BMW unveiled a new system this week in Munich that enables a car to park itself without driver involvement. The remote parking-assist technology uses off-the-shelf technology already in use on many BMW vehicles, including sensors like those that measure distance and alert the driver when the vehicle approaches an object too closely. This system requires the installation of a reflective tape on the wall directly ahead of the vehicle's parking spot that enables the system to coordinate its position.
The video shows the driver exiting the car after he's positioned it outside his garage and simply pressing a button on a key fob. The BMW then retracts its outside mirrors and begins to inch forward into the tight spot between another car and a wall.
BMW says the technology should be available on production vehicles within three years. It's a pretty neat trick, but we doubt any BMW owner would ever hit the button and just walk in his house. Would you trust the people who gave us the iDrive to park your $50,000 sedan without supervision? Chances are it'd get lost on the way to the garage.
[Source: YouTube via Wired]