Monday, December 6, 2010

Parking Assist Systems

Developed in 2004 by Toyota, the Intelligent Parking Assist System (known as IPAS in the industry) was designed to assist drivers in parking their vehicles. The reason I wanted to post about this technology today is because I thought it would never be commercially successful, but it seems like many manufacturers are now using similar systems in their vehicles. For a couple of reasons, I'm concerned over this being so widely implemented.


The concept was first implemented on the Lexus LS, and was composed of cameras and sensors connected to on board computer processors. The driver can use the computer screen to show the vehicle where to park itself, and the sensors are supposed to stop the vehicle if it comes close to hitting a vehicle or another object.

Many other companies are marketing this technology under different names, but with nearly an identical concept. One reason why I was skeptical of this technology is because of what happens if there is an accident. For instance, say a sensor isn't working properly and does not detect another vehicle while in the process of self-parking. Say there is a small bumper-to-bumper accident resulting from this broken sensor. Who is at fault? Does the driver assume responsibility under their insurance, or does the manufacturer get involved?

I have been unable to find definitive information about where the liability lays if there is an accident resulting from the system failing. If anyone knows, please inform me!


The second reason why this technology concerns me is the lack of driving skills that are required to operate a vehicle. If you can't parallel park, or even pull into a parking stall, you shouldn't be driving. This technology is reducing the skill level necessary to drive a car, which is NOT a good thing. Over time, as driving becomes more automated, people's reaction time will inevitably decrease, and in my opinion this is setting a horrible precedent.

This post turned out to be more of a rant than an informative post, but I'm interested to hear thoughts and opinions on this subject.

42 comments:

  1. yea this is pretty nice stuff here. i wish my escort had it.

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  2. I completely agree with your point of view. But the advatange of this system is that my car won't be hit by a women's/black's car when mine is correctly parked : )

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  3. If American drivers' reaction times get any slower they'll fall asleep at the wheel.

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  4. you're right... if you seriously can't parallel park then you shouldn't be driving... but shit, i would love for the car to do that for me

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  5. Hm... although it decreases skill level, technology like this to fully automate driving might be inevitable.

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  6. Good thing I'm a guy and know how to drive lol.

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  7. if the driver can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the system malfunctioned causing the actual damage than he ca sew the company that made it but his insurance has to pay either way

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  8. Seems like this is definietly for lazy and old people.

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  9. hey man, blind people need to park cars too!
    Oh wait, they shouldn't be driving. Yeah, this technology is crap.

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  10. I'd rather do that myself, than trust my car to a computer that will probably crash it

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  11. Pretty soon they're going to invent something that will completely drive your car for you. You just get in the passenger's side, plug in the address, relax and enjoy the ride.

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  12. That's pretty cool. Could be fun to try :)

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  13. I've never approved of these systems, mostly for the reasons you've listed. If someone is actually dependent on such a system, I wouldn't feel safe at all.

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  14. It is kind of concerning. It does dumb down people and their driving "skills." Just more of a reason to be paranoid when driving.

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  15. Lol man technology is a good thing in a way, but it's making people lazy as hell.

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  16. parents have this in their car and its really nice

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  17. i wouldnt want sensors to control how i park. i have good vision.

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  18. I don't think this technology is bad, but I think that too many people are going to solely rely on these types of things to basically park for them. I would only even consider using something like this to ASSIST in parking, not to do it for me haha.

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  19. I believe the maker should be responsible for the accidents that resulted from using these technologies

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  20. I agree. If you need something like this then you shouldn't be on the road. The bad thing about making things easier is it allows people to slack on being safe.

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  21. why just do it with parking? Make the whole damn thing automated. None of us should be driving. Get the computers to do it for us.

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  22. I agree with coop, dirty computers should be driving us. I am far too important to drive myself.

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  23. i got one of those in my car, it is really useful!

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  24. How much would a system like that go for on the market?

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  25. You make very interesting points as far as it goes with the notable decrease in necessary skill for driving. Theoretically the technology would be there to supplement skill, but it seems likely it might be used to replace. I suppose only time will tell. :/

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  26. meh, I've always thought those were useless

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  27. Cool innovation but I don't think I'd use one

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  28. Very interesting, I'm curious too about this, and whos fault it would be

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  29. Sure they're useful for people who actually can't park, but I thought the whole point of learning to drive and earn your licence was to learn how to do stuff like that? I just think if they fail (which let's face it, they won't work all the time!) it's just going to force other people to pay out for repairs from collisions caused by people who can't properly drive and rely on these. In my opinion, if they have to rely on these, they shouldn't be on the road at all. I don't have much faith in sat navs but I prefer them to something like this.

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