Monday, April 27, 2009

The parking spot problem with modern cars

We probably have all experienced it. We arrive in a shopping mall and try to park our modern times mid sized car. Uups. Very narrow in here! Most people drive their cars few years and then swap it against the newer more modern version. During the last 30 or 40 years successors of successful cars typically grew bigger. A BMW 520i from the 80ies was more than half a meter shorter then today's version, and probably 0.2 m more narrow. Most often used cars in the 60ies had a width of approximately 1.4 - 1.5 m. Today it's rare to find cars more narrow than 1.8 m. At the same times doors got fatter and seats give more lateral support, but at the same time are more difficult to get in and out. While this all may be nice and good from a car's perspective it's bad for parking. Most buildings for indoor parking have been constructed and built in the 60ies, or mayb 70ies and 80ies. They were optimized for the smaller cars we had then. No suprise that today you barely can open the door after you finally got your car between the next two. Is there a solution? Not really. Not if we are ready to do either compromises on safety or convenience. But it's good to park an older car once in while and get out of it without any hazzle.

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