Call it "Back to the Futura."

Pedestrian traffic came to a standstill this week when a car was spotted parallel parking itself.Volkswagen's fully operational research vehicle, the Futura, demonstrated its self-parking capability at a pre-New York Auto Show luncheon at Tavern on the Green.

The Integrated Research Volkswagen (IRVW) Futura, a quiet, economical low-pollution car that incorporates future motoring technology, including the ability to park itself, astonished a crowd of about 60 journalists - and many onlookers.

It was an unusual sight. Ultrasound distance sensors calculated where the curb and other obstacles were and "informed" the Futura via computer so it could maneuver itself into the parking space.

The Futura also features sensors that measure the distance from other vehicles or obstacles and warn the driver if he or she is too close, on-board navigation that tells the driver the best route to a given destination, and a child-safety seat that is completely integrated into the rear seat.