Plenty of cars are now featuring parking assist systems that slowly, carefully direct your car into a parking spot. You've also seen cars thrown into a reverse powerslide and then slipped into a parking spot, but pretty much only in movies. Volkswagen and Stanford University are taking parking assist technology to the extreme and making it a reality, perhaps for everyone.
Using "Junior," a modified Passat originally built for the last DARPA Urban Challenge, the team from VW and Stanford use GPS, radar, laser, optical and inertial sensors to guide the car into the powerslide. The basic premise is easy (for them) to design; getting the system to adapt to real-world variations is the real challenge. Could this be coming to a busy city street soon? Cool reality, or bumper-smashing nightmare?