BMW previews Remote Valet Parking Assistant
Ready for demonstration at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, BMW has unveiled a Remote Valet Parking Assistant capable of fully automated operation in a variety of single and multi-story garages. Currently being evaluated in a BMW i3, the system uses four advanced laser scanners to provide a 360-degree view of the surroundings and combines that data with a digital site plan of the facility. The latter element allows it to function without having to rely on a GPS signal which is less precise in concrete and steel structures.
In its basic mode, the BMW system can sense if the vehicle is approaching a wall, a column or another car too closely and automatically applies the brakes to avoid a collision, releasing them when the driver steers clear of the danger. When used in conjunction with the BMW Smartwatch, Remote Valet Parking Assistant takes over complete operational control and can safely negotiate all aspects of the process, even if the driver has already exited the vehicle. In addition recognizing all of the fixed features on any level in any mapped facility, it also has the ability to respond to unexpected elements like another vehicle that's been incorrectly parked.
Once the car is safely in place, the Remote Valet Parking Assistant locks the vehicle and stands by until summoned by its owner using voice command and the Smartwatch. At that point, it restarts the car and returns to the original drop-off spot "at exactly the right time." No word on when we'll see the latest innovation in BMW's Active Assist technology implemented into a production model.
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