Bad At Parking Your Car? Get A BMW And Let Your Smartwatch Do It
Are you bad at parking? Do you hate wasting time in finding a spot to park in a mall? BMW has heard your cries. BMW’s new feature lets automated car park itself and then return to you saving you a lot of time.
This new feature works with a smartwatch. All you have to do is drive into the building/place, and give a voice command to your smartwatch. As the car receives the voice command, it will drive itself to the parking, calculating the time it will need to return to the place so that you don’t have to wait for your car when you return.
Sounds cool, eh? There is some very complex AI going behind the scenes that make all this work. BMW has revealed some details how this feature works. The parking feature is known as “Remote Valet Parking Assistant.” It uses laser sensors to navigate instead of GPS. These sensors create a virtual map of the building which helps the car in driving back to the driver.
You might be thinking how would the car handle an obstacle it might encounter on its way to the parking or when it is returning to the driver. The map generated by using laser sensors also takes into account the obstacles, such as pillars, walls and parked cars.
Moreover, the sensors also sense the presence of an unexpected obstacle while driving. If the collision is imminent, the brakes are automatically applied avoiding any mishap.
Here is how it works:
- The driver just needs to get out of the car on reaching the building and activate the feature using smartwatch.
- The car will recognize the building’s structure and obstacles using its laser sensors. A virtual map will be generated. This map will also tell the car which parking spots are empty.
- The car will drive itself to the empty parking spot.
- On return, the driver issues a command to the car to return to the exit.
- The car will drive itself to the exit.
BMW has told that using lasers over GPS has many advantages as GPS is not very precise for a multi-storey building. Using laser sensors, the car “equally reliably steers round any obstaces that appear unexpectedly – such as incorrectly parked vehicles,” according to BMW.
The system works in a real-world environment, i.e. it does not require any specially designed car parks. BMW is developing this tech alongside other features such as 360-degree collision avoidance.
Remote Valet Parking Assistant is currently being tested on Munich-based BMW’s i3 vehicle. However, the company has not yet revealed when this feature will be available for consumer use.
Can’t wait to feel like James Bond?