GM's future cars will park themselves

Summary:GM's Electrical and Controls Integration Lab is developing technology to increase fuel efficiency that would allow cars to drop off drivers, park in the first available spot and come back for pick up when it’s time to leave.

While plenty of cars have gadgets to make parallel parking easier, GM is hoping to take it to a whole different level. The company is working on self-parking cars that drop off their drivers and go find a spot by themselves.

The biggest bonus comes from the fact that the set up would cut down on fuel consumption -- since people wouldn't be driving around in circles looking for an empty space.

Car manufacturers across the board are increasingly working to make cars more “intelligent” to increase fuel efficiency (by re-routing cars to avoid traffic, tracking driving conditions, vehicle-to-vehicle communication etc.), but all of them have included having the driver in the vehicle. This new system would drop off the driver, park in the first available spot (even if it’s a little further out, it still saves gas spent on circling), and come back for pick up when it’s time to leave. A smartphone app is used for communication and GM's Electrical and Controls Integration Lab is developing the technology to make this happen. The car manufacturer has already demonstrated the system on its EN-V concept vehicle.

Google has also been working on autonomous vehicles and the company is sponsoring a bill that would allow for automated vehicles to drive on public roads in Nevada.

Of course, it’s going to take a while before people are comfortable enough with leaving their car to its own devices, but this sure will help if you’re trying to park anywhere in New York.


This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Contributing Editor Ami Cholia has written for AltTransport, Inhabitat, The Huffington Post and Sunday Mid Day in India. She holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Full Bio

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