BMW Demonstrates Self-Parking Car at CES



The New York Times reports on BMW’s self-parking car technology:

Sensors and software promise to free owners from parking angst, turning vehicles into robotic chauffeurs, dropping off drivers and then parking themselves, no human intervention required.

BMW demonstrated such technical prowess this month with a specially equipped BMW i3 at the International CES event. At a multilevel garage of the SLS Las Vegas hotel, a BMW engineer spoke into a Samsung Gear S smartwatch.

“BMW, go park yourself,” and off the electric vehicle scurried to an empty parking spot, turning and backing itself perfectly into the open space. To retrieve the car, a tap on the watch and another command, “BMW, pick me up,” returned the car to the engineer.

The i3 was equipped with laser scanners, including two mounted in the front right and left quarter panels. No G.P.S. was used. Instead, the car relied on a map of the parking garage and an onboard cellular data connection. No smartphone was needed.