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.