A few weeks ago, we posted a video of Audi at CES. The video was a showcase on Audi’s new piloted parking program. (For those who don’t know, CES is a huge car show in Detroit) It was crazy, as we watched the A7 drove off and parked itself, the driver was already inside the building. The car talked to the owner’s smart phone for commands to be transmitted. Yes, there really is an app for that. The parking program is still in its beta stage, but the basics are straight forward. The car uses an array of internal and external sensors to read its surroundings. For the demo, Audi had also set up external sensors in the garage to help the car park. These sensors are not unlike the ones used in park assist or backing up, just a whole lot smarter. The idea is for people who may be running late or just don’t want to deal with parking. (*cough* posers) Here at CA we saw the video and were happy to see Audi outdoing the other guys, but as the shock of the video faded, we took a different view completely. As much as we like the idea of parking cars, do we really want to take even more away from the driving experience? Now we know that parking is not the best part of driving (Although drifting into a spot can be fun…) but it helps make the driving part better, all that work to drive the car out slowly and carefully makes the WOT later feel better. It’s like driving a boat; you start out slowly in a no wake zone, and then punch it and feel the power and speed. Delaying gratification makes the payout feel better. Not to mention, that no real car guy is going to jump out and let his work of art park itself. It’s not in our DNA; we have to make sure it’s not parked next to the guy who opens doors into other cars. So as we thought about it more, we realized that driving should not be about ease, or convenience. Driving should be about driving.
Whatever happened to this: