Parallel parking system


Autoblog dug up this classic mechanical engineering project from 2006. A team of five University of Toledo students constructed a system to help parallel park a car. First, you drive nose first into the space. Hydraulic rams then lower the drive wheel out of the trunk, raising the rear of the car. The single wheel is also hydraulically driven and moves the car into the space. They have a blog documenting the six week build. Have a look at the demonstration video below.


  1. deamon says:

    So……… know this has already been done by an auto company. Not putting anyone down, just saying its been done.

  2. Winphreak says:

    Or, as Red Green did it, he used some 12V drill motors to lift the entire car onto some wheels, then get out, push it over, and voila!

  3. tlvb says:

    But _this_ is originally from late 2006, the downside on this however would be the much reduced trunk space. If you didn’t need the space in the fron for the engine, you could put one there too, and just drive next to the parking lot an slide in…

  4. kb says:

    It doesn’t matter if this has been done before. It’s an awesome project and I’m sure they learned a zillion things doing it. The reason to do a project is not that no one else has never done it before, but because you simply want to try it yourself.

  5. John says:

    This was done by a company in the 1950’s. I have seen the video demonstration.

  6. nick says:

    I’ve too have seen it done before but the neat thing was, back in the 50’s you had a full size spare that was used to accomplish this task so it wasn’t a complete waste it just added some weight for the lifter mechanics. cool stuff tho

  7. Andrew says:

    41 seconds for the conventional parallel parking? Please. Someone who doesn’t suck at parallel parking would do it a lot faster.

  8. sly says:

    that would be great for stealing parking spots in a very congested area

  9. confusis says:

    yeah so what a car company did this already. car companys have huge budgets! these guys obviously did it on a much tighter budget so it is impressive.

  10. andrew says:

    it’s only faster if you don’t suck at parallel parking like they do. on the other hand, it’s way cool, and it looks like they did a very good job. bravo!

  11. zigzagjoe says:

    neat, but concurring with the sucking at parking. 41 seconds, lol

  12. ion says:

    I can parallel park with a trailer in 15 seconds.. including the time to drive up stop and reverse in.

  13. chris says:

    Looks like fun. Done before? whatever.

    Note that you can use this to put this ‘rolla in a spot that you cannot otherwise.

  14. Wolf says:

    wow. Neat, but you could probably just learn to parallel park a normal car in the amount of time it would take to build one of these.

  15. David says:

    Love to see an old idea like this revived. I’ve seen the clip of the 50’s car with the drop down spare, which worked well.
    I also recall one that had four hydraulicly lowered wheels that would allow for the vehicle to move sideways quite easily, as well as doubling as an easy jacking method for changing a tire.

  16. Lilb792 says:


  17. Ridocar says:

    41 seconds? learn to drive.

    Anyway, nice job!

  18. drunk guy says:

    not a fair trial a woman did the first test and a bloke the second one. obviosuly the woman is not capable of driving properly because of her gender disability

    i call for a retest.

    and lets face it my grandad can reverse park quicker than that

  19. Marcus says:

    That could be something for me, i really suck at parallel parking XD
    But in one of the episodes of Prototype This they had an way to do parallel parking and even on top of another car :P

  20. Obs says:

    unbelievable i was dreaming about something like this last night :| !!

  21. Tobias Brox says:

    Six weeks of efforts to save 21 seconds … ;-) Plus all the building costs and the reduced luggage space. Well, cool project anyway. ;-)

  22. Morden says:

    Based on the unassisted example given, I’d say that this was born of necessity.

  23. mike says:

    dammit, winphreak beat me to it. When I saw this red green was the first person I thought of.

  24. me says:

    the easier way to have reduced the 41 second park time from the first take would be to replace the woman driver.

  25. JohnZero says:

    Not bad, but having that much free space between those cars would be a luxury in my city.

    In the inner parts, you get about half of the slack space than on the video.

  26. sconzey says:

    Heh, here in the UK you’ve got to know how to parallel park for your driving test, so most brits (at least those who passed their tests after it’s inclusion) don’t have much trouble with it.

  27. steve says:

    I would love to see someone’s reaction to this on the streets.

  28. neopran says:

    It’s kinda useless …. and it takes up a lot of trunk space. What’s the cost for saving a “claimed” 20 seconds. What if I can parallel park quicker than 41?

    People should learn to drive.

    That device would be too expensive

  29. will d. says:

    looks like it was fun to build, cool to see in action, but this is absurdly impractical. plus, that was some of the slowest parallel parking i’ve ever seen. i’m going to verify this, but i see people routinely parallel park in 10 seconds or so in the city.

  30. Cyrozap says:

    Neat, but mecanum wheels would be a lot cooler. You could just drive right into the spot.

  31. krull says:

    nice indeed

    but here it is something these guys can be working on

  32. kenneth says:

    “How intilligent ” people need this simply can’t drive a car and should not have a drive licence.
    ” wow 21 sec ” If it’s so importent not to “waste 20 sec” take a taxi,bus or walk.
    Many people there are bad drivers should simply not drive.
    Yes it’s not new , for 30 years ago a company make a car there could turn all 4 wheel for easy parking.
    This is to much. With all those bad drivers the roads is not safe but dangerous.

    mvh. kenneth

  33. Miriam Jones says:

    This may be a naive question since I’m a woman and all, but wouldn’t this device cause a lot of wear and tear on the front tires as they twist around?

  34. jake says:

    i think this is really cool i want one on my car

  35. Jules says:

    LOL, i want some of these, maybe future project to working on it. The best way to expand this hack is by inserting another system in the front of the car, as you don’t have to do anything except check if your car have enought place to get in the parking hole


  36. Doug says:

    Handy of the driver behind you doesn’t stop giving you room to park the old fashioned way. Being able to parallel park fast doesn’t make one a safe all around driver no more than having difficulty parallel parking would make another an all around dangerous driver.

  37. markp1989 says:

    like the idea, would be better if you could have 1 at the front of the car, then you would just have to pull up next to the space, rather then goin nose in first

  38. Steel says:

    I think this just made me pass my drivers exam now…

  39. Ben says:

    Ahh… That’s not how you parallel park, far to slow

    Should be more like this…

  40. jim says:

    i don’t know, learning to park properly seems like a better solution :)

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