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BMW Vision ConnectedDrive Concept

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BMW ConnectedDrive is the epitome of intelligent networking of driver, vehicle and the environment. In the meantime, the BMW ConnectedDrive product portfolio includes numerous innovative features which considerably raise the level of comfort during the journey, allow Infotainment to be experienced in a whole new dimension and which significantly increase the level of safety for people both inside BMW automobiles and for those in the vicinity.

The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive concept study extrapolates the principle of intelligent networking of driver, vehicle and the outside world into the future. The vehicle is transformed perfectly naturally into a fully integrated part of the networked world and sets new standards in future comfort, infotainment and safety features. The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive shows most impressively the potential that BMW ConnectedDrive technologies hold for the future. The concept study should be viewed as a sculpture, as a vision, giving these innovative technologies and forward-looking ideas physical form, portraying them and breathing life into them. Please visit on the Web or via a mobile device for visual impressions and detailed information on the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive.

Design expresses networking - the creation of the connected vehicle.

The overall theme of the emphatic design of the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive vehicle is “connect and network” and is divided into the three areas of safety, infotainment and comfort. The fundamental concept of BMW ConnectedDrive - the intelligent networking of driver, vehicle and the outside world - is expressed on four levels: the display and operating concept, an unparalleled light installation, the design itself and the integration of the whole concept into the multimedia setting of the stand at the motor show.

From the inside to the outside – the vehicle concept.

The human being stands firmly in the focus of BMW Vision ConnectedDrive, more so than with any other vehicle. The vehicle and its functions have been designed to cater to the needs of the driver and the passenger - they are the starting point and the end of each and every interaction. This orientation towards the passengers is most obvious in the interior. Clear, enclosing symbolism divides the interior into three levels that could also be described as layers or shells. Each level expresses one of the three themes of BMW ConnectedDrive - comfort, Infotainment and safety - and integrates the appropriate functionality, operating panels and displays. By creating the three layers in the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive’s interior, the layering principle, something also well known from BMW Vision EfficientDynamics, has been consistently further developed. The term “layering” describes a new approach to the BMW Group’s concept of design and its design language, redefining the way surfaces, interfaces and materials have been treated in the past. By working with different layers, organic radii and surfaces, the layering concept breaks up large volumes like the instrument panel, thus creating free space for features such as ventilation, operating elements or trays. The result is a modern, organically aesthetic, light and emotional design.

Fibre optics in various colours define the three levels and formally underscore the differentiation between each distinct area. All three areas have a dedicated, individual light installation, each discerned by colour, but also by rhythm, motion and texture. When a feature is activated, the path taken by the information through the vehicle is illustrated by means of transparent surfaces and fibre optic lighting, quite literally highlighting the interaction between the environment, the vehicle and the driver in the context of BMW ConnectedDrive.

Safety - focussing on the vehicle’s primary task.

The central area of safety symbolises the interaction between the driver and the environment with active safety measures such as driver assistance systems. These are features that enable the vehicle to pass information relevant to safety on to the driver. Very clearly outlined, the first level encompasses the driver in the interior of the vehicle like a ribbon, thus defining his area of responsibility. To further aid clarification, red/orange fibre optic strands run from the sensors at the front of the vehicle, are routed very closely around the driver’s zone and continue to the rear lights. All of the lines of the first shell come together in the cockpit that is extended into the “cone of vision”, a transparent cone-shaped surface open to the driver on the bonnet. The cone of vision symbolises the driver’s focus on the road ahead and on the concentration of information that is flowing in the opposite direction, towards him.

The safety layer bundles all of the information and operating elements relevant to driving the vehicle as is characteristic and typical of BMW’s driver orientation. This is where the two instruments that provide the driver with access to the entire spectrum of relevant information are located. The windscreen is an integral part of the Head-Up Display and provides important current information about the journey - including speed, navigation instructions and fuel consumption - to the driver without him ever having to take his eyes  off the road. In addition, if required, the freely programmable instrument cluster located in the scoop will provide extra in-depth information to supplement the Head-Up Display.

The orange fibre optic strands running below and alongside the cone of vision represent the safety-specific information flow in the direction of the driver and are the link between the sensors in the front and rear of the vehicle and the driver. Numerous sensors monitor the environment in front, behind and on both sides of the vehicle. These are capable of recognising people and other vehicles and pass relevant information to the driver. The entire front sensing system is integrated into the headlights, the “eyes” of the vehicle, scanning the space ahead. The same applies to the rear. The sensing system for monitoring the space behind the vehicle, including cameras, is integrated into the taillights.

