Ford's recent announcement of a new, automated parallel-parking system has prompted us to drive down Memory Lane and revisit an oldie-but-goodie. A couple years back, a handful of highly-motivated, up-and-coming mechanical engineers from the University of Toledo designed and built their own parallel parking system that seems to work as well as (maybe better than?) anything available to consumers. Though it might seem ridiculous at first, it's absolutely ingenious. The project takes a donated Toyota Corolla, some hydraulics, a motor, plus extra guide wheels and turns them into a brutally simple-yet-effective parallel parking device that could rival the latest techno-wizardry from Lincoln or Lexus.
Okay, okay - it's not perfect. You do have to give up your trunk space, and it sounds like the exhaust no longer benefits from a muffler, but still... Parallel parking takes just 21 seconds with little (if any) help from the driver, and without fancy computers and sensors to monitor all the action. Now as then, this still looks like a winner. Check the two video clips after the jump to see the system in action, and check out the build blog by clicking here. Kudos on the project guys. Hat tip to David for reminding us about this one!