BMW i3 – Self-Parking Gone Wrong – Video


Oh Crap, We've Hit Something

Oh Crap, We’ve Hit Something

And they say self-driving cars are coming soon…

If the BMW i3’s unreliable self-parking system provides us with any indication of what to expect in autonomous-driving cars, then we’re in for a scary ride.

In this video, the BMW i3’s parallel parking feature is put to the test (starting at the 17-minute mark in the video).  The system fails twice in a row.

Here’s the video description:

Will’s on a quest to to find a new car, and is considering an all-electric vehicle. This week, he test drives the BMW i3, a unique hatchback that can run for 80 miles on a full charge. We take the i3 on the freeway, on San Francisco’s steepest hill, and test its self-parking feature.

To us, if the “assist” features don’t work 100% of the time, then they are not a feature, but rather a waste of technology and money.

And in case you were wondering, this is not the first time we’ve come across i3 self-parking failures.  There’s been numerous reports of failures related to this “feature.”

Categories: BMW


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25 Comments on "BMW i3 – Self-Parking Gone Wrong – Video"

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Nothing an OTA firmware update can’t fix. Oh, wait. 😉

When we were shopping for an i3 we asked the salesman if we could try out the self parking feature. He said it had a tendency to scrape the rims on the curb so he didn’t recommend it. And we haven’t tried it once since we leased the i3 in September. Luckily the adaptive cruise control works much better and gets fairly routine use.

@20:33 he says the i3 is the “Least efficient”.

I thought the i3 was the MOST efficient?

Not exactly clear why it failed, but I’m guessing it scrapped the curb. Couldn’t the cameraman in the backseat get out and film from the sidewalk?

He can’t open the door himself. The driver would have to open theirs, get out, then open the door for the rear passenger. 😉

Well, couldn’t he pass the camera out the window, to the guy who got out for his door?

Actually, no. He couldn’t pass the camera through the rear-door windows, because on the i3 they’re fixed and don’t roll down.

No, the driver doesn’t have to open the rear door to let a rear passenger exit. The driver could have opened his door partially and unbuckled his seatbelt but he would not have had to exit the car. Then, the rear seat passenger could have opened the rear door himself to exit. The rear door handle is on the front edge of the rear door and is accessible from inside as well as outside when the front door is open.

The i3’s coach (a.k.a., suicide) doors aren’t as convenient as normal rear doors, but to keep the i3 as short and light as possible, the length of the rear doors needs to be short. This is partly due to the i3’s tall tires that reduce the length available for doors. Normal rear doors of the same length as the coach doors would have made back seat ingress and egress very difficult. BMW’s solution is definitely better than making the i3 a 2-door coupe with more difficult rear seat access.

These guys could do a Silicon Valley version of The Green Hornet, no kidding. Give them a black Fisker Karma with lots of green LEDs inside.

Besides being practically a stereotypical duo of IT guys, this is a non- biased ( finally!) assessment of the car by non carguy, tech types.

They don’t find out the tiny trunk is not weatherproof. If they did, they wouldn’t be keeping the charger in there. They did, however, find the car rides twitchy and harshly on it’s skinny, tall tires. They discover it is not a highway cruiser as it’s on-center tracking is go-kartish ( I made up a word! ). He touched on the goofy rear doors and did say they passed the baby seat test and I believe he’s the first to mention the rear windows neither open or even vent. Just think how confusing the operation of those doors would be if the passengers were able to let themselves out!

Overall, an interesting take by people whose minds are not clouded by the BMW mystique.

Wish they would have emphasized i3’s range and price vs LEAF and Volt…

VW always emphasized how great German ENgineering is. Except many of the newer VW’s leak oil.

Thanks Eric for the Video.. This as mentioned shows some useability problems for the first time in all the videos we’ve seen on this car, and for me personally, this kind of thing I want mentioned in the FIRST video because I just hate finding out things later.

Now whether I would buy the car or not is not the issue, because at least now I can make an informed decision, which basically is the whole point of a website like InsideEvs.

