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BMW ConnectedDrive Technology in 2012

Source: BMW | Published: Sat Jul 02, 2011

With BMW ConnectedDrive, BMW already offers a unique portfolio of innovative functions and technologies for intelligent integration of driver, vehicle and outside world. These feature increased comfort, provide a new dimension in infotainment and significantly improve safety in BMW vehicles. BMW ConnectedDrive made its debut back in 1999 at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA). Today this concept comprises an ever-growing number of mobility services and driver assistance systems, which combine the varied roles of personal assistant, protector and entertainer. In the second half of 2011, many more new functions are set to join the BMW ConnectedDrive portfolio.

BMW Live: Infotainment Services via the Customer's Mobile Phone

One of the latest attractive new services from BMW ConnectedDrive is BMW Live. Using any internet-capable mobile phone, and subject to data charges, it allows a limited number of the existing BMW Online services to be accessed via Bluetooth. All the available Online functions are transmitted by Bluetooth to the in-dash display. They can be operated easily and intuitively using the iDrive Controller, with the customer's mobile phone serving as the modem. From launch, BMW Live will provide free news via RSS feeds, weather information and the functions Google Local Search, Google Panoramio and Google Street View. To activate their favourite news feeds, customers simply input the relevant domain. The portal then automatically searches for the associated RSS feeds on the website. Headlines can be read aloud via BMW's text-to-speech function. The weather data, which includes both the current weather conditions and a four-day forecast, is presented on the monitor in clear, easily readable colour images.

The Google functions offered by BMW Live - Google Local Search, Panoramio and Street View - work similarly to the functions available in the current BMW Online system. The start page offers location selection, search box, categories and history. Addresses found using Google Local Search can be imported directly into the vehicle's navigation system. It is also possible, using the iDrive Controller, to select and display destination images from Google Panoramio and Street View, both while stationary and when on the move. The new BMW Live service from BMW ConnectedDrive is at present only available in the new BMW 1 Series. Customers can configure this service to their own individual requirements. Further BMW Live applications will shortly be made available worldwide (except in the USA, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan).

Collision Warning System and No Passing Info Display

BMW ConnectedDrive uses a single tiny multifunction camera, mounted on the rear-view mirror, to implement a number of different driver assistance systems. In the new BMW 1 Series, BMW is now the first premium manufacturer to use such a camera also for monitoring traffic ahead. The image recognition system continuously scans the traffic and gives an audible warning if it identifies a potential collision risk. If the driver is too close to preceding vehicles, the system produces an acute audible warning and a visual signal appears in the instrument cluster. At speeds upwards of 30 mph (50 km/h), the brake system is primed and the activation threshold of the hydraulic Brake Assist system is lowered. These measures, which are activated simultaneously with the visual and audible warnings, are designed to help the driver to react effectively in an emergency. There is no automatic braking intervention. The sensitivity of the automatic Collision Warning system can be individually configured by the driver using the iDrive Controller.

The camera system also continuously monitors speed restriction signs and other traffic signs, and relays this information to the driver. For the first time, this BMW ConnectedDrive function can now also display no-overtaking information. The system automatically detects the beginning and end of an overtaking prohibition and informs the driver by displaying a no-overtaking symbol in the central instrument cluster. The rear-view mirror camera also detects warnings relating to current conditions which appear, for example, on variable-message overhead traffic signs, and can identify traffic signs that apply just to trucks or in wet weather. All this data is temporarily stored in the system so that if the driver stops for a short break, the last-displayed limits and prohibitions are immediately reactivated when he sets off again.

Hands-Free Tailgate Opener

BMW ConnectedDrive can always be counted on to come up with pioneering technology, and one of its latest intelligent solutions in the field of driver comfort and convenience is no exception. Hands-free foot-activated tailgate opening is a first in the premium class. Customers standing behind the car can open the boot or tailgate with a short movement of their foot under the centre of the rear bumper, without using their hands. The tailgate (or boot) is then automatically opened and raised, either by spring force or, depending on specification, by the tailgate lift.

The vehicle is fitted with sensors placed at different heights in the rear bumper trim, which are able to identify a person standing behind the vehicle. The sensors can identify the foot "command" by monitoring the area of the leg between the shin and the tip of the foot. They then send a signal containing special algorithms to the on-board computer. Access is only authorized, however, if the system simultaneously identifies the Comfort Access control unit (the key), which the person must be carrying with them. The bootlid or tailgate is then unlocked and raised automatically, without hand contact. Key authorization provides the safeguard which ensures correct operation at all times. It means that the system cannot be confused by objects underneath the car or, say, by animals running in and out under the bumper.

Real-Time Traffic Information (RTTI) Shortens Journey Times

The BMW ConnectedDrive Real-Time Traffic Information (RTTI) system specially developed for BMW navigation systems launches a new era in real-time traffic information for motorists. The real-time information, which is taken into account when calculating routes and diversions, is relayed to the vehicle with unrivalled reliability and precision. The system is mobile phone-based, using the vehicle's built-in SIM card, and has the advantage over radio-based traffic information of being faster and offering more extensive coverage. This means that much more data can be used to analyse the traffic situation, and that this data can be updated more frequently. RTTI covers motorways and main roads, as well as main and secondary roads in urban areas. If congestion is reported on a BMW driver's present route, the system is therefore equipped to provide precise details of an alternative route. With a wealth of detailed information at its disposal, the navigation system is always able to work out the quickest route to the driver's intended destination under the prevailing conditions.

The system monitors the dynamic network connections of mobile phones in vehicles in the area to generate anonymous mobile location data. The number and speed of location changes within the mobile phone network allows an accurate picture to be obtained of current traffic flows. Further real-time data, capable of providing information about traffic jams and congestion, is also obtained from truck fleets and taxis whose navigation systems are linked to a control centre. Data is also obtained from local authority traffic management systems, which provide precise information about traffic density on urban roads. Coloured markings on the in-car map display indicate how freely traffic is flowing on the various roads. The information is updated at three-minute intervals. Through RTTI, with its extensive data about the intricate road networks of Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, BMW Connected Drive is moving steadily forward with the intelligent integration of driver, vehicle and outside world.

Connected Driving: The Future

The BMW concept vehicle BMW Vision ConnectedDrive provides an early insight into ways in which vehicles of the future will become an even more integral part of a connected lifestyle. This two-seater roadster displayed at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show communicates with driver and passenger, with the outside world, and with the internet, and incorporates a large number of innovative functions and ideas. BMW ConnectedDrive is evolving all the time: BMW engineers are already working on ingenious, purpose-designed solutions for filtering and pre-sorting data.
The focus is on supplying the right information at the right time. In future, being "online" virtually anytime, anywhere will become the norm. Connectivity will be permanently available, without first having to active an internet connection. Online data will be available anytime, anywhere, courtesy of a worldwide data cloud. And increasingly, intelligent connectivity with the outside world will also help to prevent accidents with other vehicles and road users.

BMW ConnectedDrive Technology in 2012 Photo Gallery
BMW ConnectedDrive Technology in 2012
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