Come CES 2015, luxury automobile maker BMW will be showing off its recent advances in autonomous vehicle research, including the smartwatch-operable Remote Valet Parking Assistant. The i3 research vehicle is equipped with four "advanced laser scanners," which can map and identify hazards within an environment. This data can be used by the i3's on-board assistance system to automatically trigger brakes when needed.
Additionally, BMW claims that the information gathered by the scanners can be combined with the digital site plans of a building to allow for independent navigation. Using a smartwatch, users can activate the parking assistant and have it automatically steer the car towards a space in a multi-story car park before locking the vehicle in anticipation of a summons. The announcement follows a demonstration from CES 2014, where BMW introduced a self-driving car at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Audi showcased similar technologies last year, except that the company's vehicles required the use of a venue that has been specifically fitted with laser scanners. In contrast, BMW's Remote Valet Parking Assistant can potentially function in any structure, so long as an architectural blueprint is available.