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Hands-on with BMW's self-parking i3

Sean Cooper, @sean_cooper
January 9, 2014
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BMW was keen to show off some ConnectedDrive technology at CES in its new i3, so it trucked us -- well, i640'd -- out to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a demo. We had a brief look at the BMW i Remote app installed on a Samsung Galaxy Gear, where the car's battery state, range, lock status and other niceties are displayed. Lost your car on some street after it parked itself? Communication flows both ways with the BMW i3 and by simply asking the car to "make some noise" using the watch, the horn will honk after a short delay.

One of the i3's most compelling features is its $1,000 Parking Package. At the push of a button using ultrasonic sensors, the car will both find and then park itself in a spot with as little as 22 inches of extra space. Self-parking cars aren't new, but the little electric i3 does the complete procedure and doesn't need driver input on gas or braking. We tried the entire parking procedure and it worked flawlessly as it backed into the spot and then adjusted back and forth a bit to get properly aligned with the curb. Is it worth the $1,000 bucks? If you're not the most adept driver when it comes to parallel parking, we'd say it absolutely looks worth it. Don't believe us? Take a peek at the video right below.

Ben Harrison contributed to this report

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