Would Self-Driving Cars Eventually Redefine Parking?


Tesla by Chris Yarzab on Flickr under Creative commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Intelligent computers. Multiple sensors. Mounted cameras. Artificial learning. These are all the rave nowadays when it comes to the future of autonomous vehicles. Various car manufacturers have taken the leap since the downfall of the muscle car era. And ever since the ushering of a new generation of vehicles, we’ve seen more and more changes and improvements, not only on the cars fuel efficiency and road safety, but also with computer sensors. Gone are the days when people had to literally manually maneuver their vehicle when parallel parking, and those days of painstakingly turning the steering wheel are now but a distant memory. Nowadays, car manufacturers are unveiling rides with what they call as “self-driving technology” in which a person need not suddenly step on the brakes to avoid a collision or even steer when driving down the freeway. And this innovation has only been bolstered with the introduction of new self-driving cars this 2020. Though there have been numerous attempts at developing self-driving car technology (Nissan and Audi, to name a few), no other company today captures the definition, or at the very least, market the concept of autonomous driving such as Tesla.

All of their vehicles come with an autopilot feature that allows drivers to take off their hand while driving. And while it may sound as a pigment of one’s imagination, reviews all across the internet have proven that, to a certain extent, Tesla’s autopilot feature does live up to its name. And while Tesla’s self-driving car has yet to be defined as a fully autonomous one, it does seem that there’s no turning back. In fact, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, released a statement early this year in an artificial conference in China that they aim to develop fully autonomous cars by the end of 2020.

So, what does this mean for the future of parking? With smart parking sensors and cameras now being integrated into smart cars, the process of parking itself would, in theory, become easier than ever. Add the fact that cars are gearing for self-driving capabilities and we might just ease up on stressing about parking altogether. But parking your car is one thing, looking for a parking spot is a totally different argument altogether.

With technology being more and more prominent in everyday life, it’s not that hard to imagine a day where one could look up the GPS and see available parking spots scattered across your city. And given the fact that parking is indeed one of the most problematic issues local governments and agencies face today, there is no doubt that smart parking solutions will also be a growing trend in the coming years. We’re already seeing innovations in that department such as more sophisticated smart parking apps and parking finders. And though it looks it’s still relatively in its orphan stages, it opens up possibilities for what could be potentially a more convenient way of parking.

It’s worth taking note though that while having a more technological way of looking for a decent parking spot is indeed something we want or even need to integrate in our vehicles, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who also want to invest in that technology. So, it leaves the argument that even though smart parking systems and solutions may be a reality in the coming years, you’re not the only one using it.

So, the answer would be both yes, and not. Because at the end of the day, it boils down to who is able to secure for that grail spot first.

-----

Swap-A-Park is redefining parking apps with a sophisticated yet simple interface that allows drivers to trade or swap parking spaces conveniently wherever they may be. Check out the features here or you could download the app here.