If you're the type that finds the process of parallel parking tedious, several automakers, including both BMW and Lexus, have developed systems to make the task easier, even to the point that some vehicles now park themselves.
Today, Mercedes has released details of their foray into the world of parking assistance - a new parking guidance system, set to make its debut as an option on the new CL-Class.
Here's a quick summary of how it works...
First, the parking guidance
system automatically uses side mounted radar sensors to monitor whether the space on either the driver or passenger side is adequate to park the vehicle. If it is, the dashboard displays a "P" icon, alerting the driver to the fact a suitable space is available.
Once the driver stops the vehicle and changes to reverse gear, the instrument cluster then displays a bird's eye view of the parking situation along with guide lines showing how best to park. Red lines indicate the current steering angle, while yellow lines show the steering angle needed. As the driver turns the steering wheel and the two lines coincide, they then combine to form green lines, alerting the
driver that he is now in the appropriate angle to reverse.
as the driver is reversing, an audible signal gives notice when it's time to countersteer, perfectly situating them and their new coupe in that ordinarily too-tight-to-fit-in parking space.
As already stated, the new parking guidance system will be available on the new CL-Class as an option, with availability starting at the end of 2006. To learn more, keep reading for the full press release.
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
The technology behind the new Mercedes-Benz CL-Class - Parking assistance: New Mercedes coupé uses radar to help the driver park
Stuttgart, Aug 28, 2006
A newly developed parking guidance system is making its series production debut in the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class this autumn. The system uses radar technology to help the driver find a suitable parking space and park the vehicle.
When driving past at a speed of up to around 40 km/h, side-mounted radar sensors in the front and rear bumpers of the new luxury coupé measure whether the parking spaces on the driver and front passenger sides are sufficiently large for the vehicle. Once the system has found a suitable parking space on the front passenger side, a blue "P" symbol appears in the instrument cluster if the vehicle speed is below 16 km/h. Parking spaces on the driver’s side are shown if the indicator on that side is operated.
Once the driver has stopped the coupé in the position shown on the display and engaged reverse gear, the display shows a symbolic, bird’s-eye-view representation of the parking situation. Coloured guide lines show the driver how best to park: a red line indicates the current steering angle, while a yellow line shows the steering angle required for parking. The driver now turns the steering wheel until the two lines coincide, and can then begin to reverse slowly. As soon as the ideal and actual steering angles coincide, the guide lines on the display change to green. When reversing, an acoustic signal informs the driver when it is time to countersteer.
During the parking manoeuvre, the guidance system continuously monitors the steering angle and vehicle position. If the driver stops before reaching the recommended position, for example, the system automatically recalculates the ideal steering angle for smooth parking.
The new radar-based parking guidance system, which will be optionally available for the CL-Class from the end of 2006, works in tandem with the Parking Assist feature familiar from the S-Class. This system uses radar to measure the distance to obstacles in front of and behind the car, informing the driver by means of the display and an intermittent acoustic warning.
Copyright © 2006, DaimlerChrysler AG