Was Citroën first with parking assist back in 1927?

We take things like assisted parking for granted these days, but did you know that back in 1927, in Arras France, there was a demonstration of vehicle parking assist?   While not recognized as a Citroën development, the technical features the company introduced over the years with models such as the Traction Avant, DS, and SM, have overshadowed this film clip captured on a Pathé newsreel.  Check it out here:


B12 Torpedo parking demonstration in Arras - 1927 (Original)

Some have said the car is a Peugeot, but no, – it is a Citroën B12 Torpedo.  Not sure if the 90 degree front wheel modification to demonstrate this parking innovation was something engineered by Citroën or someone else, but the car is definitely a Citroën B12 Torpedo!

B12 Torpedo parking demonstration in Arras - 1927 CU

Forcing the car to turn like that on its front wheels must have been very hard on rear differential, not to mention the front wheel bearings!  And of course not possible to implement on front wheel drive shafts, so it must have been a novelty that was not pursued by the the company as they planned for the Traction Avant.

Also, check out this video clip from the 1950’s showing how an American innovator approached the problem by putting the spare wheel to work:

American Parking Solution


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