At the CES this year, autonomous cars have become a hot topic. Audi and Mercedes Benz have showcased their self-driving cars, but they were not the only ones. BMW has also unveiled its driverless car which can reduce your parking owes and pick you up when you are ready to travel. The auto manufacturer demonstrated how a customized version of its BMW i3 electric car can park itself autonomously and pick up the passenger when they are done with their work. The car is being called the Remote Valet Parking Assistant.
Don’t Miss – Mercedes Benz Reveals Self-Driving Cars at CES 2015
BMW i3 Electric Car
In the demonstration that was made, a Samsung smartwatch was used by BMW to send commands to get back the car. The status of the car is also displayed by the app on the smartwatch. The car has four laser scanners on each side of it to get the readings of its surroundings. A garage map is also required by the car so that it can move through the garage without any damage. Equipped with the necessary information from the sensors, the car’s algorithm will be able to sort through the map and find a parking lot.
Is it an Impractical Solution?
It however seems really impractical to get a map of every parking garage in the city and this might make it tough for the feature to actually take off. The head of the research group for driver assistance at BMW, Werner Huber, said that they can start gathering the maps right from the garage operators. The demo that they gave at the CES was done using a map of the garage that was created by the company themselves.
A collision avoidance system was also shown at the demo using the four laser scanners. An impending collision is detected by the sensors and the car is automatically stopped within a few inches of any object.
Huber said “We appreciate what Google is doing since they’re promoting the idea of the autonomous car and preparing the ground for us. But we are coming at it from another side. As a car manufacturer, we are very experienced in building car and we have to adopt more processes of an IT company.”
The car is still in its research stage and it might take 5 to 8 years to release the autonomous car in the market. The issues that might obstruct the release of the car include the high price of the sensors and the legality of the concept. The high priced sensors might cause the car to be out of limits for the consumers and the ban on autonomous driving in countries like Germany might cause a major problem.
Only time will tell whether we will be able to see the autonomous BMW cars on the roads in the future.
Are you looking forward to self-driving cars? Are you aware of any other autonomous car which was unveiled at the CES 2015? We would love to hear your thoughts on this.