Up to a third of the cars clogging the roads in a given downtown area are people looking for parking. You’ve done it yourself, circling the block four times, driving past the restaurant that might or might not hold the reservation you’re already late for, praying somebody leaves so you can grab a spot at a meter.
Parking structures are no better. What a waste of time for a human to have to find the nearest facility, drive there, helix up endless ramps, and then cruise the aisles. Quick, there’s a spot! No, damn, there’s a Mini hiding in there.
Parking is a problem that engineers reckon self-driving cars can solve. Send the robot to find a space, after it drops you off at your destination. Summon it back later when you’re ready to leave.