Does mobile phone parking actually work?

Parking is one of the less enjoyable parts of driving, but as technology has advanced, autonomous parking has become a feature on many vehicles in the past couple of years.

Now as mobile phone and smart technology become more integrated with the automotive industry, parking your car with your smartphone or smart watch will start to become more prevalent.

Leading technology brand Bosch has been working on a system that doesn’t require a driver in the car at all to park a car, as you control it from your phone. You press a button on your screen to initiate the throttle and then release when the car has manoeuvred itself into the right position. Most systems at the moment require you to be in the car to use the throttle while the car steers you into place.

American manufacturer Tesla has also released the ‘Summon’ system, which allows you to drive a car into or out of a space using your smartphone, and also opens your garage door for you. This feature was brought into the Model S and Model X systems in October, and is part of Elon Musk’s plan to have fully autonomous cars on the road by 2018.

Car Magazine tested the Bosch self-parking system in Germany and said that: “Fully automated parking uses data from parking sensors to make sure the coast is clear, a safe route into the space is then calculated – and thanks to electric power steering, the wheels are twirled with millimetric precision.”

Car’s Tim Pollard also mentioned that Bosch was working with the University of Oxford to develop a system so that cars can be borrowed and brought to a place of someone’s choosing on their own.

The Bosch system did work very well, and Pollard wrote: “Parking your car from your iPhone or Apple watch might seem like tech overkill today, but it’ll make sense in a multi-modal future when you borrow an EV to drive into town.”

Jack Evans


After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.

April 14, 2016

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