We’ve all been there. You see a gap in a row of parked cars and it looks impossibly tight. You pull up next to it and try to work out if you can fit. You either bottle it and park a mile away or you go for it. Wouldn’t it be nice to know instantly whether you can get in or whether you’re wasting your time?
Guess what, Linters … now you can.
The new Citroen C4 Picasso is, we’re told, the UK’s very first car to feature an "integrated parking space measurement" system from Bosch. The driver assistance unit tells the vehicle's driver whether any prospective parking space is long enough for the car. Based on a standard sort of parking assistant with bumper mounted ultrasound sensors, the parking space measurement tool incorporates extra sensors on the side.
On finding a potential space, the driver activates the system via a button on the steering wheel. The system establishes which side the space is on by identifying which turn signal is in use. While driving past - at a speed of around 12mph - the sensor then gauges the space. The assistant indicates to the driver via the central display whether the gap is big enough for the car, a tight squeeze, or simply too small. The same visual and acoustic signals that feature in the parking assistant then warn the driver of any obstacles. Apparently, it even works for spaces on a slight curve.
And it gets better. Bosch will soon produce a system that will both measure the length of a space and suggest the best way to steer and manoeuvre into the space. A further development level in the same year will make it possible to directly control electrically supported steering - the driver will only need to operate the gas pedal and brake, while the parking assistant will take care of the steering.
Are we looking forward to testing this or what? We’ll bring you more when we get our hands on one.