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Volvo demos smartphone-controlled self-parking cars

Ever wanted a car that could drop you off somewhere then scurry off to park itself? Well you might not have to wait too long. Volvo is aiming to take the frustration out of parking with a new mobile phone-controlled autonomous parking system that lets the vehicle pop itself in a vacant bay without the driver even having to be sat inside.

Soon, your car could drop you off somewhere and drive away to park itself.
Soon, your car could drop you off somewhere and drive away to park itself.

Obviously, having an army of driverless Volvos careering around a car park could be a recipe for disaster. Luckily, these cars are fitted with radar sensors that can detect other vehicles and pedestrians who may cross its path.

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

“Our approach is based on the principle that autonomously driven cars must be able to move safely in environments with non-autonomous vehicles and unprotected road users.” 

Sadly, we’ll have to wait some time for this technology to be rolled out, as it’s still very much in the development phase. However Volvo’s next XC90 road car, set to be revealed at the end of 2014, will feature autonomous steering that should give us a real taste of the future. 

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