Your New BMW Will Help You Find a Parking Spot

BMW's Inrix-powered map will help you find a parking spot.
BMW's Inrix-powered map will help you find a parking spot.

BMW has unveiled a new connected driving feature that predicts on-street parking to help you find available spaces wherever you are. The Dynamic On-Street Parking System aims to save you time and gas by utilizing digital mapping and fleet data to predict where public parking spaces are open.

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BMW has reportedly been working on the system since 2011, and has enlisted several thousand anonymous vehicles to track as they leave or drive to search for parking spaces (that’s where the fleet data comes from). The number of drivers looking for space and the amount of available spaces are factored into the calculation. Collected data is then crunched down to form prediction patterns so the system can guess where an open spot will most likely be in a local area. The luxury car company paired with navigation data specialists Inrix to develop the tool, which can be displayed on BMW dashboard navigation screens, and the predicted parking zones are color coded with green, yellow, and red to indicate which areas are most likely to produce a parking spot.

The biggest issue lies in the fact that the real-time data collected to create predictions are being sourced only by BMWs that are a part of the project. That leaves millions of cars out there aimlessly circling blocks taking spaces off the radar. However, BMW says that the system is able to achieve accurate results even though it is confined to using data only from their fleet. As the number of vehicles that are supplying data increases, the system’s accuracy will increase — but we’re guessing that not everyone on the road will be behind the wheel of a BMW anytime soon. The system is not available in any models that are currently on the market, but will be used in future production vehicles. The prototype is currently on display in the BMW i3 at the TU-Automotive Detroit exhibition.

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