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Have you ever forgotten where you’ve parked in a multi-storey car park? Well with BMW’s new technology you’ll never have to worry again. In fact, you won’t even need to climb the stairs to another floor.
BMW has just announced a new feature that can park cars itself and return them to you at the touch of a button. Using a smartwatch, owners can simply make a voice command and the car will leave its space and drive to the exit of the car park. It can even calculate the time it will need to arrive there just as you get there – impressive? We think so.
So how does the new technology work? There are four lasers positioned on the car which create a virtual map of the car park. When arriving the driver can simply instruct the car to go park. When they come back they speak into the watch again to be picked up. Simple.
The new technology, known as the Remote Valet Parking Assistant is currently being tested on BMW’s i3 vehicle. According to BMW, when arriving at the car park, the driver need only get out of the vehicle and activate the feature. The car will then recognise the structural features of the car park, and “equally reliably steer round any obstacles that appear unexpectedly – such as incorrectly parked vehicles.” It can even look for a parking spot and recognise when ones are empty.
The latest technology is being developed by BMW along with other new safety features such as 360-degree collision avoidance which uses laser scanners to record the environment and identify obstacles such as columns or walls. If the system detects a collision is imminent, it brakes automatically.
The new smartphone operated system by BMW does not require specially designed car parks; it can work in any pre-existing car park without any additional infrastructure. The company has not yet announced when the feature will be available in any of its cars on sale.