Of all the many cutting-edge features on the 2018 Buick Enspire concept crossover, unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2018 earlier in the year, arguably the most convenient is the vehicle’s ability to park itself – with or without a driver at the wheel. While not a production-ready feature just yet, the Enspire’s Automatic Parking system is a step above Tesla Motors’, which requires a human at the wheel for parking, and two steps above GM’s own Automatic Park Assist, which only assumes control of the steering for parking maneuvers.
Automatic Parking on the Buick Enspire can find an open parking spot near to the user and guide itself in, with a special ability to find local charging stations – it is a battery-electric vehicle, don’t forget. As on Tesla’s system, the Enspire can later be summoned from some distance away by the user, the crossover pulling itself out of its parking spot and automatically driving to the owner’s location (so long as it isn’t too far).
Given the state of vehicle autonomy today, systems like the new Buick Enspire concept’s Automatic Parking seem quite likely to reach production in the not-too-distant future. Technologically, such a feature is well within the realm of feasibility; the true obstacle to production availability is cost. But thankfully, the sensors required for most automated vehicle operations – RADAR, LIDAR, and cameras – have become less expensive in recent years, and are expected to become even more affordable into the future.
About The 2018 Buick Enspire Concept
The Buick Enspire concept is a prototype crossover utility vehicle first shown at Auto Shanghai in April. Intended as “an exploration of Buick’s bold design ideas and innovative technologies for future mobility,” the concept boasts a 550-horsepower, all-electric Buick “eMotion” powertrain – enough for a 0-to-60-mph time estimated at 4.0 seconds. Driving range is estimated to be about 370 miles on a single charge, and fast-charging can take the battery from 0- to 80-percent charge in 40 minutes.
Additional technologies previewed by the 2018 Buick Enspire concept include facial-recognition unlocking, an augmented-reality head-up display, a shock-absorbing structure in the seating, and smart OLED taillights that communicate braking force by blinking. Stay tuned to GM Authority for more Buick Enspire news.