Porsche first announced this new self-parking technology earlier this year, and it will begin to roll out across Europe in the next few months with further market availability after. They’re billing this Remote Park Assist tech as a boon for city dwellers and suburbanites alike, as you can reverse into a parking spot that is super tight without being in your Porsche. This makes it easier to get out of the Porsche while the doors are clear and then reverse your Cayenne into the space where it would have been more difficult to extricate yourself.
The Cayenne will even help you find your parking space, as the technology suite includes a feature that detects and highlights parking spots that the Porsche SUV will fit in without issue. The system works with spots on both sides of the street, and includes parallel and right angle parking. Once you’ve found a suitable parking space, you can hop out of the vehicle and control the action from your smart phone’s touch screen. Just press and hold the OK button until the Cayenne has finished its parking actions.
Porsche has added this technology thanks to a highly complex system of electronic aids that completely take the driver out of the equation. According to Porsche’s press release on the matter, four extra high-tech processors coordinate the parking job out to twenty more control units. Four cameras on the Porsche help produce a 360-degree view of the Cayenne in real time, and the computer uses an additional twelve ultrasonic sensors. The system, as Porsche explains it, builds an impact-buffering cocoon around the SUV to optimize caution, precision, and safety. If the system detects a pedestrian, a high curb, or a parking bollard near the vehicle, it will intervene and stop the parking process, or make automatic adjustments as necessary. Of course, the parking process can be paused by remote control of the user at any time.
Are We Users or Drivers?
Herein lies the crux of the problem, Porsche has begun thinking of customers as “users” instead of “drivers”. Right now these self-driving features are focused on convenience and sparing you, the owner of the Cayenne, a few extra seconds and perhaps a little discomfort. “Where is the harm in that?,” you might say. How much longer will we retain control of our own Porsches? The company has come out against full autonomy in the past, but seems to continually re-adjust their stance on the matter, gradually moving toward the idea. How long will it be before Porsche introduces autonomous driving technology for highway and city surface streets? Will they bill it as an autonomous way to get to your favorite driving roads or race track? If that happens, will the driver ever have full control of their Porsche again? What are your thoughts on an autonomous Porsche?