Smart Parking Assist Explained: How it Works4 min read
Even the most seasoned veterans of city parking can find it challenging to master the notorious parking technique of parallel parking. This beast of parallel parking seems to scare many drivers to an extent where they altogether avoid situations and places where they may need to parallel park their vehicle. However, parallel parking is one of the vital skills of driving. So, why must drivers compromise simply because they’re amateurs or nervous or just having a bad day? Smart parking assist is a technology that has been introduced in many modern-day cars to drive away driver anxieties associated with parallel parking.
Understanding the Technology
If you are a motorist who frequently drives around the city, there will come multiple occasions where you will be required to opt for that infamous parking technique – parallel parking. Your plight is worse if the parallel parking needs to be done in limited spaces and you’re running short on time. Honking, impatient drivers waiting for you to parallel park your car further build up the tension.
Smart parking assist is a technology installed in many modern-day vehicles to help drivers parallel park their car with ease. Using sensors, cameras, computer systems, etc., smart parking assist is not only useful for novice and nervous drivers but even the experts. After all, we all can use a helping hand from time to time.
All the driver needs to do to activate the smart park assist system is to press a button, and the car will be maneuvered into the parking space using technology that is similar to that in collision avoidance systems.
How Does Smart Parking Assist Work?
Parallel parking of a vehicle is such that the driver will need at least 6 feet additional space to safely and properly fit in their car. Now, using the smart parking assist system does not mean that drivers can altogether leave their vehicles on auto-pilot, fold their hands, and enjoy the experience. The system is designed to “assist” the driver and not replace his role.
While the smart parking assist system handles the safe maneuvering of the vehicle into the parking spot, the driver will need to operate controls such as the brake and the reverse gear. However, the car’s idle speed is the only momentum that is required in order to maneuver the vehicle safely into the parking space.
As soon as the smart parking assist system has been engaged, it immediately performs all calculations needed – detecting any perceived obstacles via cameras and sensors – and starts taking over the steering system. These cameras and sensors act as transmitters and receivers. Signals are transmitted by the vehicle that bounces back off objects in the vicinity following which the computer will calculate the distance of such objects from the car. The driver will need to pull forward alongside the vehicle parked in front of the empty parking spot, and the system will indicate the right time to pull over. Then, the driver will be required to put their car in reverse mode and ease their foot from the brake pedal so that the vehicle can slowly move backward.
The steering system, under the control of the on-board computer system, will be turned to the left or right to avoid hitting any obstacles in the vicinity and the car will be carefully maneuvered into the parking spot. Once the vehicle has been moved as back as possible into the parking space, the system will, yet again, give a signal for the driver to press the brake pedal, return to driving mode, and ease off the brakes again. Then, with a forward motion, a final adjustment will be made into space after which the system will signal the driver to park the vehicle using both foot and hand brakes.
Besides helping drivers face their worst nightmare with confidence, a smart parking assist system also helps in keeping their precious vehicle in top-notch condition. Parallel parking often leaves behind ugly and costly scratches and dings on the car, even the neighboring vehicles. Such unnecessary hassles can be avoided with the help of the smart parking assist system.
Finally, traffic congestions are one of the significant issues facing cities across the world, especially the densely-packed ones. No city can fight traffic issues without dealing with drivers who block streets owing to failed parallel parking maneuvers. Smart parking assist assists cities in their fight against traffic congestions by helping drivers to parallel park better, safer, and faster.