A third of UK van drivers rank small parking spaces as their biggest annoyance, according to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles*. To help van drivers navigate these tight spaces, the brand offers innovative Park Assist technology.
But how good is Park Assist? Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles enlisted the help of parking world record holder and professional stunt driver, Alastair Moffatt, to put it to the test. To watch the full video, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i6A-kPoFQE
Finding a suitably sized parking space for vans is more than just a frustration, with UK van drivers being fined an average of £24 million a year for parking incorrectly**.
To help customers overcome tight parking spaces and tough parking regulations, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles offers Park Assist technology across its van range, with the aim of reducing stress and enabling the driver to easily and safely park the van in its designated space.
To see if Park Assist can really park perfectly every time, professional stunt driver and parking world record holder, Alastair Moffatt, put it to the test, pitting more than 25 years of experience against the technology in the ultimate parking challenge.
Both Alastair and Park Assist were tasked with completing a parallel park within a space of 7.5-metres – just a little larger than the 5.9-metre length of the Volkswagen Crafter – with an added twist that Alastair would be completing his manoeuvre as a handbrake turn. The result was impressive with both successful mastering the Art of Parking, although Park Assist was certainly the more relaxing option.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Park Assist technology uses ultrasonic sensors in the front bumper which scan the space to see whether it is big enough. After reverse gear has been selected, the technology then puts the van into the best starting position and steers automatically into the space. The driver does not need to steer at any point but remains in control of the vehicle working the accelerator, brake and clutch.
Sarah Cox, head of marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles commented: “Our Working With You brand promise is designed to help Volkswagen customers in all aspects of owning a van and part of that is offering class-leading technologies such as Park Assist.
“We want to help our customers park their vans in the safest and most accurate way so that they can avoid parking fines and reduce stress. The Park Assist technology was a perfect match for Professional Stunt Driver, Alastair Moffatt, and a slightly less hair-raising manoeuvre!”
Alastair Moffatt, who owns the world record for tightest single, double, triple and reverse parallel park, said: “I was really impressed with how nimble the Volkswagen Crafter proved to be – handbrake turning such a big vehicle isn’t always easy. I’ve spent years mastering the art of parking but taking on Park Assist was still a real challenge because it was 100 per cent accurate every time. I really had to be on the top of my game to match it.”
* Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles survey, November 2019, 1,000 van drivers
** Freedom of Information request, May 2019, 51 Councils contacted and 45 responded