Luxury automobile maker BMW is gearing up for the upcoming CES 2015 in Las Vegas with a scheduled demonstration of a self-driving BMW i3.
The car, otherwise referred to as the research vehicle, will demonstrate how it would find a parking space in a multistory car lot, park by itself, and come back to the driver after being summoned by the use of a smart watch app. All of these can be done without having to use GPS.
The BMW i3 research vehicle will be carrying four advanced laser scanners, which will be responsible in mapping and identifying environmental hazards. One example is identifying vehicles that were wrongly parked. This type of data will be used by the car's on-board assistance system, which has the capacity to trigger the brakes automatically when necessary.
"Four advanced laser scanners record the environment and reliably identify impediments," BMW stated.
When the i3 research vehicle approaches a column or a wall too fast, the system automatically brakes in order to avoid a collision threat.
BMW also claims that the data gathered by the laser scanners can be used hand in hand with the digital site plans of a building in order to enable independent navigation. This can be achieved with the help of a smart watch, which can be used to activate the parking assistant. Once activated, it automatically steers the car into an empty space in a multistory car park. It then locks the vehicle as it anticipates a summon.
"Once the BMW i3 has arrived at the parking space, the vehicle locks itself and waits to be called by smart watch and voice command," said BMW.
The parking assistant's fully automated feature also allows it to calculate the exact time that the driver comes back to the car park. It will then start the engine of the BMW i3 and steer it through the car park exit, which is also done at exactly the right time.
BMW's announcement of the demonstration was a follow-up on its CES 2014 event. During that time, the company introduced a self-driving car at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.