Today some cars (few, actually) offer the possibility to park parallel to the sidewalk by pressing a simple button. And they also cost a bang, let's face it without pretense.
The idea of the park assist had also come to the parents of our grandparents, and going back to the 30s of the last century I found a truly picturesque proof of it.
A Californian inventor from the 30s, unfortunately not identified, has come up with a respectable solution for parking anywhere with extreme ease.
Nemo prophet at home, it was said. And in fact the usual negative and superficial evaluations that occur when something is too far ahead to be understood were not spared the free-range inventor. The narrative voice of the movie, dated 1933, judges the finding in retrospect as a clown, textually "Useless as a fifth wheel". Think of the commentator's intelligence.
Going back, there is also a clip from 1927 showing similar technology in Paris, France. The design of that park assist "closed" the front wheels to facilitate maneuvering. A truly disastrous engineering solution in terms of safety, but apparently the safety of the passenger was not exactly a priority for the period.
Current technologies always focus on the most sophisticated aspects of a device. THE autonomous vehicles they always get the first pages, and that's right: sometimes, however, the only thing we want is to park in that little space because we're in a hurry. Is utility a feature of innovation or not? We move forward to improve, not to get worse, right?
This is why I thank the anonymous pioneers of over 90 years ago. Because sometimes the most effective inventions, the ones that really change the world are not the sexiest ones.