VAIL Autonomous valet parking demo -- Click above to view the video after the jump
You didn't think having an Audi TTS climb Pike's Peak was the only thing that Stanford's Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory was working on, did you? No, they're also working on something closer to home -- or the restaurant or club -- with a project to get cars to find spots and park themselves.
A "mostly stock" VW Passat wagon equipped with some computer gear in the trunk and -- paging Dr. Evil -- lasers. The extra bits are off-the-shelf (or some shelf, at least), and one write-up says that VW's computers could control the car without Stanford's added electronics package.
The caveats are that right now the car can't detect obstacles like people, and it needs a detailed map of the parking lot where it's trying to find a spot. Details, details. For now, follow the jump to enjoy another glimpse at one possible future, brought to you by VAIL.
[Source: Bot Junkie]