If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, as they say, the road to driver’s hell is surely paved with convenience. Just check out this video from the Bimmerpost forum.
What you’re looking at is footage of the 2017 BMW 5 Series parallel-parking itself, as many tech-centric luxury sedans have learned to do over the past several years. But this one requires no driver intervention whatsoever.
Watch as the driver of a new 540i pulls up next to a spot, engages the system, and then does… absolutely nothing. No shifting into or out of reverse, no modulating the gas or brakes, certainly no turning of the steering wheel. Nothing. The system takes care of all of it for you.
Of course, in order for this all to work, everything needs to be run by wire: the steering, the brakes, the throttle… everything. And if this type of system is to proliferate from the so-called “Ultimate Driving Machine” into other cars, that’ll mean the end of the direct mechanical linkages that driving enthusiasts treasure.
More than what’s taking place inside the car, though, is what’s going on inside our heads, underneath those tinfoil hats. Because at the rate at which these systems are progressing, it’s only a matter of time before we’re asked to take our hands off the wheel (and our foot off the pedals) altogether, and precluded from ever putting them back. The future, in short, looks convenient… for vehicle occupants, not as drivers.