It gives immense pleasure when a person rides a car and goes on a smooth nice highway. On the other hand, the same person gets frustrated when he has to make sharp maneuvers to parallel park his car in closely packed parking spot with front and rear car taking a portion of his parking space. I suggest a feature in cars that may alleviate the pain. Let’s see the pain and the solution.
Parking on the streets, in apartment complexes and even some other parking areas, requires one to Parallel Park a car. In Parallel parking of car, a person needs to park his car lengthwise parallel to curb. There may be car ahead and behind the parking spot where this car needs to be parked. The space provided to park this car may be around 1.5 car length – 1 length for the car and 1/4 length ahead of and 1/4 length behind the car.
The recommended and easy way for parallel parking of a car is
- Stop the car parallel to the car in front
- Turn steering wheel towards the curb and move the car backwards (reverse gear)
- when car has entered around 80% length in the parking spot, turn steering wheel away from the curb and continue moving
- Watch for the car in the back and the curb on side
- Straighten the steering wheel and move the car to maintain equal distance from car in front and back
Drawback of parallel parking in conventional way
- Parallel parking a car is a skill that one needs to learn and practice. One may not perform parallel parking without first learning it. This is the reason, Department of Motor Vehicles in USA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Department_of_Motor_Vehicles DMV on Wikipedia) requires a driving license aspirant to demonstrate how to parallel park a car.
- Even with all the learning drivers do make some mistake while parallel parking a car and the result is nicks on the bumper of car.
- Most of the time, parallel parking requires one vehicle to acquire 1.5 to 2 car parking length so that the car can get in the parking spot and come out of it.
- Parallel parking requires a vehicle to move forward and then reverse causing it to travel more distance than was really required.
- More distance leads to more fuel consumption
- More distance leads to more wear and tear of the car
- More distance and parallel parking causes more time spent
- Above point also causes more money spent to Parallel Park a car
- Park Assist [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SATcfmH1fY]
- Parking sensors or vicinity sensors and rear view or back up camera
- Extreme parking skills [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfMVB6X8qMA]
The available solutions, undoubtedly, seem fascinating but they are not natural and some of the drawbacks still exist. My suggestion (your venture) may supplement these solutions rather than replace it.
Design axle and driving mechanism of a car such that wheels can turn 90 degrees to park a car straight away rather than making maneuvers required for parallel parking. In other words,
- A car stops moving forward (or backward)
- All the wheels of the car turns 90 degrees
- The car moves to the left or right hand side i.e. the car moves sideways on the instructions of driver
- The mechanism is intuitive so a driver needs to spend very little time to learn if such mechanism is implemented in a car.
- Cars can be parked very close to each other. This may save costly parking space, lead to more parking fees to commercial parking spaces and eventually passing on the benefit to drivers (reduction of parking fees).
- In congested apartment complexes where parking is limited, this mechanism can be very helpful.
- This mechanism addresses all the drawbacks of parallel parking
- On a congested road, if the car in front breaks down and you have little space to pass (overtake) that car then this feature may be very helpful.
- This solution is not in market for all this time cars/automobiles are there in the world (200 to 400 years) implies this solution is extremely challenging.
- Axle and driving mechanism will need to be designed so that wheels can turn 90 degrees. There will be no precedence of such mechanism so one will need to undergo all the Research and Design for this solution.
- The 2 wheel drive vehicles will need to be redesigned so that power can be shifted to a front and rear wheel rather than to pair of front wheels or rear wheels. Four wheel drive vehicles may have an advantage in this term.
- Sideways driving of car may be dangerous when passing a struck car in front. Car’s signal mechanism will need to be designed to warn the driver coming from behind that car is moving sideways.
- The forward and reverse gears in current vehicles may not work well for sideways movement. Sideways movement should be slower than forward and rear movement.
- Mechanism will need to be made for a driver to stop the car completely before he makes sideways movement.
- The cost of this mechanism once implemented may be high. One may consider designing this solution for bigger and costlier car, which may derive premium from wealthy customers, and the car’s bottom has more room to turn wheels 90 degrees.
- The competition with Park Assist Technology and Backup Camera may be steep even though these technologies can supplement our solution.