Some of the high-end BMW models, including the new 7 Series, can already park themselves with the help of the Manoeuvre Assistant. It relies on GPS data and trajectory data from steering movements to store maneuvers covering a distance of up to 200 meters (656 feet). When the car arrives at one of the ten pre-recorded locations, the car will do all the work: accelerate, brake, change gears, and steer. Remote functionality via a smartphone app is possible at distances of up to six meters (20 feet) from the car.

What’s next? The BMW Group and Valeo have inked a deal to jointly work on Automated Valet Parking. AVP refers to a fully automated parking experience without necessitating any driver input. The vehicle arrives at a drop-off zone and can autonomously find a parking spot, without a driver inside. It works both ways in the sense that the car returns to the driver once they are ready to leave.

AVP’s functionality extends beyond remote parking as BMW sees a future in which its cars will come with support for fully automated charging and washing. That would pay dividends in terms of comfort by avoiding two of the main hassles usually associated with owning a car: refueling and cleaning. The former is more of a concern for EV owners since charging times are still a long way off from matching gasoline and diesel cars.

The partnership between the BMW Group and Valeo is for both Type 1 and Type 2 Automated Valet Parking solutions. Type 1 refers to the hardware and software needed by the car to autonomously perform the maneuvers. Type 2 is about the necessary infrastructure at the parking facility where the car communicates with the sensors and AVP management system installed at the drop-off/pick-up zone.

As to what Level 4 Automated Valet Parking means, it refers to fully automated driving/parking, with no supervision needed by the driver. The two companies are working on L4 functions, and BMW says other automakers are able to join their efforts. This next-gen tech originates from the automated parking software stack rolled out in 2021 on the iX electric SUV. Highly complex AI-based computer vision algorithms will allow engineers to take the technology to the next level.

The latest news follows an announcement made in January about BMW and Valeo working on advanced driver-assistance systems, sensors, and software for parking due to debut in 2025 with the Neue Klasse platform.

Source: BMW