How to Effectively Use Parking Assist Features for Tight Spaces?

February 7, 2024

There comes a time in every driver’s life when they are faced with the challenge of parking in a tight space. Whether it’s a narrow spot sandwiched between two luxury vehicles, or a minuscule space in a crowded city parking lot, navigating your vehicle into these spots can be a daunting task. However, with the advancement in automotive technology, the solution to this parking conundrum lies at your fingertips. Thanks to parking assist systems, parking isn’t the nail-biting experience it used to be anymore. Most modern vehicles, such as the BMW, now come equipped with smart parking assist features, making the process seamless and convenient. In this guide, we’ll outline how to effectively use a parking assist system for tight spaces.

How Does a Parking Assist System work?

Let’s first understand the concept behind a parking assist system. Essentially, it’s a futuristic technology designed to help drivers park their cars without manually steering. The system utilizes sensors, cameras, and sometimes even lasers to gauge the size of the parking spot and the proximity of other vehicles or obstacles. The data collected is then processed to maneuver the vehicle into the space efficiently and safely.

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BMW, for instance, offers a Remote Control Parking feature in some of its models. This parking assist feature uses a combination of sensors and cameras to judge the size of the parking space, and then expertly guides the vehicle into it without any input from the driver. The driver can activate this feature using a smart key, aiding in parking in tight spaces without a hitch.

Activating the Parking Assist Feature

Activating the parking assist feature is usually done through a button located on the dashboard or center console of your vehicle. For BMW models equipped with the Remote Control Parking feature, the activation process is a bit more intriguing.

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The key to activating the BMW’s parking assist feature is using its smart Display Key. This key comes with an integrated LCD screen, which acts as the command center for the system. To activate the parking assist, you will need to turn on the engine and then press the parking assist button on the key. The vehicle will then take over and park itself in the desired spot.

Using the Parking Assist to Maneuver into a Tight Space

The real magic of a parking assist system is put to test when faced with a tight parking space. Here’s how the system will guide your vehicle into a snug spot.

After activating the parking assist system from your smart key, you need to slowly drive forward while the system scans for an available spot. Once a suitable spot is detected, the system will notify you on the screen. At this point, you should stop your vehicle and press the brake button. This allows the parking assist system to take complete control of the vehicle.

Now step out of the vehicle and press and hold the parking function button on the smart key. The car will then begin to maneuver itself into the parking space. You can watch this happen from outside the vehicle, controlling the movement with the key. Remember, the car will stop moving forward or backward if you release the parking function button.

Ensuring Safety while Using Parking Assist System

While parking assist systems are designed to alleviate the stress of parking in tight spaces, it’s crucial to remember that they are aids and not replacements for attentive driving.

One of the primary safety measures while using a parking assist system is to keep your finger on the parking function button at all times while the car is parking itself. This way, you can immediately stop the car if you notice it getting too close to another vehicle or an obstacle. Also, despite the system’s technical prowess, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and monitor the vehicle’s movement.


As automotive technology continues to evolve, parking assist systems are becoming more sophisticated. The convenience they offer, especially in urban areas where parking spaces are notoriously tight, can’t be overstated. By understanding the mechanics of a parking assist feature and using it correctly, you can navigate tight parking spots with ease and confidence. Let the vehicle do the work for you, and say goodbye to the stress and anxiety of parking in tight spaces.

So the next time you find yourself in a tight parking spot, don’t shy away. Instead, press that button, let the system do its magic, and watch as your vehicle glides into the spot like a pro. Because with parking assist, tight parking spaces are not daunting anymore, they are just another spot to park your car.

Understanding the Limitations of Parking Assist Features

While the parking assist feature is undoubtedly a technological marvel, like all automated systems, it also has its limitations. It is essential to understand these limitations to use the feature effectively and ensure the safety of your vehicle.

One of the primary limitations of parking assist systems is that they might not always detect small or thin objects. For instance, posts, bicycles, or low-lying barriers might not be detected by the sensor, leading to a collision if you’re not careful. Hence, while the parking assist is navigating the vehicle, still keep an eye on the surroundings.

Secondly, parking assist systems are designed for certain types of parking, such as parallel parking and perpendicular parking. They may not be as effective in more complicated parking situations, such as angle parking or parking on steep slopes.

Thirdly, the parking assist systems work best under certain speed limits. The vehicle speed while initiating the parking assist should be low, usually under 20 mph. If the vehicle is moving too fast, the system might not have enough time to accurately detect the surrounding obstacles.

Lastly, remember that a parking assist feature is not a substitute for your driving skills. It’s an aid meant to assist, not replace, a driver. Therefore, even when the system is active, you need to stay alert, monitor the vehicle’s movement, and be ready to intervene if necessary.


Driving into a tight parking space can evoke a sense of dread in even the most experienced of drivers. But thanks to leaps in automotive technology, we now have smart parking assist features that make the task considerably less daunting. By judiciously using these features and understanding their limitations, you can master the art of maneuvering into tight parking spaces.

The key to effectively using the parking assist lies in understanding that it’s a tool meant to assist you, not take over your role as the driver. Even when the system is active, it’s crucial to stay alert and keep monitoring the vehicle’s movement. The parking assist is there to help you navigate tight spaces and take the stress out of parking, not absolve you of your responsibility as a driver.

In conclusion, the parking assist feature is a remarkable piece of technology, and when used correctly, it can make parallel parking and parking in tight spaces a breeze. So the next time you’re faced with a small parking space, don’t shy away. Press that button on your smart key, let the parking assist do its magic, and watch as your vehicle adeptly maneuvers into the spot. Just remember to stay vigilant, keep control in your hands, and use the feature as an aid, not a replacement for your driving skills. With parking assist, no parking space is too small or daunting. It’s just another spot to park your car.