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Safe Parking Using the BMW Remote Park Assist
After revealing the prototype system at the BMW Innovations Day in Munich last month, the German automobile maker had announced the release of their innovative safe parking technology called BMW Remote Park Assist. By August 2006, BMW owners will be able to park their BMW cars by using a remote control. This feature would also be able to increase the car’s child safety features.
The BMW Remote Park Assist allows BMW drivers to stand beside their car while it parks itself in the garage. BMW cars can be reversed or locked in place from its parking position using the driver monitoring pedestrian traffic. With this, the risk of reversing and bumping into children is reduced.
Vehicle guidance is being controlled by pressing a button on the remote key and the car moves at 2.5 km/hour. Smart sensors control the movement and these are assisted by a special mirror mounted in the garage. The sensors detect hurdles and prevent the car from hitting them, thus reducing the damage on BMW auto parts. When the button on the remote key is released, the car will stop moving.
Raymond Freymann, Head of Research and Technology of BMW Group, further explains how the BMW Remote Park Assist works: "The fully automatic garage parking assistant is a vehicle system which enables a vehicle to drive into a garage fully automatically. In order to enable this, we of course have to know where the vehicle is positioned relative to the garage. To this end, there is a camera mounted on the windscreen pointing ahead at the garage. On the back wall of the garage we attach a so-called "lenticular reflector". This lenticular reflector gives us two pieces of information: firstly the distance of the vehicle from the back wall. If the camera sees the reflector in small size, this means it is a long way. If the camera sees the reflector in large size, this simply means that the vehicle is near the wall. Secondly you have a very clear view of the angle at which the camera is pointing at the reflector since there is a black line moving backwards and forwards. So you have two pieces of information – the size of the reflector and the angle relative to the back wall. Now the position of the vehicle is known and I can define the trajectories for the vehicle to move completely automatically into the garage. This is essentially the sensor system we have installed for the Automatic Park Assistant. Of course, what else do I need to control the whole operation? It has to be possible to control the engine and transmission electronically, I have to be able to operate the brake electronically from the vehicle and of course the accelerator too. But that’s all the systems I need so as to be able to have the vehicle drive into the garage completely automatically."
BMW said that their innovative BMW Remote Park Assist system is ideal for restricted parking areas like apartment buildings and town houses.
About the Author: Tracy is a 29 year old researcher and writer from Dallas, Texas with extensive experience in writing auto-related articles and covering automotive related events. She is currently a contributing writer for a leading automotive e-zine.