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Self-parking cars

I recently tested out BMW’s self-parking feature. I think it’s called parking assistant. But that doesn’t feel quite right, because it didn’t really assist. It actually did everything.

As soon as you slow down and start driving past parked vehicles, the car automatically starts scanning and measuring the length and depth of available spots. You see this happening in realtime on the car’s display in plan view.

Once it finds a suitable spot, all you have to do is basically stop and press a button. No need to steer. No need to accelerate or break. No need to turn your head. It all happens automatically.

After the car had parked, I immediately got out to see what kind of skills it had. It was inches away from the curb on both tires and 100% parallel to the curb. 

I have to admit that I did feel a tad uncomfortable letting the car do everything. I am so used to turning around and being in control. I don’t even have a backup camera in my car.

But this feature is probably (I’m guessing) already more capable than many human drivers when it comes to parallel parking.

For those of you in the know when it comes to cars, this may be old news. But I was super impressed. And it was a good reminder of what’s coming down the pike.

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