Park Assist – the first automated parking aid introduced to the automobile world by Volkswagen – reaches its ten-year milestone in the Middle East. The feature which previously only supported a maximum of two moves for parallel parking and a clearance requirement of ‘the vehicle length plus 1.40meters’, has since become the ideal companion for drivers, particularly for those living in cities. Arriving in the region in 2007 with the Tiguan, Park Assist brought with it, a safe and convenient solution to the long-suffering car-parker.
“Volkswagen engineers made it their mission to solve the universally common frustration of parking through pioneering innovative technologies. Over the past ten years, we’ve seen Park Assist develop from a feature with limited options to a fully-fledged, affordably innovative assistant that makes parking hassle-free for drivers,” commented Andrew Savvas, Brand Director Volkswagen Middle East. First introduced in the Volkswagen Touran in 2006, Park Assist supported the driver by automatically performing the correct steering wheel movements to take the ideal line to park. The measurement of the parking space, the assignment of the starting position and the steering movements were automatically undertaken by the Park Assist and the driver was only required to accelerate and brake.
By 2010, parking in spaces lengthwise could be done more quickly and by 2012, the option of parking at right-angles to the road was added. Thanks to ever more complex algorithms, the total of twelve ultrasonic sensors on the vehicle made it possible to consistently and precisely assess the environment, subsequently reducing the required buffer in the size of parking space significantly down to 90 centimetres.
Generation 3.0 that was launched in 2015 added a function for forward parking, leaving virtually nothing to be desired. Park Assist now only needs only 80 centimetres of ‘elbow room’ to slot the driver into a parking space. An “emergency brake” is now available too - although this cannot completely eliminate parking accidents, it can at least minimise the damage.
In the past decade, a lot has happened in the cockpit too: formerly, only a simple representation of the environment consisting of six objects was possible; now the detailed environment and the swing out area can be shown on a digital map, calculated by an intelligent system.
The Park Assist function is available in the Golf, CC and Tiguan Volkswagen models. To find out more, visit Volkswagen Kuwait showroom in Al Rai.