bmw dynamic parking

BMW is working on a parking prediction system that will shorten the search for vacant on-street parking, particularly in cities. In conjunction with its partner INRIX, a world-leading provider of transportation intelligence and connected car services, the automaker is showcasing a research prototype of its Dynamic Parking Prediction application at connected car fair TU-Automotive Detroit.

The system, which will be displayed in a BMW i3 at the show, is able to predict parking availability using movement data collected from vehicle fleets – these form the basis for producing up-to-date digital maps showing all public parking spaces. Several thousand vehicles from a test fleet supplied anonymous movement data that was generated when leaving a parking space and also when searching for a space.

Based on the digital map as well as the local prediction algorithm and the parking data obtained from the fleet vehicles, the DPP app calculates current parking options in a given area, for example in a particular part of town. This information is then presented on the dashboard display, with the number of currently vacant parking spaces and the number of drivers looking for parking both factored into the calculation.

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Even when the system is restricted to using data just from the fleet vehicles, BMW says it achieves reliable results – prediction accuracy increases in step with the number of vehicles supplying data, as you’d surmise. The automaker says that DPP will be able to help BMW drivers obtain exactly the information they need to home in on parking areas where fewer other road users are simultaneously searching for parking.

It’s not the only automaker looking for a solution in this area – Ford’s Parking Spotter solution, which it is developing together with the Georgia Institute of Technology, leverages existing sonar and radar technology already available on Ford vehicles and uses collected data to map parking information on the go. The information is then uploaded to a cloud-based data centre which drivers can access if they’re looking for a place to park.

BMW says that it and INRIX will be pooling their expertise to further refine the research prototype for use in production vehicles.