If you're a person who would gladly relinquish the task of parking your car to a computer, there may be a Volkswagen in your future.
Last weekend, Volkswagen Group of America and Stanford University's School of Engineering hosted a dedication ceremony on the Stanford campus for the new Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory (VAIL) that included the "first ever" autonomous parking demonstration by a driverless car.
The car, a VW Passat called Junior, was developed jointly by VW and Stanford and is the same one that finished second in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. Driverless cars have come a long way since the first DARPA race in 2004, when not one contestant made it over the finish line, much less parallel-parked itself.
VW donated $5.75 million for the new laboratory, which it called "the next step in the evolution of the two organizations' commitment to drive innovation in automotive development."
"When the new building opens early next year, VAIL will provide a home on campus for faculty and students from around the university to work on advanced automotive research," said Jim Plummer, dean of the Stanford School of Engineering.
The company also unveiled the Pike's Peak Audi TT-S, the latest iteration of driverless vehicles developed through the VW-Stanford partnership.