAR OWNERSHIP WILL NEVER GO AWAY!!!! PEOPLE LIKE TO OWN THEIR OWN CARS AND CUSTOMIZE AND PUT SILLY STICKERS ON THEM!!!! OK!!!! SO YEAH!!!!
Ya see what Im saying? People like to own their own cars and thats never going to change!!!! Period!!!!
Here's my question: How does an autonomously parking car save gas?
So you get dropped off. The car still has to park. That doesn't save gas if the car takes the same amount of time you would have to make a decision. It could either seek for the closest spot, wait for one to open up, or park where it knows their are open spots.
If the implication of the title is to save you from getting gassed from a long walk from your parking spot to your destination than nice vague metaphors.
Otherwise, that's a very illogical sales pitch for a car that can drive and park itself. How about freedom from having to tediously operate the vehicle you own. You get the point to point travel efficiency of automobile ownership and the lack of responsibility of riding a bus.
What could possibly go wrong?
The advantages of a self driving car (of which parking itself somewhere else would be a small part) aren't really for the average able bodied person. Also, an automatic car doesn't need to drive better/safer than the best drivers among us to be useful, just the worst:
1) Drunks. Honestly, I can easily see this as a driving force (ho ho ho) getting legislation through that allows self driving cars. Get a DWI? Have your license downgraded to only being able to "drive" a self driving car.
2) Vision/reflex impaired, elderly, handicapped, etc
3) People who want to eat/put on makeup/text/etc while driving
4) Trucking. Huge advantages here for a truck that can be auto-drive on the highway...allowing the driver to sleep on the boring stretches, and be human driven off the highway.
5) etc etc etc
The technical, safety and legislative hurdles are huge, and I don't think we'll see a legal self driving car for a long time. But the advantages of having the option availiable are huge.
What happens if the car decides to go off and goof around somewhere, play hooky.
You will find your car with all the other cars, drinking 30WT and honking at the girls at the local car lot. LOL
Please elaborate; I do not think I understood your point. Oh and yes type in more capital letters as you type. As if someone typing in capitals is going to force their view down the throat of another person, lol.
I appreciate when you make opinions in the past, but your prior comment above was just one too many coffee's in your day.
This is NOT the way to do it. A system of reserving yourself a parking space before you ever leave your house is WAY cheaper and much safer. I'm a genious i know. But, actually, Ford is already working on it.
Sometimes it's -30 outside with the windchill...nothing lazy about not wanting to walk a few blocks in that weather.
Search parking space is the biggest headache for any vehicle owner. But I really surprised after read this news. Fuel efficiency is a good invention but this could make really happy to vehicle owners that vehicle search their parking space automatically.