Next Time, Skip the Valet

Early adopters and Knight-Rider fans rejoice. Lexus is releasing its 2007 line of luxury sedans this month, and you can get one that parks itself.

Toyota’s Lexus LS comes with an optional Advanced Parking Guidance System that is designed to parallel park and reverse into a parking spot on its own.

While other makes and models have offered parking assistance tools — from sensors to alarms to cameras — the LS actually turns the wheel for you. It stands as a reminder that even in its toughest times, the auto industry is still evolving and commercializing new and innovative ideas.

Admittedly, the system is a little temperamental. It requires a more than comfortably-sized parking spot, and the car must stay at a certain speed and on a certain pitch. The $70,000 price tag might also leave you wishing you’d paid more attention in Driver’s Ed, where I if remember correctly, they tried to teach you how to park a car.

So even if the Lexus LS is no match for Hasselhoff’s talking Trans Am, the self-park feature is still a cool idea. And if you’re already paying that much for a car, why not spend a little extra to impress your friends.