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Coming soon: car that parks itself
The Age ^ | August 20, 2003 | Toby Hagon

Posted on 08/23/2003 7:00:14 PM PDT by yonif

It is the next big thing in vehicle automation: the self-parking car.

In a revolutionary development for lazy and skill-deficient drivers, Toyota engineers in Japan have developed a car that can perform a perfect reverse park between two objects.

The system will be launched in Japanese showrooms late next month as an optional extra with the second generation Prius petrol-electric hybrid car, which sells for about $40,000. The system took three years to develop and is being touted as a step towards the ultimate in vehicular automation: the self-driving car.

The self-parking system uses a rear-mounted camera and a computer program to perform its task.

After electronically measuring a parking spot and marking out a "turn-in" point with a virtual flagpole, a computer turns the steering wheel automatically, swinging the rear of the car into the spot followed by the front. It can monitor white lines and gutters, ensuring no scraped wheels and making the driver look like an expert every time.

During a recent test drive by The Age, the system worked well, expertly missing vehicles and parking in perfect position. Toyota will not say whether the self-parking system is destined for other vehicles.

Chief engineer of the Prius project, Masahiro Inoue, said the system could ultimately steer the car and keep it in lanes during regular driving."It recognises the white lines, so technically we can do that," said Mr Inoue.

"But at the same time we have several issues to avoid when it comes to drivers. We have to overcome those situations."

The clever Toyota.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: automatic; autoshop; cars; japan; parking

1 posted on 08/23/2003 7:00:14 PM PDT by yonif
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To: yonif
Millions of women just screamed "Hallelujah."

Putting on my flame-proof Stillsuit now.

2 posted on 08/23/2003 7:01:27 PM PDT by Paul Atreides (Bringing you quality, non-unnecessarily-excerpted threads since 2002)
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To: Paul Atreides
Don't you mean millions of insurace-paying husbands?
3 posted on 08/23/2003 7:04:10 PM PDT by thoughtomator (Are we conservatives, or are we Republicans?)
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To: thoughtomator
LOL! I have a spare Stillsuit, if you'd like one.
4 posted on 08/23/2003 7:05:15 PM PDT by Paul Atreides (Bringing you quality, non-unnecessarily-excerpted threads since 2002)
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To: *Auto Shop
http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/bump-list
5 posted on 08/23/2003 7:05:23 PM PDT by Free the USA
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To: yonif
It is just a matter of math, after all.

Toyota knows how to maintain market share as the future closes in on the other car makin'Dinos.

Soon China will come on strong w/a $5000 basic buggy & all the rest will have to scramble out any wizbang gimmick to stand out & support their ridiculous prices.

6 posted on 08/23/2003 7:08:38 PM PDT by norraad
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To: Paul Atreides; thoughtomator
Sorry, guys! The only thing missing today is decent Drivers' Education classes. This female, parallel parking, no problemo!
7 posted on 08/23/2003 7:10:44 PM PDT by rightazrain
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To: Paul Atreides

8 posted on 08/23/2003 7:13:37 PM PDT by JoeSixPack1 (POW/MIA - Bring 'em home, or send us back! Semper Fi)
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To: JoeSixPack1
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9 posted on 08/23/2003 7:15:16 PM PDT by Paul Atreides (Bringing you quality, non-unnecessarily-excerpted threads since 2002)
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To: yonif
There's hope yet for this Woman


10 posted on 08/23/2003 7:16:17 PM PDT by rmmcdaniell
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: yonif
Far too many people should never have been given a driver's license. This is a great technological achievement, but unfortunately it gives people an excuse to never learn how to properly drive and park a car.
12 posted on 08/23/2003 7:17:23 PM PDT by July 4th
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To: yonif
OK, Willie G., how many valet parker layoffs are we talking about?
13 posted on 08/23/2003 7:25:38 PM PDT by Consort
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To: Paul Atreides
now I can drink and drive!
14 posted on 08/23/2003 7:31:12 PM PDT by hadaclueonce ("had a clue onece, and that is one more time than most")
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To: yonif
In a revolutionary development for lazy and skill-deficient drivers, Toyota engineers in Japan have developed a car that can perform a perfect reverse park between two objects.

This is the big one! A self-parallel parking car! Brethren and cisterns, forget Paradise, for this is an upgrade.

After all, let's be honest. Some of us might have accidentally, just teensy-weensy jumped the curb a time or two - or worse - trying to manuever our cars. And it has nothing to do with being lazy or skill-deficient.....:)

15 posted on 08/23/2003 7:35:20 PM PDT by xJones
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To: yonif
I learned to drive at the tender age of 34, and though I did flunk my drivers test three times, parallel parking was the one skill I took to almost immediately. Go figure, huh?
16 posted on 08/23/2003 7:35:32 PM PDT by HitmanLV (I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.)
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To: Howlin; Ed_NYC; MonroeDNA; widgysoft; Springman; Timesink; dubyaismypresident; Grani; coug97; ...
Just damn.

If you want on the new list, FReepmail me. This IS a high-volume PING list...

17 posted on 08/23/2003 7:35:49 PM PDT by mhking
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To: Paul Atreides
Millions of women just screamed "Hallelujah."

Yep, and I am one of them. :^)

18 posted on 08/23/2003 7:38:45 PM PDT by Samwise (There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.)
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To: mhking
Ferrari, any time ;-)


19 posted on 08/23/2003 7:45:25 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul (Let's cruise, let's glide… if you want it you got it forever, I love it when we're cruising together)
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To: yonif
The post between the garage doors at my parents house wishes many times over that my Mom could have had this for her car.
20 posted on 08/23/2003 7:47:19 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: yonif
Ugh...this would take all the fun out of driving. May they never have fully automated cars!!
21 posted on 08/23/2003 7:51:23 PM PDT by Ayn Rand wannabe (Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups!)
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I've always found it strange that my mom would always drive far from the center line, and way over towards the curb(and sometimes onto it). Instinctively, wouldn't you want to drive closest to the line that you can see the easiest, since it is easier to guide off of? My thesis is that it really is predominantly a woman thing, along the lines of how they often avoid going to the doctor because they are afraid of bad news, being overly cautious and trying not to think about what hasn't been confirmed or seen.
22 posted on 08/23/2003 7:51:57 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: yonif
So, whos insurance pays when the onboard computer messes up and runs the car into something??
23 posted on 08/23/2003 9:15:24 PM PDT by trussell (Pesky, hiding, blonde hair-causing a blonde moment!! Can't find it to pull it out!!)
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To: yonif
Hold muh stick shift alert!
24 posted on 08/23/2003 9:17:45 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Go ahead, make my day and re-state the obvious! Again!)
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To: rmmcdaniell


Unparalleled Parking
25 posted on 08/24/2003 12:08:49 AM PDT by non-anonymous
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