Digital Trends: Aftermarket autonomy: This magic box gives your car self-parking abilities

Posted by STEER On July 11, 2020

Like a magician setting up a trick, Anuja Sonalker starts by making it clear that there is no hidden driver in her car’s front or back seat. Next, she presses the phone camera up against the side window and waves it around until I reassure her that I’m satisfied. (As with so many tech demos here in 2020, this demonstration is carried out via Zoom, rather than in-person.) Sonalker then turns and strides away from the idling vehicle until she is maybe 10 or 15 feet away. Next, she holds up a smartphone displaying the STEER Tech app and taps it a couple of times.

In the background, the car springs to life. It begins by running a handful of safety checks, making sure that everything from the headlights to the wipers are working properly, and that it has enough fuel to complete its journey. Then it starts to move, rolling slowly into the path of a pair of human-driven cars exiting the parking lot. It stops just in time. When the cars have crossed without incident, Sonalker’s car continues its journey, driving up and down a couple of lanes before it finds a free parking bay, which it finally reverses smoothly into. Mission accomplished.

“Would you like me to summon it for you again?” Sonalker asks, cheerily.

After I answer in the affirmative, Sonalker taps a couple more buttons on the app and the car edges forward, this time pausing to allow a facemask-wearing couple to cross in front of it. Then it repeats the journey in reverse, ultimately ending back in the position it was at the beginning of the demo.

Read the original article on Digital Trends here.