Park-assist is a brilliant thing, isn’t it? And it shouldn’t even be called “park-assist” – it should just be called “park”, because that’s what the latest cars do. On their own. I love it.
OK so most of them need you to apply the throttle but it’s still a great aid. My colleague Matthias who works in our German office had an interesting day recently, testing a whole load of different manufacturer’s park assist capabilities. He did this for AutoBild magazine which is renowned for carrying out some pretty comprehensive consumer testing and whose editorial carries a lot of weight with the car buying public.
Using the VBOX ADAS test system he mapped the parking space. It’s actually the Lane Departure mode that is running when the car performs the manoeuvre – we’ve changed the firmware: now four contact points of the vehicle are input so that the car’s profile can be accurately measured against the lane edge.
Then a VBOX HD was also set up to film the cars as they backed into the space with the separation data all being logged and displayed. Nine cars were tested, from VW, BMW/Mini, Hyundai, Peugeot, Audi, Mercedes, Ford, and Skoda.
This video shows the Skoda backing into a space barely 60cm bigger than the car’s length: http://youtu.be/B0HaWBqyp9w