While other car manufacturers talk about one day, maybe, possibly releasing a self-parking car, Audi is already working to make it a reality. And soon.
According to an Audi representative, its self-parking technology is ready for production, but it takes time for governments to get caught up. We'll probably be waiting another "two or three years," but the process is already underway.
As the biggest obstacle for such a project is the government support and infrastructure needed to get it off the ground, Audi is working in cooperation with Somerville, Massachusetts to support self-parking cars in the Boston area.
Efficiency above all else
The Somerville neighbourhood of Assembly Row is currently being outfitted with the required infrastructure, including a specially designed carpark for cars of both the self-parking and traditional variety.
Human drivers are an unruly bunch, and we take up far more room than is strictly necessary, but Audi predicts that structures built for its self-parking cars could require up to 60 per cent less space than the kind used today – we still need to be able to open our doors and move between cars after we park, while self-parking cars have no such problem.
But Audi's ambitions go beyond helping cars park ridiculously close to one another. The German firm is looking to help Somerville with the flow of its traffic, too. Thanks to a decision to bring the area's traffic-light information online, Audi estimates it'll be able to improve traffic flow anywhere from 20-50 per cent.
Those Audi types are nothing if not efficient.