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The Elon Musk of Tesla is a promise of a parking function for 2019. The only problem? It can be illegal

The Elon Musk of Tesla is a promise of a parking function for 2019. The only problem? It can be illegal

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Tesla & # 39; s CEO Elon Musk imagines a future where parking is automated.

Tesla & # 39; s CEO Elon Musk imagines a future where parking is automated.Getty Images

The search for a parking space can be a nightmare all over the world. Take New York City for example. According to the INRIX Research & # 39; s 2017 "Impact of Parking Pain" study, car drivers in the Big Apple drive 107 hours per year on the hunt for a parking space – that's more than four days of your life, you'll never come back.

For New York City alone, the total annual cost for that search is $ 4.3 billion – or $ 2.243 per driver – in wasted time, fuel and emissions. And Alec Baldwin is not the only one who finds the parking lot maddening: in the past 12 months, according to the study, 23% of drivers reported having a fight with another car driver over a parking lot.

Drivers elsewhere have a better job, but the national average is still looking for a place for 17 hours a year, costs $ 345 per driver.

The good news is that many of these parking problems & # 39 ;, as INRIX calls them, can be minimized by using self-propelled technology to automate the parking process. Even more exciting, transport visionary Elon Musk recently tweeted that Tesla is already approaching a solution.

Tesla began discussing the feature in 2016 and showed it in video demonstrations, but sends your car away to find a place and park – while you're already inside, for example in the mall, restaurant or cinema – really close by are for consumers? Although Musk & # 39; s timeline seems a bit optimistic, Doug Newcomb, senior market analyst for mobility at Wards Intelligence and a Forbes Contributor, says if someone can make it happen, it is Tesla. "They are not afraid to roll up their sleeves to get things done," he said.

However, Newcomb raised an important issue. "It does not touch on the problem of an over-the-air update – a software patch – allowing Tesla's latest version of Autopilot to park itself in one of the company's EVs, not the problem," said he. "Although I understand it, self-driving functions like these are not legal in most places."

He is right. Although there is no federal norm that regulates the use of self-propelled technology in the United States – each state makes its own regulations – advanced technologies without a driver such as Musk (SAE level 3 or higher) can generally not be put on public roads. used. without a person present to take control of the vehicle in case of emergency.

Simply press a button on your smartphone and the car parks itself while you're on the go.

Simply press a button on your smartphone and the car parks itself while you're on the go.Photo courtesy of Daimler AG

Take California, the home state of Tesla and the largest electric vehicle market in the US "If a function allows the operation of a vehicle without the active operation or monitoring of a human operator, it can only be tested or deployed on public roads if a manufacturer has a license from the DMV, "states Marty Greenstein, public information officer for the California Department of Motor Vehicles. "Along with public roads, the rules apply to private parking facilities that do not charge and are open to the use of private customers: if a manufacturer wants to sell, lease or otherwise make available driverless options commercially, he applies for a license for deployment or public use. "

To get one, the manufacturer must without doubt prove the safety of the part. That is possible, but very doubtful in the period that Musk specified.

The same applies to Europe. "Having a security driver is not only necessary from a legal point of view, but also provides valuable insight into the use of cases and reactions from the autonomous systems to even fine nuances," said a representative of Jaguar Land Rover. "This helps the refinement and development of the prototype."

Newcomb says: "So according to current regulations, the only place where such a & # 39; improved & # 39; Summon and Autopark system as described by Musk can be used, on private property, such as on a large estate." And what does that make sense?

And even if Tesla can get the right permits and overcome the legal problem, it faces a new challenge: although it might be the first to reveal a market-ready self-parking system, it will not stay alone for long. At least ten other manufacturers test advanced autonomous parking systems. Each system under investigation allows the vehicle to automatically search for a parking space, to let itself slide into the open space and then to be called back to the original delivery point from that location when the driver / passenger has finished dining or shopping, or whatever.

But is it legal for a vehicle to park on public roads?

But is it legal for a vehicle to park on public roads? Photo courtesy of Volvo

Volvo demonstrated its concept for autonomous parking already in 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden. For a small group of journalists in a pedestrian zone, a company left a self-diving XC90 and pressed a button on its smartphone and the car searched, found and parked in an empty space by itself, without a driver in the car. A second push of the button called the car back to the last location where he had been in contact with the driver.

