New BMW Cars Could Valet Themselves

By on December 16, 2014

The days of losing cars in parking structures may be behind us!

In the next few years, cars — or at least those made by BMW — could have the technology to park themselves AND navigate from their parking spaces to pick up their drivers. To put it simply, they could eliminate the hassle of having to remember where you parked.

BMW announced today that it is currently testing a new technology that allows a car to park itself in a multistory parking garage. From there, a smart phone app allows drivers to “call” their car to pick them up.

The new technology, known as the Remote Valet Parking Assistant, uses four laser scanners on the car to create a virtual map to navigate around the building.

From there, the car can recognize the structural features of the garage and, according to BMW, reliably steer itself to a parking space. The new technology allows the car to avoid obstacles, such as incorrectly parked vehicles, and recognize which parking spots are empty.

The valet technology is being developed alongside other new BMW features that use laser scanners.

A new safety feature, for example, uses lasers to create a 360-degree recording of the environment surrounding the car. If the technology picks up anything that could cause a collision, the car stops automatically.

The company has yet to announce if and when the new valet feature will be available to the public. The announcement comes at the heels of the German automaker’s demonstration of a self-driving car at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Suffice to say, the future is here.

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