Sunday, Nov. 16, 2003

Hybrid Car

Inventor: Toyota

Back up. O.K., stop. A little more. O.K., now turn the wheel. More. More. Too much! Sorry, sir, was that your car? If you've ever driven in a city, you know the agony of parallel parking in a tight space. But your suffering may soon end. Toyota has invented a car that parallel parks itself. This new version of the Prius, Toyota's hybrid gas-electric automobile, has an optional self-parking feature, which combines a rear-mounted camera, power steering and special software that automatically guides the car backward into its curbside destination. With Intelligent Parking Assist, as Toyota calls the feature, the driver doesn't even have to touch the steering wheel.

Availability: In Japan only, for about $20,000
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