BMW Announces Multiple Initiatives at Annual CES Show
By Christian Wardlaw, January 07, 2016
Auto manufacturers and their component suppliers increasingly use the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to showcase the technologies envisioned for future vehicles. This year, BMW brought attention to several concepts it is exploring in the areas of autonomous vehicles, the connected car, and interior design.
3-Mode Autonomous Vehicles
Whether you’re anticipating or dreading the arrival of autonomous vehicles, it is clear that they are coming. BMW, a company that has built its reputation upon building ultimate driving machines, naturally predicts that future automobiles will offer different driving modes depending on the situation and the vehicle owner’s preference.
Therefore, the company showcased 3-Mode Autonomous driving technology. In Pure Drive mode, the driver does all of the work. In Assist mode, the driver is driving the car but the autonomous technologies actively assist and intervene when necessary. In Auto mode, the vehicle operates in what BMW calls “highly automated” fashion.
Why the qualified language? Most likely, the reason is because the driver is going to need to be alert and ready to drive in the case of an emergency.
Open Mobility Cloud
If you follow to any extent developments in Silicon Valley, you have no doubt heard the reference “the Internet of Things,” which describes the concept of fully networked people and objects constantly collecting, sending and receiving data to transform how people live.
As relates to the Internet of Things, BMW’s Open Mobility Cloud concept describes how a person’s BMW, a Smart Home network, and personal devices like smartphones and smart watches could make everyday life easier.
Through machine learning and data analysis, the Open Mobility Cloud could produce predictive information specific to an individual, anticipating and initiating complex processes without requiring a person to do so. What happens when those predictions are inaccurate? That’s unclear.
BMW i Vision Future Interaction
If you like using buttons, knobs, and stalks to control your vehicle, enjoy them while you can. BMW’s i Vision Future Interaction technology foresees a tomorrow in which your car predicts what you need or want to see based on specific situations while allowing the driver to talk to and gesticulate at the dashboard.
Equipping a vehicle with a networked cockpit and high-resolution displays that respond to voice, touch sensing, and gesture control, BMW i Vision Future Interaction includes a world-debut technology called AirTouch. AirTouch can “see” hand movements and also measure depth, thereby allowing a user to “touch” a touch-sensing panel or screen without actually touching it.
Other Cool Stuff
Parking is such a hassle, and it would be great if cars could just self-valet. Well, it would be great if you don’t earn a living as a valet. And it will only be great until everyone’s car self-parks, at which point long lines will form right outside of the mall where everyone is waiting for their self-parking cars to come and get them, making quaint, old-fashioned self-retrieval the faster and more efficient way to get home.
In Las Vegas, BMW showed off Gesture Control Parking using an i3 electric car that responds to its owner’s hand gestures, trotting off to the parking garage all by itself and then returning upon command.
BMW also introduced three other technologies that make total sense: Remote 3D View, Bumper Detect, and a Head Up Display Helmet for motorcycle riders.
With Remote 3D View, cameras mounted to a BMW are able to feed live images of the car and its surroundings to its owner. Wondering where your spouse might be at such a late hour? Check your Remote 3D View app, and you’ll know.
Similarly, a new Bumper Detect system uses vehicle sensors and cameras to detect when your BMW has been bumped in a parking lot, or is being tampered with by someone you don’t know. The system will send an alert, followed by images if the owner requests them.
Finally, we come to BMW’s Head Up Display Helmet, which is capable of projecting information directly into a motorcycle rider’s field of vision while he or she is zooming along on a BMW bike.