BMW Announce Smartwatch-Controlled Self-Parking Car

BMW smartwatch
BMW claim you will be able to summon your parked car with your smartwatch. BMW

You step out of the theatre, partner on your arm, ready to head home. You head for the car park, but where's the car? One quick word to your smartwatch, and it roars up in front of you. Yep, you're Batman, you're Knightrider, you're James bloody Bond.

Only you're not. Soon, rather than the preserve of MI6's top agent, this could be standard practice. Car manufacturer BMW announced its plans to unveil new technology next month that will enable its new model to scout out free spots in multi-storey garages, park itself, and pick you up after work, all at the touch of a smartwatch.

The Remote Valet Parking Assistant is the latest development in BMW's i3 car set to be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 in Las Vegas next month. The new technology expands on BMW's fully electric i3 car from last year's CES that could maneuver itself into a parking spot. The new technology pushes the innovation further by actually finding the parking spot on its own and picking you up when summoned, all with a vocal prompt to a smartwatch app.

BMW's i3 vehicle uses four laser scanners and state-of-the-art mapping technology to steer around its surroundings, identify hazards like pedestrians and other vehicles, and automatically apply the brakes when needed, enabling what they reassuringly call "the possibility of entirely collision-free driving".

Driverless car
'Look mum, no hands... or people.' BMW

Together, the mapping technology and lasers can guide the i3 through multi-floor parking garages by assessing the environment until it finds an empty space.

The i3 does not require GPS to operate, and unlike other self-driving innovations like last year's i3 or the A7 from Audi, which were both presented at last year's CES, the parking garage does not require external technology. The Remote Valet Parking Assistant is independent of the parking garage.

Legislation allowing autonomous vehicles has changed in favour of increasing innovation, with self-driving cars like Googles Lexus RX 450H permitted on public roads in the United States currently and in the UK as of 2015, meaning that innovations in self-driving cars.

The BMW i3 can been seen at the CES 2015 from January 6th-9th in Las Vegas. The company has not yet revealed when the Remote Valet Parking Assistant is expected to be available for commercial use.