BMW partners with Valeo to develop new Level 4 ‘Automated Valet Parking’

Credit: BMW Group

BMW has announced that it is creating a Level 4 autonomous parking system called “Automated Valet Parking,” or AVP.

Mercedes-Benz made headlines at the end of last year when it announced the launch of its PARK PILOT Level 4 autonomous valet parking system. While limited in its release to a single airport and top-of-the-line Mercedes models, the parking system was a massive jump forward in the field of autonomy, as Mercedes was the first ever to introduce such a program.

Now, BMW has announced that it will be working with its parts supplier, Valeo, to create a level 4 autonomous parking system of its own.

BMW’s proposed system, called Automated Valet Parking, or AVP, is similar to Mercedes PARK PILOT or Tesla Smart Summon, allowing a driver to arrive at a “drop-off zone” and leave their vehicle. The vehicle would then park itself. When the driver and passengers are ready to leave, the vehicle would then autonomously drive back to the pick-up zone.

According to BMW, this would be based on its pre-existing self-parking software available in the BMW iX and new “infrastructure-based services.”

The system is based on the same software stack that was first introduced with the BMW iX in 2021. However, this next generation will be “further extended by a powerful computing platform hosting the jointly developed algorithms,” BMW said.

“This joint development is an important milestone for the BMW Group with regard to our next generation of automated driving and parking,” says Nicolai Martin, Senior Vice President of Driving Experience for BMW. “With scalable L4 parking experiences, we confirm and strengthen our leading position in this domain.”

BMW’s autonomous parking system has yet to make its way to customers, and the company has not yet shared when it will be available. However, knowing the gauntlet that Mercedes had to run to legally implement any of its autonomous systems in Germany, BMW has a long road ahead.

Software is proving to become an ever more important part of a vehicle’s feature set, and while Tesla and Mercedes are the clear leaders in autonomy currently, BMW is showing that there is plenty of interest in increasing competition with these brands. BMW is headed in the right direction with its first higher-level autonomous offering, we can only hope that it reaches the market sooner rather than later.

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BMW partners with Valeo to develop new Level 4 ‘Automated Valet Parking’
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