Lee has recently got his hands on a VW Golf, which comes with a nifty feature of having parking assistance, so we decided to put him to the test. Lee hadn’t yet used this feature in his car, so we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to let you all see first hand if this bit of tech is worth it – and find out how Lee felt when using it for the first time.
I was so nervous before using the self-parking tech in my car! I’ve never used it before, so it was alien to me. Aside from not knowing what to expect, I also had no idea how to use it, but a couple of YouTube videos before-hand made it seem pretty straightforward – so I went to try it!
Let’s give it a go
It took me a couple of tries to actually get the system to work. I was doing everything I thought I needed to, but on the first couple of attempts, it just wouldn’t do it. It’s possible that the reason for this is I was trying to park in a bay that was slightly slanted. I’m not sure if there is an error in the sensors on my car, or it wasn’t designed to park in a slanted space – but either way, it was a fail. I picked a new bay (that was straight) to try again. I also quickly realised, that the self-parking would not work if I was trying to perform the manoeuvre on the right! Again, I have no idea if this is a system fault, or if the car is just not designed to park on the right – but either way, my little Golf would not make the turn.
When I finally got the self-parking to work and realised it perform the manoeuvre to the left, I thought I was onto a winner. I selected the option to park in a bay, and then pulled past the space I intended to park in as instructed in the video tutorials I had watched a few minutes prior (I think this is so the car can determine all of the objects that are around it, meaning it should go into the space seamlessly). It was such a weird experience – the steering wheel just turned by itself! Although the process was a little slow, I thought it was going well. Unfortunately, even when it did make it into the bay, it just wasn’t straight! At this point I found myself getting a little frustrated because even though it was parked, there was no room for me to get out.
The third and final attempt
Honestly, I thought to myself if it doesn’t work this time – I’m giving it up as a bad job. I can park my car anyway, so this feature is more of an added bonus than an essential for me. I started again, by selecting the bay parking option, and pulling past the space I wanted to go into. I selected reverse and patiently waited for the car to do its thing. I couldn’t believe it, but it actually worked! I was parked perfectly between the cars and in the bay (although still slightly over to the right)!
Whilst this feature is cool, it’s definitely not something I would rely on. The feeling of not being in total control of what was happening was a very weird experience, and I can’t say I enjoyed it. I was too anxious about taking control of the car in time if I needed to, to be able to enjoy the feeling of not having to park! Maybe once I’ve mastered how to do it, I may give it another go, but until then I’ll stick with parking my car myself 😉
In a recent survey of 371 drivers, 51% of those aged between 17-24 wish they had parking assist in their cars.