Drivers Not Ready for Autonomous Parking: AAA

October 5, 2015

Despite an array of newfangled self-parking features that are being introduced in vehicles, Americans are not ready to give up control.

Only one-in-four Americans would trust this technology to park their vehicle, according to a survey from AAA.

The survey also showed that nearly 80 percent of American drivers are confident in their parallel parking abilities.

Despite the feeling of unease about assisted parking technologies, testing by AAA found the technology outperformed unassisted drivers in four key areas.

The Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center and AAA tested self-parking features on five vehicles: a 2015 Lincoln MKC; a 2015 Mercedes-Benz ML400 4Matic; a 2015 Cadillac CTS-V Sport; a 2015 BMW i3; and a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited.

The testing found that compared with drivers that manually parallel parked with the aid of a standard back-up camera:

Drivers using self-parking systems experienced 81 percent fewer curb strikes;

Self-parking systems parallel parked the vehicle using 47 percent fewer maneuvers, with some systems completing the task in as little as one maneuver;

Self-parking systems were able to park a vehicle 10 percent faster;

Self-parking systems were able to park 37 percent closer to the curb.

“AAA’s testing found that self-parking technology outperformed manual parking in number of curb strikes, number of maneuvers, speed and accuracy,” said Megan McKernan, manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center. “While Americans report feeling confident in their parallel parking abilities, this technology proves there is room for improvement.”

While the tested self-parking systems performed well, the technology is not without flaws. AAA found that some systems parked the vehicles exceedingly close to the curb, leaving wheels and tires vulnerable to scratches and costly repairs.

“AAA recommends that drivers leave six-to-eight inches between the vehicle and the curb when parallel parking,” said Nielsen. “With some systems leaving as little as a half-inch buffer, AAA urges automakers to increase this distance to prevent vehicle damage.”

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Insurance Journal West October 5, 2015
October 5, 2015
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