BMW is preparing a raft of new technology that will enable its future models to react ‘intelligently’ with local road conditions to allow both greater fuel efficiency as well as improving safety for both drivers and pedestrians.
BMW describes the new philosophy as “Connected Drive meets Efficient Dynamics”. The German car manufacturer expects to roll out the technology over the next few years in the new 3-series and 6-series.
Connected Drive is defined by BMW engineers as “info coming into the vehicle” and “info from the vehicle” being combined to make decisions about the way the car operates.
The information coming into the vehicle will be drawn from external sensors (such as the new laser all-round parking sensors, nose-mounted camera, light and rain sensors), from car-to-car communication and also from future interconnected traffic signage and other live information — such as traffic reports — downloaded by the car from the internet.
This will be added to information being generated by the car itself, including the vehicle status, and 3D information about the sat-nav route being followed.
The new networking and intelligent drive systems are expected to be able to drive down future BMWs’ fuel consumption by as much as 15 per cent in their own right.
Added to future improvements to Efficient Dynamics engineering, these innovations could see a new 2013-model 320d averaging around 99g/km and take a 2015 320d down to a CO2 output of just 90g/km.
Outside of fuel saving, BMW engineers have also outlined plans to allow the car of the future to communicate with the owner’s own home media and entertainment systems, as well as using smartphone apps for ‘micro-navigation’. The idea behind such apps will be, for example, helping the driver to find an airport check-in desk once he parks his car.