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If you live in a big city, this scenario is all too familiar: Traffic is bad. You're late for work. And, of course, the parking garage is now full. So you're forced to parallel park on the street. You finally find a spot between two hulking SUVs, but it looks pretty tight. Do you go for it or move on? Not to worry;
geometry can save you. Run a simple calculation and — voila! — you'll know just what to do.Ignore the car that's sneaking into your space as you do the calculation. You'll need a few pieces of information:

Your car's turning radius, r

The distance between the front and rear wheels, l

The distance from your front wheel to the corner of the front bumper, k

The width of the car you're trying to park behind, w

Simon Blackburn, Professor of Mathematics, at the University of London,

worked out a formula for the perfect parking, reminds our good school days,

Blackburn's formula does this by sketching the arc of your car's turning capability into a full circle, then using the center of the circle to create the right-angle triangles Pythagoras loved.That's a lot of work just to tell you if you have enough space for an easy park. And it doesn't tell you how to do the parking. That's something you have to learn by doing, which is how most people figure out whether they have enough space to park in the first place.

Mathematics gives you a way of understanding in detail what people have learned to do simply by practice and expertise," he says."In fact, when we practice something, be it on the athletic field or in an automobile, we are becoming very good mathematicians at doing a particular kind of operation, but usually we don't call it mathematics — and we certainly don't give people a pass on the math test because they can park their car."

How To Park Perfectly

Source: The Geometry of Perfect Parking by Simon R. Blackburn

Credit: Alyson Hurt, NPR

Category: | 24 Comments

24 comments to “The Formula For Perfect Parallel Parking”

  1. i dont drive..i only drive people nuts..heheh..:)

  1. good sharing.

    I have to learn driving still - but have an international license in Singapore :P

  1. ohh God...
    i think there are enuf n more sign boards n billbaords to confuse poor drivers already lol...
    you want to make life hell for like me guys? haha ...

  1. Thank you Ramesh, Yes you are always.........

    Wow Jamal!! Thank you

    Deeps, its added exercise, let them practice some mathematics. Thanks.

  1. god man...a formula for these too!!

    Nice info man!!!

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  1. thanks buddy:)

  1. tq 4 sharing...

  1. thanks ya..and do stay in touch with IK..he's a good guy...:)

  1. Mathematics truly is a universal language, inni? grt post.

  1. Btw, we both r using the same template. Gud choice. *wink.

  1. Very nice and useful information. Thanks for this lovely post.

  1. Dear Shafi,
    I have come back from your Chennai and now my Chennai.:)I missed a few posts here.
    Thanks,friend for such a wonderful and informative post.write often, do really write well.Parkalam!
    wishing you a wonderful and peaceful night,

  1. thanks for those words... perhaps i wouldnt as good, if poeple like you dont come around to pat! :-)

  1. There is always a lot of work and useful information in your post.Hi Suffix,sorry because of a long vacation and some other things i was out of circulation from blogger.But i missed you wonderful people a lot,hope everything is great at your end.

  1. nanri buddy..:)

  1. Very informative post indeed! :) Parking problem now onwards is solved. :)

  1. Interesting blog.
    Its so damn tough parking a car here but ur post makes it look simple.

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  1. nanri..hey what happned to yr new posts yar? cheers

  1. Happy Valentines Day to you.

  1. :)

  1. hi again buddy:)

  1. that would be interesting..provided one could figure it out in the car while parking....:)
    best wishes