Parking for dummies
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Parallel parking can be challenge for some people and that is why many car manufacturers have self-parking systems in their products.
The feature is popular in Europe, where slow city traffic means you can cruise along a road at under 30km/h as the system scans for a suitable car space.
But in most New Zealand main city centres, you can’t drive along the road at under 50km/h without infuriating other drivers.
The addition of self-perpendicular parking actually makes sense in Australia, especially where you must reverse into right-angle car park spaces, and most systems can wedge you into a spot that most drivers wouldn’t attempt.
One driver I saw in inner-city Auckland this week needed a self-parking system.
The Smart ForTwo driver was trying to parallel park into a space of about 10 metres.
Easy peasy, you’d think, as the ForTwo is only 2.5m long and the parking spaces weren’t individually marked, so he had plenty of room to play with.
Not so easy. Mr Not-So-Smart Car owner nosed into the spot, coming bumper to bumper with the car in front. So he reversed back into the bumper of the ute behind before inching forward.
Not happy with being about half a metre away from the curb, he nosed forward again, coming too close to the bumper of the car in front.
He repeated the action six times before finally being satisfied with his spot. And luckily he left enough room for a small car to park behind him.
So maybe he was a little Smart.