Here’s something cool. BMW is playing around with an automated feature on their electric i3 research vehicle that allows your car to find a spot and park on its own. The self-parking feature will also let your car retrieve itself and pick you up. You’ll never have to give your keys to the valet again:
“Cars that can park themselves once you have found a spot are becoming increasingly common, but BMW takes this to a whole new level with the Remote Valet Parking Assistant. The feature has been integrated in a research version of the electric BMW i3, and combines information from laser sensors with digital plans of multi-storey car parks to navigate.
The driver can just get out and activate the parking assistant on a smartwatch, for example. The sensors let the car recognize the structural features of the car park and avoid any obstacles that appear unexpectedly, such as incorrectly parked vehicles. Once the car has arrived at the parking space, it locks itself.”
According to Mikael Ricknäs of the IDG News Service (it’s his piece linked above and below), BMW is hoping to integrate these experimental features into sellable vehicles by the end of the decade.