BMW Record and Play Back Parking Driving Maneuvers

look at that cool little liger on the left there

look at that cool little liger on the left there
image: Jason Torchinsky

I was in Munich last week, got out of there bmw, who wanted to show me his new i4 and IX Electric Vehicle, and possibly get some alone time with me to confess to them True feelings, that never happened. I’m not allowed to talk about driving impressions of cars right now, but I can do Lets you know about some interesting features of the cars, like a new Which will let you record your potentially complicated parking maneuvers and then ask the car to drive them back, freeing you from the hassle of having to do it all the time. I think it will be the first commercially available car to offer something like this.

I want to say that I did like predict this type of feature in My book about the coming of autonomous vehicles. I wrote about the possibilities of recording the driver’s input and GPS path and then storing and replaying entire drives as a way to store and replay them, which I imagined you might one day take on a custom city tour or Might be able to download like Road Trip.

BMW is the first carmaker to provide the ability to record image and perform driving maneuvers for an article titled

image: Jason Torchinsky

The record/playback system developed by BMW is very limited in scope, intended only for complex parking maneuvers.

To many, I think the need for this may seem shocking. I know it did for Jalopnik Her own editor-in-chief, Rory, who felt it was more of a party trick than anything else.

And, if your regular parking lot at your house just turns into a driveway, then, sure, I can see that wouldn’t make sense. But, that is not necessarily the case for many people.

I Remember Once Hired For The L.A. Auto Show house in town on airbnb, and it was one of the most annoying parking situations I’ve ever encountered. Our press vehicle was a large SUV, but the process of squeezing it into an incredibly narrow driveway, surrounded by unforgiving and paint-wasting plaster walls, and maneuvering around metal posts and recycling bins and various brutal, scrappy plants It was a nerve-wracking, tedious, slow process.

I’m sure you will get used to it over time and with practice, but it will never really hurt. For people in these situations who may have difficult recurring parking setups at home or work, BMW’s solution looks like it could be quite a useful tool.

The way it works is pretty straightforward: You go to where you’ll start your parking process, start recording, do whatever you need to do to park, and save the process.

The total recorded driving distance (which will hopefully be sufficient for most parking spaces) has a range of (I think) 300m/984.25ft and the system keeps the speed fairly low, so I don’t think you can effectively Can record a bunch from wild donuts and then whip 180 degrees in a parallel parking space.

The system allows a slope of 30cm/about a foot to position objects, so if you’re always dodging other parked cars or trash or other movable objects, they don’t always have to be in Correct Same place every time, just roughly.

A BMW engineer demonstrated the system to me using a new IX in the parking deck, if you want to see how it works:

What I like is how each stored maneuver is tagged with a GPS location, so as you pass places where you’ve recorded one of these maneuvers, the car tells you, and if you Lets you choose if you want to perform a recorded parking maneuver.

It’s not perfect, as you can see in the video when there was a point in the way right now Quite different, due to the presence of a parked car that was not there when recorded, causing the system to stop playback. It was restarted after the driver adjusted the position.

The car is still using its cameras and sensors to make sure it doesn’t hit anything while parking, but it’s not driving quite autonomously, as it isn’t determining its own path or actions. Is; It’s playing back actions taken by a driver, and just verifying that none of those actions are driving a cactus or whatever.

I also thought it was interesting that the BMW engineer realized that if you repainted your house, the camera data would have changed enough to allow the maneuver to be re-recorded. In that case it should be heavily dependent on the view data.

Maybe Rory is right, and it’s just a party trick. IStill, it’s kind of cold Party trick, and allows you to try things like pre-recording car-dances in empty spaces, or store a famous driver on an extremely short and slow autocross lap.

Recorded maneuvers are archived based on each driver’s profile, but I believe BMW said that stored maneuvers on the car will be available to all drivers. I don’t think there are provisions to move or store maneuvers outside the car, but it could potentially be interesting, if people can share optimal parking maneuvers for known difficult spots, or even That only fun car-dancing maneuvers can be shared online?

Conceptually, I love the unexpected options that can offer such capabilities, and I’m really curious to see how it’s put to use when these so-equipped BMWs come to the world, or this capability. Others are replicated by the car manufacturer.

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