I’d like to know how this car compares to other cars with self-parking features. Do they fail as often?

A BMW dealer recommending that you not use the feature — WOW! ’nuff said!

Screen says “brake pressed”? That aborts the parking. Maybe he got too nervous as the car edged forwards to the parked car.

Kind of agree with the remarks that self parking is a bridge too far. Either you can drive or you can’t, there is no real need for such features. What is needed is a larger version of the i3 with 5 seats, a large trunk and a more standard tank. A bit more battery range to 100 true miles would be great too.

What i found quite surprising is that they didn’t knew anything about the car’s connectivity. An i3 and all BMW’s with connected drive services, have their own smartphone module and sim-card they dont need to be connected to your phone to opperate. In the interior you don’t see any Carbonfiber, there you have parts made out of Kenaff and recycled plastics. The self parking system need a curb thats about 3 inch high.

He says in the video all electrified cars that aren’t Tesla and BMW i8 are just commuting cars.

I would tend to disagree, there are other vehicles like the Volt that are easily a traveling car. Granted limited cargo space compared to an SUV, but I make 400 mile round trips with my Volt without any issue.

Just an example of preconceptions continuing to drive opinions.

So – Maybe his wording should be – “All PURE Battery Electric Cars” are just commuting cars?

I am sure I could drive the Plug in Prius (PIP) to Key West from Toronto, just like my 2004 Prius Did, but – how much fuel savings would it deliver on such a trip over the Regular Prius ‘Liftback’?

And – the Ford ‘Energi’ Variants – could also make such a Trip as that – just as the i8, but just maybe – the point is that the i8 and the Tesla Model S – are just so much ‘More Exciting’ than the other BEV’s or PHEV’s out there? Hence – the rest are ‘Just Commuting Cars’!

Was his point, that those are for fast acceleration, while the other are not as ‘sporty’ as the Model S & i8?

He’s probably not aware of the plug-ins from Porsche.

Yeah, I’m not sure. I just got the impression that he didn’t realize there are cars available today that are 100% electric for daily commuting and easy to make a cross country trip in, depending on cargo needs of course.

He seemed to be discounting the i3 from that because of the small Rex, but didn’t sound like he was aware of alternatives.

He also said that it has “71 miles [EV] range, . . . it depends on how you drive, obviously. I you really get in to the accelerator, your 70 miles are going to be 25 or 30 miles. You can really eat up the battery.”

This idiot doesn’t know what he is talking about. He just made up that “25 or 30 mile” figure. If someone who doesn’t know anything about EVs watches this review, they are going to come away with the impression that the i3’s EV range in real world driving is 25 or 30 miles, and you can achieve 71 miles range if you hypermile.

It’s been said that anyone who calls another a fool, or in your case, “idiot” is him or herself and idiot. This is due to the fact that we all are imperfect.

While you, Sven – attempt to pigeonhole myself as some kind of racist at every opportunity – I think you should look in the mirror and temper your propensity to judge others quickly and harshly.

Not all people come to assessments from the same place. These guys are obviously tech guys and not car guys. Their observations are refreshing and in some ways, illuminating.

I found the sidekick’s capsule summary at the very end to be hilarious. (“I think I wanna puke!”)

I don’t take it as a comment on how good the car is, but I did find it very funny.

Why doesn’t he just get a Volt and move on.

“I think I want to puke”…the ultimate driving machine.

That kinda looked like a hit and run where it backed into the parked car behind and they split.

It looks to me like they are trying to park it in a driveway in the first attempt at least. There was no continuous curb there, it dips down for the driveway. Second one I can’t explain it hitting the curb though!

During my test drive I tried the parking function two times and both worked flawlessly. I don’t know what went wrong here, but as they speculated in the video, I guess it was because they were in front of a driveway and there was no real curb that the car could detect.

That said, I think the function is not much more than a gimmick since parking this small car is super easy (and you can estimate distances very well due to the boxy design with wheels very close to the corners).