Jaguar Land Rover demonstrated earlier this year his self-propelled servant in the town of Milton Keynes, about one and a half hours north of London, as part of the British Autodrive, a £ 20.1 million government-funded research project that addresses the challenges of introducing the self-examining vehicles to the United Kingdom. A Range Rover Sport completed the same task as the Volvo; there was, however, a safety driver in the SUV, which was not on the sidelines. That person was then met by an autonomous pod-vehicle, which brought him the "last mile" to his destination.

Ford, also part of the British Autodrive project, is testing a system called Collaborative Parking, designed to not park a vehicle itself, but to make it easier to find a space. When a driver approaches a parking garage or parking space, a diagram of the structure appears on a display in the dashboard. Parking spaces are marked filled (red) or empty (green). Drivers can reserve a place for their car and then be guided to it. In this case, the driver does not have to waste time driving up and down streets or aisles to find an open space. Room availability is constantly updated using data collected from parking sensors on other cars that have already circled and shared the plot or street with new entrants. Ford emphasizes that Collaborative Parking is simply a research project and that it does not intend to take over the function to production.

The VW Group is working together with the Hamburg airport in Germany to test the self-parking system in a private area without pedestrians. Audi, Porsche and VW cars with the latest VW technology for artificial intelligence can be dropped off at the entrance to an insulated parking garage at the airport. After they have logged in, the cars themselves go to an empty spot in the building and park themselves. When drivers are ready to be picked up, they simply give the vehicle and the car will return to the entrance. The Volkswagen group allegedly hopes that all its brands – Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley and others – will have this self-parking technology by 2020.

Daimler and Bosch are working together on a system that is being tested at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, also in a private, pedestrian safe zone. It works like the VW system, "but it is a system supported by the infrastructure," Newcomb explains. Instead of relying on the self-driving tech in the car, the car is guided by technology embedded in the garage, maneuvering in response to commands he receives from the building. When a user is ready to be picked up, the car is called via a smartphone app, just like the other systems.

The media representatives of Tesla refused to devote further attention to the development of the improved Summon and Autopark technology, when it will be available, what functionality it will offer or whether the company has considered its legality. A lack of details can certainly increase the speculation that Musk once again promises something that he can not deliver, or at least can not deliver quickly – one more thing for Tesla's new president, Robyn Denholm, to consider.

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Tesla & # 39; s CEO Elon Musk imagines a future where parking is automated.

Tesla & # 39; s CEO Elon Musk imagines a future where parking is automated.Getty Images

The search for a parking space can be a nightmare all over the world. Take New York City for example. According to the INRIX Research & # 39; s 2017 "Impact of Parking Pain" study, car drivers in the Big Apple drive 107 hours per year on the hunt for a parking space – that's more than four days of your life, you'll never come back.

For New York City alone, the total annual cost for that search is $ 4.3 billion – or $ 2.243 per driver – in wasted time, fuel and emissions. And Alec Baldwin is not the only one who finds the parking lot maddening: in the past 12 months, according to the study, 23% of drivers reported having a fight with another car driver over a parking lot.

Drivers elsewhere have a better job, but the national average is still looking for a place for 17 hours a year, costs $ 345 per driver.

The good news is that many of these parking problems & # 39 ;, as INRIX calls them, can be minimized by using self-propelled technology to automate the parking process. Even more exciting, transport visionary Elon Musk recently tweeted that Tesla is already approaching a solution.

Tesla began discussing the feature in 2016 and showed it in video demonstrations, but sends your car away to find a place and park – while you're already inside, for example in the mall, restaurant or cinema – really close by are for consumers? Although Musk & # 39; s timeline seems a bit optimistic, Doug Newcomb, senior market analyst for mobility at Wards Intelligence and a Forbes Contributor, says if someone can make it happen, it is Tesla. "They are not afraid to roll up their sleeves to get things done," he said.

However, Newcomb raised an important issue. "It does not touch on the problem of an over-the-air update – a software patch – allowing Tesla's latest version of Autopilot to park itself in one of the company's EVs, not the problem," said he. "Although I understand it, self-driving functions like these are not legal in most places."

He is right. Although there is no federal norm that regulates the use of self-propelled technology in the United States – each state makes its own regulations – advanced technologies without a driver such as Musk (SAE level 3 or higher) can generally not be put on public roads. used. without a person present to take control of the vehicle in case of emergency.

