When I went for my Code 14, I discovered that I’m most definitely allergic to alley docking. I have huge respect for truck drivers who do this – day in and day out. However, a recent development got me thinking: wouldn’t it be cool if all trucks could alley dock themselves?
The notion isn’t as daft as you may think – because the Volkswagen Group is currently testing autonomous parking at Hamburg Airport. We’re talking dinky toys – they’re experimenting with Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche cars, which navigate their way to a parking space sans a driver.
Johann Jungwirth, chief digital officer of the Volkswagen Group, points out that autonomous parking can make an important contribution to creating convenient, stress-free mobility for customers. “We therefore want to democratise the technology and make it accessible to as many people as possible,” he tells FOCUS. (Hear, hear!)
The vehicles with the autonomous parking function will all be equipped with an active surroundings-recognition system. This is able to recognise objects and react accordingly; by going around them, braking, or stopping completely. So, in theory, they won’t flatten people in the parkade, which is rather nice to know.
This technology should be available on standard production cars from the start of the next decade. And, who knows, maybe it will be rolled out to trucks one day? (A girl can dream, huh?!)