Driverless cars are not exactly breaking news. Experts say driverless cars will be common as soon as 2015. Personally, I think it’s going to take people a while to get used to letting go of the wheel and “giving up” the control of their vehicle. The only way the governments around the world would allow driverless cars is if there was a way the driver could instantly take control of it if needed. Honda’s valet parking system takes a clever path around that promise.
In order for a driverless car to be taken control of instantly, there has to be a driver in front of the wheel, we all know that. Honda somewhat gets around that obstacle by having their car not drive on public roads with their valet parking system. It’s a clever way of reading the law that was passed recently, at least in California.
By using Honda’s own rear view cameras implemented in almost all their new cars and coupling the system with surveillance cameras in the parking lot itself, Honda has successfully created a system that will allow Honda cars to drive themselves to an available designated parking spot. The system is so optimized that several cars can drive to their spot at the same time without bumping into each other or causing accidents.
Furthermore, when the owner comes back, the car can automatically be called to the front so the owner can comfortably drive off. Honda believes their valet parking system could be implemented by 2020, or even earlier depending on how much they can optimize their system. This is a somewhat modest timeframe when you think about the fact that Elon Musk said that Tesla will roll out self-driving cars by 2016.
As we all know, there are several car brands (like BMW, Audi and a whole lot more) that already have a driverless feature implemented, and with great success as well. One might predict that it’s just a matter of time before these systems will become a part of our everyday endeavors. There’s no doubt a valet parking system will add to our everyday convenience.