Simply press a button on your smartphone and the car parks itself while you're on the go.

Simply press a button on your smartphone and the car parks itself while you're on the go.Photo courtesy of Daimler AG

Take California, the home state of Tesla and the largest electric vehicle market in the US "If a function allows the operation of a vehicle without the active operation or monitoring of a human operator, it can only be tested or deployed on public roads if a manufacturer has a license from the DMV, "states Marty Greenstein, public information officer for the California Department of Motor Vehicles. "Along with public roads, the rules apply to private parking facilities that do not charge and are open to the use of private customers: if a manufacturer wants to sell, lease or otherwise make available driverless options commercially, he applies for a license for deployment or public use. "

To get one, the manufacturer must without doubt prove the safety of the part. That is possible, but very doubtful in the period that Musk specified.

The same applies to Europe. "Having a security driver is not only necessary from a legal point of view, but also provides valuable insight into the use of cases and reactions from the autonomous systems to even fine nuances," said a representative of Jaguar Land Rover. "This helps the refinement and development of the prototype."

Newcomb says: "So according to current regulations, the only place where such a & # 39; improved & # 39; Summon and Autopark system as described by Musk can be used, on private property, such as on a large estate." And what does that make sense?

And even if Tesla can get the right permits and overcome the legal problem, it faces a new challenge: although it might be the first to reveal a market-ready self-parking system, it will not stay alone for long. At least ten other manufacturers test advanced autonomous parking systems. Each system under investigation allows the vehicle to automatically search for a parking space, to let itself slide into the open space and then to be called back to the original delivery point from that location when the driver / passenger has finished dining or shopping, or whatever.

But is it legal for a vehicle to park on public roads?

But is it legal for a vehicle to park on public roads? Photo courtesy of Volvo

Volvo demonstrated its concept for autonomous parking already in 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden. For a small group of journalists in a pedestrian zone, a company left a self-diving XC90 and pressed a button on its smartphone and the car searched, found and parked in an empty space by itself, without a driver in the car. A second push of the button called the car back to the last location where he had been in contact with the driver.

Jaguar Land Rover demonstrated earlier this year his self-propelled servant in the town of Milton Keynes, about one and a half hours north of London, as part of the British Autodrive, a £ 20.1 million government-funded research project that addresses the challenges of introducing the self-examining vehicles to the United Kingdom. A Range Rover Sport completed the same task as the Volvo; there was, however, a safety driver in the SUV, which was not on the sidelines. That person was then met by an autonomous pod-vehicle, which brought him the "last mile" to his destination.

Ford, also part of the British Autodrive project, is testing a system called Collaborative Parking, designed to not park a vehicle itself, but to make it easier to find a space. When a driver approaches a parking garage or parking space, a diagram of the structure appears on a display in the dashboard. Parking spaces are marked filled (red) or empty (green). Drivers can reserve a place for their car and then be guided to it. In this case, the driver does not have to waste time driving up and down streets or aisles to find an open space. Room availability is constantly updated using data collected from parking sensors on other cars that have already circled and shared the plot or street with new entrants. Ford emphasizes that Collaborative Parking is simply a research project and that it does not intend to take over the function to production.

The VW Group is working together with the Hamburg airport in Germany to test the self-parking system in a private area without pedestrians. Audi, Porsche and VW cars with the latest VW technology for artificial intelligence can be dropped off at the entrance to an insulated parking garage at the airport. After they have logged in, the cars themselves go to an empty spot in the building and park themselves. When drivers are ready to be picked up, they simply give the vehicle and the car will return to the entrance. The Volkswagen group allegedly hopes that all its brands – Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley and others – will have this self-parking technology by 2020.

Daimler and Bosch are working together on a system that is being tested at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, also in a private, pedestrian safe zone. It works like the VW system, "but it is a system supported by the infrastructure," Newcomb explains. Instead of relying on the self-driving tech in the car, the car is guided by technology embedded in the garage, maneuvering in response to commands he receives from the building. When a user is ready to be picked up, the car is called via a smartphone app, just like the other systems.

The media representatives of Tesla refused to devote further attention to the development of the improved Summon and Autopark technology, when it will be available, what functionality it will offer or whether the company has considered its legality. A lack of details can certainly increase the speculation that Musk once again promises something that he can not deliver, or at least can not deliver quickly – one more thing for Tesla's new president, Robyn Denholm, to consider.

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