Did you ever wish you could just go home and hand over the keys to your valet, who would park your car for you?
Engineers at Honda are testing an electric vehicle that can drive itself into a home carport. After parking itself, the car recharges its own battery with a wireless charging station.
Honda's chief researcher for the project, Kazuhisa Sato, says the system offers efficient recharging and would be convenient for drivers who are not good at parking.
The technology was demonstrated at a house just outside Tokyo on Monday.
A computer installed in the vehicle contains data on the location of the house and garage. The driver uses a smartphone to instruct the electric vehicle to drive itself into the garage. An array of cameras installed on the house and in the garage ensures that the moving vehicle avoids obstacles as it maneuvers itself into its parking spot.
After the car parks itself, the driver uses a smartphone to begin recharging the battery. The charger is a non-contact wireless device that fits under the car, with no plug-in required.
Engineers say they need to continue to test the technology under challenging conditions like storms and heavy snow.
Sato says his team hopes to make the technology ready for practical use in the near future. Until then, you will just have to park your car yourself.