Infotainment - connection instead of isolation.

The second level, the infotainment level, encompasses the safety level and extends the sphere of action to the passenger. With an embracing gesture encompassing both seats, the Infotainment zone defines a communication level between the driver and the passenger and also spatially promotes active social exchange and the encounter between the two. In the Infotainment layer too, fibre optic strands outline the space. The receiving antenna with a Perspex cover is located between the two seats is the source of this blue-themed light installation. From the point of origin the information symbolised here by light flows to the information displays in the driver’s and passenger’s individual information zones via a yoke enclosing both seats.

The Passenger Information Display is mounted in the instrument panel in front of the passenger and is the gateway to the passenger’s world of entertainment. When it is inactive, it is invisibly integrated into the instrument panel. However touching the area below, which is covered with a transparent, conductive fabric, will bring it to life. Using the touch-sensitive area, the Infotainment features on the display can be manipulated and controlled at just the touch of a finger. Light sources in the fabric glow when touched and provide the passengers with feedback on their actions, i.e. the vehicle interacts with the passenger.

The antenna, which can be seen under a Perspex cover in the middle of the vehicle behind the headrests, is the link between the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive and the world of Infotainment. This antenna does a very similar job to the well-established fin-shaped antennas mounted on production cars.

Comfort - communication between the vehicle and the environment.

The third level comprises the vehicle itself and focuses on the communications level of the two passengers and the outside world, something central to BMW ConnectedDrive. In the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive, the connection between the vehicle and the environment is expressed primarily in the peripheral zone of the automobile. Instead of two wing mirrors, two fin- shaped antennas provide the link to the world of data. No matter whether navigation and traffic information or mobile Internet, these antennas either pick up information relevant to the comfort of the passengers and channel it to the interior of the vehicle or they transmit information to the outside world.

Since the vehicle itself acts as the link to the outside world, the green fibre optic strands depict the comfort layer around the entire vehicle. The light flows via the antennas into and out of the vehicle; the outside areas of the vehicle are particularly emphasised.

The division of the three levels is also reflected in the conception of the colours and materials. Seat shells, clearly separated from one another, in premium grey leather portray the first level and the individuality of the passengers while a ribbon of anthracite grey nubuck leather unites the two areas over the door and the instrument panel, depicting the second level. Interactive Silver, the colour of the exclusive exterior paintwork, is a light, smoky grey with a silk matt finish, stressing the technical character of the vehicle and accentuating the language of form. The consciously understated, achromatic colours accentuate the orange red, blue and green light installations, effectively highlighting the three levels.

The exterior design - a true BMW.

As a two-seater roadster charged with emotion, the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive is a particularly dynamic, purist interpretation of the characteristic BMW language of form: the long bonnet, the long wheelbase and the passenger compartment set well back seem to accelerate the vehicle even at a standstill. The bonnet and the windscreen flow into one another to form a homogenous surface and endow the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive with an extraordinarily flat, sporting silhouette. Within these tight roadster proportions, distinctive, concise lines flow over the taut surfaces of the vehicle’s bodywork. The resulting play of light and shadow imparts a fascinating and emotional character to this concept study. The expressive 20-inch wheels, fashioned in three dimensions, underscore the sporting, dynamic character of the vehicle.

The front of the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive manifests the typical characteristics of BMW design, with a strong horizontal orientation, stressing width. The kidney grilles and dual, round headlights have been designed in a particularly flat fashion and lend the front a dynamic, modern expression. Below these, two large air vents emphasise the width of the vehicle, giving it a decidedly sporty look.

The door concept is a particularly distinctive feature of the exterior of the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive. Developed with the innovative, electro- mechanical retracting door mechanism of the BMW Z1 in mind, which can be legally driven with its doors open, the idea has been extended and now finds application in the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive. Two sliding door elements - one inside, one outside - disappear into the bodywork of the vehicle when the door is opened,  enabling entry. While the outer shell slides forward, the inner shell disappears into the rear area of the vehicle with a movement in the opposite direction. The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive can also be driven with the outer doors open, a central aspect of the vehicle.

The expressive, modern surface work evident at the front and on the sides of the vehicle is continued at the rear. Two large air outlets make the formal connection to the front and underline the sportiness of the vehicle at the rear. The rear lights, placed at the extreme outside of the back of the vehicle, feature the distinct BMW L-design and have a strong sculptural character. Just as at the front of the vehicle, the rear sensor technology is also integrated into the lights. The concept of layering used in the interior, in which a component takes on a number of tasks, is thus carried over to the exterior.

