If you find driving around a busy parking lot or crowded garage an absolute pain when trying to look for a vacant spot to leave your car, BMW is on your side.
With its new remote self-parking valet technology, which will be showcased at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, your BMW will be able to locate an empty parking spot itself while you spend your time doing more important things.
BMW’s Remote Self-Parking Valet Can Be Control By Smartwatch
Attendees to January’s CES will be undoubtedly impressed when BMW’s remote self-parking valet system, officially called “Remote Valet Parking Assistant,” is demonstrated in a multi-storey parking garage. You’ll see it in use on an i3 for testing
When putting the fully-automated technology to use, the driver can step out of the car once entering the parking vicinity, activate it via Smartwatch, and let laser sensors guide the vehicle–avoiding any obstacles–to an empty slot.
It’s a big leap forward for self-parking technology, going from simply maneuvering into a vacant spot into actually searching the area for an available space.
BMW’s remote self-parking valet system sure sounds promising, but it compelled us to raise many questions about its feasibility. Luckily, BMW programmers considered these things:
What if there’s no reception in an underground parking garage for GPS signal? The technology actually doesn’t rely on GPS, but rather internally-stored digital layouts of the parking areas.
What happens if an empty spot is intruded on by a poorly-parked adjacent car? The vehicle’s laser sensors will identify any obstructions before pulling too far into the space and go search for another option.
Will the vehicle return to the owner when it’s time to leave? Yes, the vehicle can be called back by Smartwatch or voice command
Where will the car meet the driver? No specific answer provided, but likely by the entrance/exit where the driver stepped out of the vehicle, or based on the map of the facility.
What happens if there isn’t an open spot? No information on this has been given by BMW, but likely the driver will be alerted via Smartwatch to return the vehicle and take the car elsewhere.
What happens if the garage is crowded after your event ends and the BMW is stuck in line? The car can give you an estimate of how long it will take to reach you so you can time its arrival for when you are ready to leave.
Will this require purchasing a brand new BMW vehicle to take advantage of? Automakers intend to make the valet parking compatible with existing infrastructures on previous models.
BMW is considering every nuance and obstacle to its remote self-parking valet, but there still are many kinks to work out because of that. So, don’t expect to see the technology available on the market before 2020.