The fully automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant in the BMW i3 research vehicle combines the information obtained by onboard laser scanners with the digital plan of a building, for example a multistorey car park. When the driver activates the fully automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant, using his smartwatch, the vehicle is driven quickly and autonomously through the various parking levels to a parking space.
In the meantime, the driver can already be on the way to his next appointment. The fully automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant and its sensors accurately detect not only the physical features of the building but also any unexpected obstacles – such as incorrectly parked vehicles – and, equally accurately, will steer a course around them.
When the BMW i3 reaches its final parking position, it parks and automatically locks itself. It then waits to be summoned in due course by a smartwatch voice command. On receiving such a command, the fully automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant calculates the exact time the driver will be back at the car park, and then starts the BMW i3 so that it reaches the car park exit in time for the driver’s arrival.
Navigation without GPS signals.
By integrating vehicle sensor data with the digital car park plan, BMW has made it possible to control the vehicle fully automatically without having to rely on a GPS signal. The research vehicle is equipped not only with laser sensors but also with computing modules and algorithms, allowing it to precisely determine its position in the car park, to perfectly monitor its surroundings and to navigate autonomously and fully automatically. This allows vehicles to orientate themselves and navigate without going to the expense of fitting the car park – or other facility – with special infrastructure.