The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive concept car was consciously designed as a roadster, as the vehicle is able to show its overall creative concept best by way of the open roadster design. Seen from above, the interior design, light concept and exterior design fuse into a very clear, unmistakable statement: BMW ConnectedDrive.

The future of BMW ConnectedDrive in three scenarios.

The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive integrates a multitude of features and approaches, all with great future potential. All these functions are based upon concrete research and pre-development projects. The engineers of the BMW Group are already working today on turning the functionality on show into reality. In three different scenarios, the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive illustrates the way the individual levels work and shows what BMW ConnectedDrive will be delivering in the future. So jump in! The features and technologies in the individual levels of the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive are best explained during a short drive.

Comfort - the vehicle is your own personal concierge.

In the first BMW Vision ConnectedDrive scenario, you are alone in the automobile. After you get in, your smartphone automatically connects to the vehicle, the vehicle-specific apps are activated and can be accessed from the main vehicle menu on the freely programmable instrument cluster. The vehicle then immediately synchronises with your calendar and learns that you have a lunch appointment with a colleague in town very shortly. It passes the address of the restaurant to the navigation system and searches for a suitable route in order to arrive at the appointment on time. Up-to-the-minute traffic information is a component of the route calculation, as well as preset preferences, which for instance might get you there particularly quickly or particularly efficiently. In  addition, parking options are considered as well as alternative methods of getting there by public transport.

On the way to the restaurant, you receive a text message from your colleague. The Head-Up Display makes you aware of the arrival of new text message, you can read the message itself on the instrument cluster, or simply have it read out loud to you via the text-to-speech feature. Your colleague writes that he is already at your agreed meeting point but that the restaurant is much too crowded. He asks you to suggest an alternative. You then activate the BMW Assist Information Service. Your personal operator in the BMW ConnectedDrive Call Centre looks for an equivalent option nearby and, once you have agreed to his or her suggestion, he or she makes a reservation for you. This Concierge Service also transmits the new address information to your navigation system, you confirm the new destination in your navigation system and the guidance system swings into action. Afterwards, you activate the vehicle’s text message feature and using speech-to-text, dictate a message to your colleague with the address of the new restaurant.

The alternative restaurant is located on the 25th floor of a high-rise building that has its own parking garage. When you arrive, the vehicle indicates the nearest free parking spot and directs you to it using augmented reality on the Head-Up Display. Before you leave the car and your smart phone disconnects, the vehicle transmits a MicroMap to your mobile, detailing the last few meters through the building to the restaurant. Your mobile then takes over the guidance function. After you have got out of the car, the automobile drives itself automatically into the parking spot.

Networking ensures the highest degree of navigational comfort.

The scenario shown here illustrates mainly future uses of networked navigation, comfortable parking functions and maximum integration of consumer electronics devices (CE devices). Already today, with mobility services such as the car park search, a BMW driver will not only be guided to a parking garage or a parking spot but the BMW Parkinfo function will even automatically show the driver all the currently available parking spots in that parking garage. Over 820 parking garages throughout Germany already provide this data dynamically. The “Remote Controlled Parking” research project has already demonstrated in prototype that the capability of vehicles to park themselves is a reality. Once all passengers have left the car, the car rives into the garage on its own. This manoeuvre is activated using the car key. This is just one example of how assistance systems networked with their environment can in the future deliver automated driving features of great value to customers.

Since 2006, BMW drivers using “Send to Phone” have been able to load this last stage of the journey to a mobile device to ensure that no time is lost when walking the last few meters to the ultimate destination. Navigation by means of vehicle and CE device within large areas that do not appear on current navigation maps and even within buildings, is under development by specialists of the BMW Group as part of the “microNavigation” research project.

MINI Connected and BMW Connected are an excellent illustration of how tightly the world of smartphones can already be integrated into vehicle architecture. Amongst other things, Webradio, Facebook and Twitter can be made accessible in the automobile via a vehicle-specific app. In the future, many enhancements will take place in this area, due to the application-based character of the system. These will be integrated simply by updating the application. The recognition of CE devices is not the only area where great strides forward are being made. Today, the vehicle can read out loud using text-to-speech; as a part of the “MessageDictation” research project, BMW engineers are currently working on the recognition of free text so that the driver will be able to “write” a text message or e-mail simply by speaking, without taking his hands off the wheel.

The world of Infotainment in the vehicle.

