The new 2017 BMW 5 Series will be like what the new E-Class is for Mercedes, and not just a midsize luxury sedan. The new 5 will be the platform in which BMW will test a ton of new autonomous gizmos. To show everyone what to expect, BMW brought an automated prototype to CES that's pretty much capable of driving itself.
Details are vague regarding exactly what the 5 Series prototype uses to drive itself, but BMW calls it "highly automated." The car's onboard sensor and control tech allows drivers to assign braking and acceleration to the car. They can also take their hands off the steering wheel for "long periods" of time while the car it driving itself.
The prototype will also be able to park itself during the CES demo. A BMW spokesman told Jalopnik:
The way the system is being demonstrated, the driver is [greeted] by a robot valet upon entering the parking area and guided part of the way.
The driver then gets out and the car continues on its way and parks itself.
The way this seems to work is that the robot valet will "talk" to the car and guide it in the parking area. The driver then exits the car at a drop off point and then the car goes and parks itself.
Man, if only that concert-goer who lost his friend's BMW in a parking garage had one of these.