Currently reading: BMW's future tech in-depth
We take a closer look at 11 of the tech innovations that will find their way into future BMWs

BMW is preparing to pack its upcoming next-generation of models with revolutionary new technology that will allow the car to react ‘intelligently’ with local road conditions to allow both greater fuel efficiency as well as improving safety for both drivers and pedestrians.

Here, Autocar takes a closer look at some of the technology that will be on BMW's future models, including the new 3-series.

Read an overview of BMW's future techILENA intelligent sat-navThis system will suggest three different navigated routes — standard, eco or quick — with previous information about the driver’s style being used to plot the eco one. It can also be used with future hybrid BMWs, to calculate — via 3D mapping — the most efficient route for the drivetrain.

Mobility assistant appCan use public transport information to advise a driver that it is quicker to either use a bus or train for a particular journey. Could also receive live updates on car park space availability and even bike hire information, such as that already offered for smartphones by London’s cycle rental scheme.

Collision avoidanceLateral collision avoidance uses all-round laser sensors to automatically tweak the steering to prevent an accident in a narrow lane.

See pics of BMW's future tech in actionAutoparkDrivers will be able to squeeze their car into a tight parking space by lining up the car, getting out and using the key to remotely drive it into the space. Although the system could cost well under £800 as an option, it is currently illegal in most parts of the world.

Smart keyBMW keys will act like swipe cards, able to store small amounts of credit and hold codes that will work as train tickets or open pre-booked hotel rooms.

Micropause AppsCommunication with traffic lights will allow the car to know how long it will be stationary; news flashes or games could be brought up on the TFT screen.

See Autocar's exclusive rendering of the next BMW 3-seriesiDriveOn the next 3-series and 6-series initially, there will be an updated iDrive controller with an integrated touch panel on the top of the rotary knob.

Email on the moveDirect connection to an email server, with messages displayed on dash screen. Voice synthesis reads them out, voice control allows driver to reply.

Read Autocar's scoop on the next BMW 3-seriesGearbox ‘sail’ modeBMW has revealed a new version of the eight-speed autobox equipped with a ‘sail’ mode. If the driver lifts off the accelerator and doesn’t brake, the drivetrain switches into neutral and disconnects.

More efficient hybridsFuture plug-in versions of BMW hybrids could use pre-selected sat-nav routes and weather and traffic information to set an ideal battery charge and even pre-warm the engine for maximum efficiency.

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AMULETT detectionThe car will be able to detect any children carrying a transponder, so they can be avoided should they run into the road from behind parked vehicles.Hilton Holloway

See all the latest BMW 3-series reviews, news and video

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Peter Cavellini 31 October 2010

Re: BMW's future tech in-depth

As someone else has said but i'll say it again,why more tech?, we've got enough to do without having nannying electronics, why can't we have something like a black box in the car which picks up all speed restrictions permanent or temperary that slows the car incase we miss them?, self parking?,sail function?, there just extra's we'll rarily use but give a bonus to the salesman.

Maxycat 31 October 2010

Re: BMW's future tech in-depth

Does this mean BMW will not be spending money on a hybrid 3 series and most development will be on improving the 2.0d power plant?

Peter Cavellini 25 October 2010

Re: BMW's future tech in-depth

Can there be such a thing as too much tech?, self parking, which implies sardine like parking?, fine if your driving a BMW, but what if your not?, how many child related dents will stop you using the function?, just to have the novelty of watching your car park itself?, no, if we must have something useful tech in our car, pedestrian awareness tech would be a good idea, you know?, applies the brakes when needed or if you've not reacted to the unfolding accident?.