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TECH: BMW’s driverless parking technology

Autonomous parking systems are not new, and many manufacturers offer optional technologies that can park a vehicle without driver intervention by taking control of the steering, brakes and engine. However, none of these systems is able to park the vehicle remotely when the driver is outside the vehicle. This is what BMW is offering with …

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Autonomous parking systems are not new, and many manufacturers offer optional technologies that can park a vehicle without driver intervention by taking control of the steering, brakes and engine.

However, none of these systems is able to park the vehicle remotely when the driver is outside the vehicle. This is what BMW is offering with its all-new driverless parking system available for the first time in Canada on the new-generation BMW 5 Series.

This technology effectively transforms the BMW 5 Series into a remote-controlled car when it is being parked. By using the highly sophisticated key (it looks more like a cell phone than a car key), it is possible to move the car forward or backward from outside the vehicle.

The idea behind the technology is to make your life easier when you’ve just come back from a long day of work and you have no desire to park your 5 Series in the garage. With the self-parking system, you can essentially leave the car in front of the garage door, get out of the car, and use the key to guide it to its parking space.

Unique and certainly advanced, the system takes a long time to activate and for safety’s sake it requires the user to stay near the vehicle to perform the maneuver.

It will certainly impress your neighbors, and buyers wanting the “latest thing” will be thrilled, but that doesn’t change the fact that it will always be faster to simply park the vehicle yourself than having to exit, wait for the car to connect to the key, and then use said key to control the 5 Series.

The driverless parking technology is offered at a cost of $ 1,500 which is reasonable, but it requires the addition of several other option packages that mean that your new 5 Series will cost about $ 10,000 more.

That’s a lot of money for something that takes more time than the manoeuver it aims to replace.

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