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'Park Assist' the new buzz words

The new buzz phrase for car marketers is ‘Park Assist’. This is where your car literally parks itself, so we are going to look into this a little further. We’ll show you some very clever and amusing TV commercials later which demonstrate the totally ‘hands free’ parking ability, but first we thought we’d do a survey of all the parking aid devices available to you now.


The very basic parking aid is the front/rear windows and parking mirrors (and, in some cases, an outside helper!). A good eye, some skill and patience and, hopefully, you’re happily parked in a tight spot-or you’ve driven past.

That’s all there was to help you not so many years ago. Then parking sensors became standard equipment on some luxury vehicles. The sensors were moulded into the bumper bars and emitted a more frantic buzzing noise the closer the car came to an immovable object.

They gradually worked down the option range to the most economical models today. Even if it’s not available as an option, or your car doesn’t have them, after market kits can be purchased and fitted for around $350.00.


Considered an exclusive extra just a couple of years ago, the parking camera is now much more commonplace, either as original equipment or as an after market extra.

It’s now common to have the rear camera option on a new car, particularly when an in-dash sat/nav is specified.

This option is very popular as a safety measure and certainly makes parking even easier.

Don’t fret if you don’t have sat/nav or don’t have it listed as an option in your preferred car as they are now available as an after market option with a separate view screen. It will cost you around $800.00, and you’ll never have to worry about reverse parking again.

But we’re not finished yet, as the granddaddy of them all is fully automatic park assist.


Welcome to the world of the driverless car – literally! Automatic Park Assist is what they call it, but we think the phrase is underdone – as it does virtually everything for you. You don’t even go near the steering wheel, as all you control is the foot brake and accelerator as it manouvres you into the tightest of parking spaces.

And it’s no longer just for the world of the elite car buyers, so read on!

First, let’s show you what they mean by park assist and show you a couple of really clever and amusing T.V. commercials.


The first one is from Volkswagen. It’s for the Tiguan in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

That’s a simple and clever ad that illustrates a remarkable piece of car technology, but that’s in South America!

The good news is that you can get it here too with your new VW.

For Australia a slightly simplified version (VW call it Park Assist 1) can be specified in a new VW Golf. However, the brand new Passat also has the full version (Park Assist 2) for an extra $1800.00 which sounds pretty good value for such an enhanced safety aid..


A Ford TV commercial also caught our attention. This one is for the Ford C-MAX and was shot in Paris.

That’s a very different approach to VW and features a dog parking the car! The bad news is that the C-MAX is not available in Australia – but there’s good news too.

Ford Australia have told us that this really clever technology is available as standard equipment in the brand new Ford Focus Titanium. They tell us that the price on-road will be around $33,000 – $34,000 and deliveries start in September.

Clearly “Park Assist” is no longer just in the realm of the wealthy and exotic, and will rapidly be adopted by more and more car makers and be made much more approachable in retail prices.

Have you tried it? If you have – or if you have any thoughts on this new driverless technology, let us hear from you below.


  1. hid conversion kit says:

    Clearly “Park Assist” is no longer just in the realm of the wealthy and exotic, and will rapidly be adopted by more and more car makers and be made much more approachable in retail prices.

    August 12th, 2011 at 8:57 pm