Vasudev - Computer Science — 09 February 2013
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Computer scientists are making cars park themselves

Have you ever wanted to feel like James Bond and have a car that drives on its own? Well, Audi can fix you up. At CES (Consumer Electronic Show) 2013, Audi showcased its new self-parking car. All you have to do is jump out of your car, press “park” on your smart phone and prepare to be dazzled by the latest in computer science.  When it’s time to get back in your car, simply press “pick-up”. It’s as simple as that. Your smart phone has now become your mobile valet service.

Audi’s accuracy comes from special sensors that are embedded in the desired parking area like a garage or parking lot. Audi, which used their own special sensors for the demo, is working on sensors that will be built into the car to ensure that this feature will work anywhere. The sensor is similar to the one Google uses for its self-driving car (the huge thing on top). Here is a video showing a demonstration of Audi’s car.

Although the car is not fully ready for consumer use, it will be pretty soon. Science fiction is becoming science reality. But, with this new technology comes new considerations. For example, who is responsible if the car gets into an accident? Clearly, with no driver in the seat who is to blame?  Audi or the person that is technically “driving” it? Google’s car has gone over 300,000 miles without an accident, but it’s still something to consider.

For me, I’d rather park my own car. I like to drive, and even though it may be tough to find parking, I like to be in control of where my car is and what is happening to it especially after all I have paid for it.

What do you think? Is society ready for cars that drive themselves?

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