Joining the lengthening list of automakers giving folks a break when it comes to parking in those tight spots, Volkswagen has announced that its upcoming Touran van will be the company's first vehicle to include ParkAssist. Utilizing those spiffy ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear of the automobile, a control unit determines the available space and best suited trajectory to maneuver the vehicle into a parking spot. "Acoustic and visual displays" help guide the (probably overwhelmed) driver into the correct starting position, and once he / she throws it in reverse, ParkAssist takes over. As the system's name implies, it's not fully autonomous, and the system still requires you to apply acceleration / brakes while it handles the steering end of it. While this may not be as adventurous as riding shotgun in a vehicle on autopilot, the promise of parking within 15 seconds of ParkAssist kicking in is rather impressive, and you can expect this fancy (and likely costly) option to be available beginning June 2007.

[Via Gizmag]

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New Volkswagen Touran sports automatic parking