Techsplanations: Park Assist

The parallel park. One of the most dreaded car maneuvers imaginable, this tricky park job is the bane of driving instructors and unpracticed suburbanites alike. To combat parking phobia and unintentional rear-endings Mercedes-Benz, has a solution. Take the driver out of the equation.

Enter the Mercedes-Benz suite of parking assist technologies. Known as Parktronic, Mercedes has by far the most technologically advanced and comprehensive self-parking option on the roads today. Owners lucky enough to find this feature in their car needn't worry about awkwardly angling their luxury cars for a sideways spot. The car takes on the tough part of parking by steering the car into place.

Once a driver finds a spot, sensors in the car's bumpers scan the area to get the lay of the land and prompt the driver to engage the system. While engaged, Parktronic does all the steering while the driver controls acceleration and braking. Using rear, front and overhead cameras, the car provides the driver with a view on all sides as well as a digital representation of where the car is and where it is heading. The car even lets drivers know when they need to shift into drive as it straightens out into the parking space for them.

Advanced technology such as park assist isn't just for luxury cars. Ford, GM and Toyota all offer varying degrees of parking assistance to their owners. Along with intelligent car technology that stops cars automatically when a crash is imminent, parking assist is seen as automaker's first steps toward bringing self-driving car technologies to consumer markets.

NOTE: Former AOL Autos Editor-In-Chief David Kiley knows how to parallel park, and does so with a great deal of skill and flair.

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