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This Audi can find its own parking spot. But is that a good thing?

Published February 12, 2013
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I have always been an advocate for the driver doing the driving. Not technology.

There are a couple of reasons.

One, the more responsibility you take away from the driver, the more likely the driver will become bored with driving and the greater the likelihood of driver distraction occurring.

There are too many ways for a driver to become distracted. Give the driver the feeling they can pay less attention to driving because technology is doing it for them and now we have even more drivers who are distracted on our roads.

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Two, there are some skills the driver needs to put to use because technology can’t cover every driving scenario. Take the new “Blind Spot Detection” devices that warn a driver if an object is in their blind spot. This will encourage drivers to no longer check their blind spot, but there are times when the technology will not work as well as a shoulder check.

Now we have this latest wizardry from Audi.

My brother and fellow advance driving instructor, Pete, just sent me this link to an Audi video showing its latest technological wonder called Audi Piloted Driving, which allows a car to find its own parking spot. Watch the video below:

As this video demonstrates, a motorist can hop out of their Audi in a shopping mall and with the press of a button on their smart phone have their Audi find a spot and then park itself. Sure it’s convenient but what if?

What if a situation arises that the sensors and the car’s computers can’t anticipate? What if a speeding vehicle zips by as the Audi is pulling out. We have all seen boneheaded drivers speeding in mall parking lots. Will it detect debris on the ground in the parking spot or a pot hole?

If a motorist needs a computer and sensors to do their parking, maybe it’s time for these drivers to hand in their licence. Ford has similar technology that allows a car to parallel park itself. If a motorist is not capable of parallel parking, maybe they shouldn’t be driving.

We should not be making the task of driving less involved. When a driver becomes detached from the task of driving, this almost always paves the way for the development of lazy driving habits and complacence on our roads.

Until the day we replace the driver all together, let’s work on making better drivers and keeping them involved in their driving.

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