2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will feature remote parking
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BMW's big new 7 Series soon won't be the only next-generation premium car with some neat autonomy tricks: old rival Mercedes-Benz is about to introduce its own take on the self-parking concept, in a model one size down.
Today the tri-star brand has released a teaser of the remote parking tech that will be available with its new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, allowing the driver to stand outside the car to direct and monitor the car's manoeuvres into and out of parking spaces.
Mercedes-Benz says the new function comes in response to the tight parking spaces that we battle with daily, which make it difficult to not only navigate into or out of a space, but also tricky to enter or exit the car without dinging its precious body work.
Next-generation E-Class models equipped with the company's new Remote Parking Pilot will allow drivers to control their car's parking and exiting moves via a smartphone app, which is wirelessly connected to the vehicle via Bluetooth. A similar system was announced for the recently unveiled BMW 7 Series, although the Bavarian vehicle's remote parking feature is controlled via a specially designed key fob rather than a smartphone app. The next-generation E-Class is expected to debut in early 2016. As we can see in the video above, as well as in pictures snapped by our spy photographers, the new E fully embraces the rounded lines currently employed by the C- and S-Classes, and their derivatives. Underpinning the E-Class will be the company's MRA rear- and all-wheel drive architecture, which is presently used by the C-Class range and GLC crossover.
Update: Speaking with CarAdvice yesterday, Mercedes-Benz Australia's communications manager David McCarthy confirmed that the E-Class is unlikely to bring its new remote parking tech to Australia. At least, not initially. With autonomous motoring technologies still so new on the global automotive scene, most markets have no legal framework or precedent for their use by regular motorists on public roads. BMW is understood to be working with Australian government bodies to evaluate the potential introduction of the remote parking technology in its new 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz Australia has confirmed it will take similar steps - possibly even joining with BMW to lobby relevant groups together.