BMW finds your parking spot (video)

Could parking garage maps be coming to BMW's ConnectedDrive navigation system? BMW released a video demonstrating its micro-navigation technology, which shows drivers the most exact route to their destination, down to the parking space.

Could parking garage maps be coming to BMW's ConnectedDrive navigation system? BMW released a video demonstrating its micro-navigation technology, which shows drivers the most exact route to their destination, down to the parking space.

BMW announced that it was developing this technology last year, and while the new video doesn't show much more detail than what was previously released, it could suggest that this feature, which was developed in conjunction with the 3-series sedan, could be making its way to production.

To use micro-navigation, the driver plans a route in advance by selecting a parking spot from a micro-map (if one exists), and sends the destination to the car's navigation system. In the car, micro-navigation relies on forward-facing cameras to detect exact lane positioning to provide more-accurate directions, and sensors determine elevation changes within garages to figure out which floor the vehicle is on. The navigation system can determine its location without GPS and guide the driver to the desired parking spot.

Of course, your ability to take advantage of this future tech will depend largely on the number of micro-maps of parking garages available. But this feature doesn't seem too far away from becoming a real product. Rearview cameras will be required in all vehicles starting in 2014, and the BMW 5-series already uses up to five cameras for other advanced safety technology. However, it's not clear how parking garage maps will be created to work with the ConnectedDrive system, or if the navigation technology can determine whether the parking spot will be unoccupied when you get there.

 

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