The $700 valet

Growing up in Texas, where we don’t have space limitations and the parking spaces are sensibly sized like football endzones, adapting to the parallel parking conditions in DC has been a challenge. In Texas, I didn’t have to be able parallel park well to pass the driving test. In fact, as I discovered, I didn’t even have to obey all the stop signs. Standards are a bit more relaxed down there.

Parking around DC is more difficult. As a few unfortunate friends can attest, backing my Aztek into a crowded spot usually requires at least half a dozen tries and a consultation with my seventh grade geometry text book.

That’s why I think Toyota’s new “parking assist” feature is so very cool. The $700 option does all the work of parallel parking, leaving the driver to merely ease off the brake pedal to control the car’s speed. It’s only available on hybrid models in the UK right now, but will probably be making its way to the US. Be sure to check out the video to see a self-parking car in action.

[Via Barzelay’s newly weblog.]


2 thoughts on “The $700 valet”

  1. Yeah, this system seems really cool. Since coming to DC, I have started to get better at parallel parking. In FL, you can usually just drive around until you find a nice, big spot, but here there are no such spots to be had. It necessitates much more challenging parking attempts. I’ve discovered that I’m very good at parallel parking into spots on my driver’s side, but I’m also improving at the passenger’s side spots.

    It also helps that I drive an SUV (Ford Explorer), so going up onto the curb a bit is of no consequence.

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