Man claims BMW Park Assist function caused him to 'mount' parked car
Many modern vehicles are now fitted with autonomous functions that make life easier for the driver.> One such function is Park Assist, an electronic gizmo found on models ranging from the humble Ford Focus to the new Mercedes S-Class, that can actively seek out a parking space using built-in sensors and radar technology.
Once a space is found, the car will take over the controls while the driver simply has to squeeze the accelerator and dab the brakes to gently guide the car into a space.
Jonathon Libratore, 27, from Florida, claims that the Park Assist on his brand new BMW 5 series malfunctioned while he was trying to park up at his local Target department store.
Instead of guiding him and his young son - who was sat in the rear of the vehicle - into a suitable space, the system allegedly unexpectedly accelerated, shooting the vehicle across a grassy knoll and up onto the bonnet of a parked Nissan Sentra.
The speed was enough to leave the BMW up on just two wheels, as the offside front and rear wheels precariously balanced on the unfortunate Nissan.
But BMW North America has defended its parking system, stating that it does not control the speed of the car and requires inputs from the driver to ensure the parking manoeuvre is carried out smoothly.
"The system does not control the speed of the vehicle at any time," BMW North America spokesman David Buchko told ABC News.
"The driver controls the speed of the vehicle with the accelerator and the brake."
BMW's official website states: "BMW Park Assist makes parallel parking simple. Once activated, all you need to do is drive past an available space, at a speed below 20mph and vehicle sensors calculate the manoeuvre for you.
"Instructions are displayed on the Control Display and when you engage the required gear your BMW will steer your vehicle into the space whilst you control the accelerator and brake pedals."
Martin County deputies are currently investigating the cause of the crash.