The next generation of parking has arrived. The new BMW 7 Series model will be able to park itself, without a driver sitting in the car. The driver will be able to exit the car before parking and maneuver the car into a parking spot using a specially designed key fob that houses a remote control and LCD screen.
While the innovative design has yet to be officially released, BMW did release a promotional video that gives us a sneak peek at the futuristic vehicle:
Mercedes Benz offers a similar feature on its newer models, called “active parking assist,” however, it requires drivers to remain in the vehicle during operation. While not a totally driverless car, the new 7 Series indeed encroaches upon territory being explored by car company Tesla, which has announced their development of a self-driving car and relevant software in 2015. The software would serve a lot of the same functions as the somewhat obsolete concept of “auto pilot,” intended to do a lot of the driving on long stretches of highway.
Also wading into the waters of the driverless car market are Google and Mercedes Benz, which both displayed driverless car prototypes at recent car shows.
Google has already patented external airbags and bumpers for a self-driving car – intended to protect passersby should a “drone car” cause a collision.