BMW Moves Us Even Closer to Cars that Can Park Themselves

Thanks to BMW, each of us may be closer to living out our inner James Bond. BMW is currently developing technology that would allow consumers to park their car with nothing more than a smartwatch.

BMW’s i3 car, which will be on display at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas in January, will integrate smartwatch technology with the vehicle and allow it to park itself without crashing—most of the time.

The “Remote Valet Parking Assistant” will operate through an app that will send the car on its way to park itself while the car’s owner goes on about their way.

The car is still just a prototype for now, but it already shows great promise for the future of hi-tech luxury vehicles.

Lasers on the car will scan the surrounding environment to help the vehicle avoid any nasty collisions but BMW warns that right now that feature isn’t full proof just yet.

The car had its fair share of minor bumps and scrapes during test runs and the company’s press release said that “entirely collision-free driving” is still only a “possibility.”

While possibilities of a collision will still be something consumers have to worry about, the press release promises that the car won’t be running into large columns or other cars.

“If the vehicle approaches a wall or a column too quickly, the system brakes automatically to prevent the threat of collision,” the press release said. “The vehicle is brought to a standstill very precisely with centimeters to spare.”

This isn’t the first time BMW has been showing off cars that can essentially drive themselves.

In both 2009 and 2011 they tested “highly automated” cars, and they are now getting closer to making that a reality – although it will certainly take quite a few years before consumers are running errands without even having to take a glance at the road.

The futuristic i3 is also sporting other impressive features such as a navigation system that will not rely on GPS signals, 360-degree collision avoidance, and an early version of an Emergency Stop Assistant that will detect if the driver has collapsed from a medical emergency and steer itself safely off to the side of the road and initiate an emergency call.