Think back to when you were learning to drive. Did you struggle with parallel parking? If so, nearly half of the US population is in the same boat, with 49% of Americans having parallelophobia or the fear of parallel parking. In order to make the process of learning parallel parking an easier process, we have created PP practice, a software solution that can be used by driving schools to provide new drivers with a comprehensive understanding of the mechanics of a parallel park or other challenging maneuvers. Using PP practice, new drivers develop intuition that can be used to avoid and get out of difficult driving situations or to simply execute a smoother parallel park. Here’s a demo of our solution. As you can see, the student can operate the car from the inside to know exactly what to do during a parallel park. They can run the simulation multiple times to practice the mechanics of the car in a low-risk environment.
We used the unity 3d engine along with scripts coded in C#. We took the car model from a free asset package, and connected control and collision scripts to it for the user to control. We then created an environment with obstacles for the user to attempt to navigate through. Since our project is currently only a prototype, we plan to add multiple levels of different types of driving tests so the users can practice not only parallel parking, but lane shifting, reversing, and much more. For the collision detection, we created tags for each object and made sure that any collision will result in a fail. In successful runs, the user will have to park inside the green box without touching anything else.
This simulation is extremely versatile since it can be designed to replicate any difficult maneuver from bay parking to reversing around a corner. With more practice, and thereby more understanding of the mechanics of a challenging maneuver, drivers can not only feel more confident in the driver’s seat, but also be more skilled when driving. Through PP practice, we hope to help the 112 million drivers in the US with parallelophobia to feel more comfortable on the road, especially when parallel parking.\
(video will be on the google drive link here)