Automatic parking systems are becoming more common, and some automakers are offering several 2010 models with the convenience feature.
Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. are leaders in the commercial introduction of automatic parking systems, which allow vehicles to identify and steer themselves into parking spaces.
VW offers the system in six Volks-wagen models and the Audi A3. Ford's 2010 Lincoln MKT crossover and MKS sedan have it as well. Both worked with Valeo SA to develop their own ultrasonic-based systems. The Valeo technology, called Park 4U, won a 2008 Automotive News PACE Award.
Toyota's Advanced Parking Guidance System will be an option on 2010 versions of the Lexus LS 460, LS 460 L and hybrid LS 600hL and the Toyota Prius hybrid.
The Toyota version, from Aisin Seiki Co., started in 2003 as a camera-aided visual system on the Japanese-market Prius. But Toyota and Aisin Seiki have added ultrasonic sensors from Denso Corp. to develop the system into a more sophisticated feature that also allows the vehicle to back itself into perpendicular parking spaces.