You’ve heard of self-parking cars, but if you’re like me, you’ll want your car parked in a shady spot, and you’ll want it as close as possible to the store’s exit so you won’t have to carry your groceries or other goods all the way across the parking lot. That’s one potential benefit of parking via smartwatch. BMW has developed an i3 EV with a smartwatch-controlled parking assistant. BMW has not stated what the ‘Pick Me Up’ button below does per-se, but it sounds like what I mentioned above!
This self-parking i3 parks itself without the use of a GPS signal. It can ‘see’ its environment using an array of laser sensors and the i3 already has the necessary equipment to process sensory data on board. It seems as if a key goal of this vehicle is to park itself without having to rely on infrastructure specially designed for self-parking cars (in multi-story car parking facilities too).
The BMW press release said:
‘BMW has succeeded in achieving fully automated control of the vehicle by connecting up vehicle sensor systems and a digital site plan. This avoids dependence on the GPS signal, which is not at all precise in multi-story car parks. Alongside the laser sensors, the research vehicle also has the processing units and necessary algorithms on board and this means it can determine its exact position in the car park, monitor the environment perfectly, and carry out independent and fully automated navigation. It is not necessary to provide car parks, for example, with complex infrastructure in order to allow cars to orientate and navigate around the area safely.’
This may be more reliable than GPS in the future, as GPS signals are sometimes knocked out by space weather. In a busy parking lot, a GPS disruption could be awfully inconvenient if GPS-guided self-parking cars were used.