BMW and its partner Inrix are working on software that will hopefully reduce the amount of time required to find a street parking spot.
The two companies will present research and a prototype vehicle at the TU-Automotive Detroit, a conference for those specialising in telematics, autonomy and mobility, that’s currently taking place in Motor City.
Dubbed Dynamic Parking Prediction, the system currently uses vehicle tracking sensors fitted to several thousand vehicles in a test fleet. The companies have also produced an up-to-date digital map with all the street parking spots for its coverage area.
By using a local prediction algorithm, as well as data about where fleet users are currently parked or looking for parking, the Dynamic Parking Prediction system, which is accessed via the infotainment system, is able to guide the driver to an area where there are fewer cars searching for a place to park or where there may be more available spots.
So far the companies have tested the system in Munich with specially equipped i3 electric hatchbacks. According to BMW, “the system is self-teaching and can therefore easily be rolled out to other cities too”.
Although BMW and Inrix have yet to provide a timeline as to when this feature may turn up in a showroom, the partners are “pooling their expertise to further refine the research prototype for use in production vehicles”.
BMW says that it’s likely that the first vehicles to sport Dynamic Parking Prediction will be vehicles in its DriveNow car-sharing programme.
Prior to that, though, BMW will be the first automaker to offer Inrix’s parking data system, which includes availability of on-street parking that’s updated hourly, locations off-street parking garages, and pricing information.
Currently parking information is only available for Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Cologne, and Copenhagen. Inrix plans to have data available for another 23 cities across Europe and North America by the end of the year.
Inrix’s live parking data will be available in BMW vehicles equipped with ConnectedDrive.