Self-parking cars: a vision of the future | SMH, The Age, Canberra Times

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Westfield the week before Christmas, Surry Hills for Sunday brunch, Bondi on a hot summer weekend – it’s the stuff of nightmares for Sydney drivers.

But futurist Morris Miselowski believes the agony of searching for a car park may soon come to an end.

Intelligent vehicles and changing work patterns will soon make large parking lots obsolete, he will tell a Parking Australia business lunch on Thursday. And when we do need to find a spot, we’ll leave that job to the car’s computer.

Borrowed time: parking demand will decrease, says Morris Miselowski.

It’s “bleak” news for the industry’s peak body, Mr Miselowski admits, but a welcome relief for frustrated motorists.

In car-loving Britain, the average motorist spends 106 days looking for parking over their lifetime.

But by 2030, that will be “something grandkids will ask about”, Mr Miselowski says.

Vehicles will not only manoeuvre themselves into place but be able to scout for a free spot using in-built computers and GPS, he says. Smart cars could use people’s driveways and move themselves if the driveway is in use, or be programmed to automatically find a new spot once your parking meter expires.

“By 2025, one in four cars sold will be capable of being fully autonomous,” he says. “You will stop in the middle of Pitt Street, you’ll push the button and the car will then park itself.”

And there will be fewer motorists needing to access the CBD, Mr Miselowski says, as work structures become more fluid and business districts less centralised. Cars will be frozen out of city centres through taxes and car-free zones such as the upcoming George Street pedestrian boulevard.

He also predicts car ownership will fall and that we’ll pay less for parking – even at Sydney Airport, the country’s most expensive.

But official figures show our love of driving has not abated. There were 120,000 more cars on NSW roads in 2014 compared with  last year, growing at a rate of 2.3 per cent a year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says.

“With an increasing number of passenger vehicles, this high level of passenger vehicles use is likely to continue,” the ABS notes.

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Eye on the Future - Nov 27, 2014 | All, Business, Horizon Trends, Innovation, Internet of Things, Robots, Social, Technology, Transport, Work
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