There are several cars on the market that have the technology to parallel park your car while you’re still in it. But Volvo doesn’t think that’s good enough. It’s developing a car that works as its own valet. It would drop you off at the door, drive into the parking lot, find a space and park. And best of all: no tip required.
The driver would initiate the automatic valet service via a smartphone. The vehicle has sensors and cameras aboard navigate the vehicle and ensure that it doesn’t hit people or other cars. Once the car finds a parking space, the vehicle parks and sends a message to the smarphone, helping the driver locate the car later.
Volvo says the technology — still in concept cars — would work with existing parking lots, but it would still need what the company calls “Vehicle 2 Infrastructure” — basically systems of radio transmitters in the parking lot that tell the car where the open spaces are. And it’s still in the concept stage, so don’t expect the feature for another few years — instead Volvo will be adding technologies that give more computer control step by step. Models released later this year will have autonomous steering, for example.