Remote Valet Parking Assistant allows you to step out and let the car park itself in multi storey garages
15 December 2014

BMW has revealed an advanced new laser scanning system that promises to take the pain out of parking in tight multi-storey garages - and save you time doing so to as well.

The move effectively ups the ante in terms of bringing fully autonomous driving to the motoring masses.

Set to make its public premiere at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early next month, BMW’s so-called Remote Valet Parking Assistant allows its latest research vehicle to park itself fully automatically and then be hailed again – all via a simple spoken command into a smart watch app.

Based on a modified version of the i3, the new BMW uses four state-of-the-art laser scanners to continuously examine its surroundings and provide guidance to a separate operating system that oversees the primary autonomous driving functions of propulsion, steering and braking.

All the driver has to do is pull up at the entry to the parking garage and active the Remote Valet Parking Assistant app.

In combination with the latest in millimeter exact digital mapping technology, the new lasers are able to guide the i3 into multi-story parking garages floor-by-floor and fully autonomously until it detects a free parking space, at which point the Remote Valet Parking Assistant then parks the i3 without any assistance from a physical driver whatsoever.

The new system is not only able to detect the physical properties of the garage itself but also potential hazards, such as falsely parked cars and pedestrians.  

Once parked, the i3 research vehicle sits stationary until being hailed again – when the process is reversed.  

The new laser technology operates without the assistance of GPS signals, which are often inaccurate in built up areas. BMW also claims its new Remote Valet Parking Assistant, developed in partnership with German company Continental, does not require expensive changes to the infrastructure of existing parking garages.

 BMW has not announced when it expects to make its new Remote Valet Parking Assistant available on regular production models. However, the German car maker suggests elements of the new system will be used to assist physical drivers, providing automatic braking when hazards are detected in parking maneuvers within the foreseeable future.

Among the production models which could benefit from the new technology is BMW's flagship 7-series, which is currently in development and is scheduled to launch in 2016.

At the 2014 Consumer Electronic Show, BMW detailed an autonomous driving function that allowed a modified M235i to perform drifts without the need for a physical driver. You can see the self-drifting M235i in the video below.

Volkswagen has also shown its own plans to introduce a self-parking system, likely in 2016.

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Comments
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289

15 December 2014

...picture the scene....you drive into town - stop outside the NCP, family decamps and heads off for shopping/lunch etc, i3 drives into full car park and goes endlesly round and round the car park until it (luckily)catches a parking spot...or more realistically runs out of battery (after 2 hours of circulating the various floors of the NCP) -, right in the middle of one of the exit ramps!
Meanwhile family emerge outside restaurant furiously trying to summon up the i3 whilst wondering why all these people are hooting their horns in the nearby NCP.
Priceless!

15 December 2014
289 wrote:

...picture the scene....you drive into town - stop outside the NCP, family decamps and heads off for shopping/lunch etc, i3 drives into full car park and goes endlesly round and round the car park until it (luckily)catches a parking spot...or more realistically runs out of battery (after 2 hours of circulating the various floors of the NCP) -, right in the middle of one of the exit ramps!
Meanwhile family emerge outside restaurant furiously trying to summon up the i3 whilst wondering why all these people are hooting their horns in the nearby NCP.
Priceless!

Oh, I wouldn't worry - no doubt the car will let you know by smartphone while you are out shopping before it runs out of juice for you to drive it away in time. In any case the car park won't let your car in unless there are free spaces.
I think this will work wonders in cities like Hong Kong with ultra-narrow parking spaces. Also carparks can now fit more cars behind awkward columns etc.

15 December 2014

Will the autonomous i3 only be allowed to park in places filled with other autonomous cars? And if not does this system require the car to be able to detect a full-size space, with both white lines visible? This might prove an issue amongst the hoard of twattishly parked self-guided cars.


15 December 2014

Not sure about this,all fine and dandy,but,what about other People parking?,self parking cars means they can park closer together,but, what if your mirrors don't fold in?,what if two self parking cars park either side?,will you be able to get in your car?,maybe area for self parking cars?

Peter Cavellini.

15 December 2014

...at the time of the accident, Sir?"
Are BMW going to be paying the court fees incurred in the months, possibly years of legal wrangling that the legal profession will engineer to maintain employment? Bet your donkey they won't.

15 December 2014

How will it distinguish between disabled bays, mother and child bays and normal bays?

16 December 2014
winniethewoo wrote:

How will it distinguish between disabled bays, mother and child bays and normal bays?

Obviously, like any ordinary BMW driver, it won't - it will just park in the most convenient place to its selfish self, almost certainly at an angle across the bay. It, also, will not bother with any indication and will, no doubt, lean on the horn at any appearance of a mother and baby/pram trying to cross the road. Typecasting? No, just reporting the facts.

16 December 2014
winniethewoo wrote:

How will it distinguish between disabled bays, mother and child bays and normal bays?

The same way any other BMW does it. It won't give a s**t.

15 December 2014

PS - The more I think about it the better I like the idea. Modern cars not only get wider but also door panels (with airbags etc.) are getting thicker. As a consequence the driver's door needs to be opened at quite a wide angle for even a slim driver to get in and out. Remote parking will be able to fit cars next to each other within inches and no allowance needs to be made for opening doors.

15 December 2014

More pointless technology that offers little tangible benefit and introduces further needless complexity.

If cars were more space efficient and therefore smaller, while easier to see out of, parking would be easier anyway. Plus we already have radar sensors and cameras to assist you.

The more guff like this I see, the more I come to thinking that the car as a machine was perfected around 1997 - 2005 and everything since is just extraneous crap that offers little real benefit.

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