BMW to Demonstrate 'Remote Valet' Self-Parking Car at CES

Dec 18, 2014 09:00 AM EST | Matt Mercuro

Not being able to find your car in a parking lot is one of the worst feelings in the world. Pretty soon drivers will no longer need to worry about that.

BMW is working on a new feature designed to park cars and return vehicles to drivers all at the touch of a button. When a command is made into a smartwatch, the vehicle will leave its parking space and drive to your location, according to a news release issued by the automaker.

Users are even given a calculated time that it will take to reach the driver.  

The new technology, which has been called the Remote Valet Parking Assistant, is currently being tested on Munich-based BMW's i3 vehicle. After parking the car, drivers only need to get out of the vehicle and activate the feature.

Instead of using GPS, the car will recognize structural features of the parking lot through four laser scanners on the vehicle, which creates a virtual map of the surrounding environment and identifies obstacles.

BMW believes that the system will allow for more precise control than GPS, especially in a multi-story parking deck.

The feature is also designed to look for a parking spot and recognize which ones are empty and taken. BMW has not said what would happen if the car doesn't find a spot.  Like all BMW assistance systems, this application can be overridden by the driver at any time.

The company has yet to announce when the feature will be available for any of its vehicles in the future.

BMW is developing the technology alongside other new features like 360-degree collision avoidance.

The Remote Valet Parking Assistant will be tested during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.

Make sure to check back after 2015 CES to find out more about the exciting new feature.

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