Imagine having your car parked remotely without the need for a valet. In a throwback to James Bond’s 1997 stunt, where he drove his BMW 750iL via cellphone, BMW has brought that futuristic concept to life with its Remote Valet technology. We recently had the chance to channel our inner Pierce Brosnan as we took the wheel of a BMW iX equipped with this experimental system at CES 2024.
Behind the Wheel of Future Tech
The BMW Remote Valet system is not your typical valet service. Instead, it allows a remote driver to operate your car using video screens and controls reminiscent of those found in racing simulators. Leveraging existing hardware such as forward and reverse cameras, along with the 360-degree surround-view parking cameras, the system aims to provide the convenience of having a valet wherever you go. Picture yourself saving time, avoiding hassle, and skipping the long walks to parking spots.
However, the reality of widespread use faces a few challenges. Government regulations, limitations in cell service (especially in multi-story and underground parking garages), and the need for widespread adoption pose practical hurdles. While the system undeniably works, its actual viability remains to be determined, especially as valet companies would need a critical mass of remotely piloted cars to make it a practical solution.