The future is nearly here! At AMS we’re certain that fully self-driving cars will be with us sooner rather than later – whether or not that’s a good thing is a matter of opinion.
BMW will unveil a self-driving i3 at CES in January 2015 that can locate a parking space in a multi-story car park, position itself, and then come back to you at your request through your smartwatch. While self driving cars are sure to rely heavily on GPS – this innovation doesn’t use it at all.
Audi showcased a self-parking car a couple of years ago, but unlike their A7 which used onboard sensors and beacons to navigate a parking garage, BMW takes it to a new level.
BMW installed four laser sensors in the i3 which offer a 360-degree view around the car, enabling it to drive around other cars, avoid columns, dodge pedestrians and navigate ramps, all while you are browsing the menu or starting your meeting. When it finds a suitable parking space it will park (perfectly), lock itself, and wait for your call.
For 2015 however, there’s still some rough edges. This system still requires a full digital map of the parking garage to navigate it safely, so we’re still a step or two away from true, on-the-fly navigation. BMW believes it’s a massive leap away from the unreliable GPS system, but it’s still not quite there.
As ever, you can be sure that AMS will be able to service these self-parking, self-driving cars when they hit Weston-super-Mare!