9/22/2015 | 1 MINUTE READ

Drivers Leery of Automated-Parking Technology

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Vehicles equipped with self-parking technology can parallel park faster, closer to the curb and in fewer maneuvers than drivers can do the job manually with the aid of a back-up camera, according to recent tests by AAA.

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Vehicles equipped with self-parking technology can parallel park faster, closer to the curb and in fewer maneuvers than drivers can do the job manually with the aid of a back-up camera, according to recent tests by AAA. The insurance and automotive service provider says automated systems also yield fewer curb strikes.

But only one in four people surveyed by AAA say they would trust the technology to park their vehicle, while nearly 80% expressed confidence in their own parallel parking skills. In partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center, AAA tested self-parking features on five 2015 models: a Lincoln MKC, Mercedes-Benz ML400 4Matic, Cadillac CTS-V Sport, BMW i3 and a Jeep Cherokee Limited.

Among the results, AAA says self-parking systems parallel parked the vehicle using 47% fewer maneuvers, with some systems completing the task in as little as one. They also are parked vehicles 10% faster and were able to park 37% closer to the curb. In addition, AAA says, drivers using self-parking systems experienced 81% fewer curb strikes.

On the downside, the AAA tests found that some systems parked vehicles extremely close to the curb with as little as a half-inch buffer which it notes could result in unwanted contact that damages the wheels and/or tires vulnerable. Recommending six to eight inches between the vehicle and the curb, AAA advocates that such tolerances are built into future parking assist systems.