In the second BMW Vision ConnectedDrive scenario, you experience what BMW ConnectedDrive will be delivering in terms of Infotainment in the future. At the beginning of this scenario, you are the passenger. While driving through a city where you have never been before, you activate the Emotional Browser via the touch sensitive area on the instrument panel. The Passenger Information Display in the instrument panel comes to life. You immediately receive information, formatted very much like magazine articles, on points of interest such as cafés, museums or sights of interest in the vicinity. The Emotional Browser gives you the ability to easily filter the information to meet your requirements, to organise it and change the layout of the display.

You are driving past a café renowned for its good music. The Emotional Browser shows that a playlist of selected titles played in the café is available as an audio stream. You view the titles and decide that you would like to listen to the music. You send the playlist to the driver with a wave of your hand. It is displayed on the instrument cluster while you are waiting at the next red light. The driver also likes the playlist and confirms that he also would like to listen to the music by using the multifunctional steering wheel or the iDrive Controller. Streaming commences and the music plays. Simultaneously, the cover of the playlist appears in the menu bar under Entertainment/Multimedia and is displayed while the music is playing.

With good music playing in the background, you decide to find out a little more about the buildings around you and activate the “architecture” filter. The Browser now exclusively shows you relevant information on the architectural highlights, both near and far. While you are being provided with detailed information on your display, the Head-Up Display discreetly points out features of architectural interest on the buildings that you are passing to the driver.

One building interests you in particular so you retrieve detailed information about it. It is a museum that is currently hosting an exhibition that appeals to you. A gesture is all it takes to pass more detailed information on the exhibition to the driver's instrument cluster and to suggest that the museum become the new destination. The driver can either briefly take a closer look or accept the address straightaway as the new destination for the navigation system. Once the new destination has been confirmed, the vehicle informs the driver of the distance to the building, journey duration and makes suggestions on alternative routing. You purchase tickets to the exhibition online during the journey. As soon as the destination comes into view, the driver is provided with a highlighted augmented reality view of it, helping you to quickly complete the last stage of your journey.

Location-based information and intelligent filter functionality.

The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive Infotainment scene is based primarily on location-based information. Only information on the surroundings falling within a certain, predefined radius is shown. The filter features allow the information available to be filtered by content and to be displayed as a specific selection and even personalised. These filter settings can be made in the comfort of your own home or can be carried out spontaneously in the vehicle. Individually tailored information is thus obtained from raw data. The filters work semantically, ordering information not just by keyword but also by the meanings associated with that keyword. In addition to the “architecture” filter, filters such as “leisure activities” or “events” display cinema schedules, concerts and exhibitions next to one another - according to preferences that have been set up or learned. The predefined filters are not static. They can be adapted to suit individual preferences or can be set up from scratch. Location-based services enable the information available to be used to create a digital tour of the city or to book a ticket, complete with the appropriate entry in the digital calendar.

Location-based services in all BMW vehicles - available right now.

As early as the beginning of 2002, BMW ConnectedDrive started to make use of location-based services possible via the Information Service, either from the customer’s home or by using the Internet access point in the vehicle. In 2007 this was supplemented by Google Local Search and in 2010 was expanded yet again to include pictures of the destination supplied by Google Panoramio and Street View. Addresses found can be passed directly to the guidance system of the integrated navigation equipment. In addition, the BMW ConnectedDrive Information Service is always available by telephone with the right answer to your question - with opening times or entrance prices for example. All types of questions - the location of a duty chemist, flight information, the nearest DIY  centre or the address of a friend - are answered personally in a telephone conversation. If you so desire, the Information Service will transmit the address and contact details of your destination directly to the vehicle’s navigation system. The address is then confirmed at the touch of a button on the BMW iDrive Controller.

In order to make the filter features even more intuitive in the future, the BMW Group is conducting research into semantic information processing. The Mood Based Playlist is a good example. This feature gives the driver quick and intuitive access to music that might appeal to him at that moment. The selection of music is not limited to his private collection at home or to the MP3 player but is drawn from the unlimited content of the Cloud. Based upon the mood selected, the Mood-Based Playlist puts together a pre-selection of music for the driver, which he can then reduce even further with additional parameters such as genre or period. The driver is treated to a personal selection of music, tailored to his own taste, drawn from millions of songs - quickly, simply, without complicated searching and available anywhere.

Looking ahead, staying safe.

In the last scenario we find ourselves back in town. Together with your passenger, you are driving along busy streets. The navigation system is activated. Via the three-dimensional Head-Up Display, you have all the information relevant to the journey such as speed, fuel consumption and navigational details directly in your field of view. Thanks to the augmented reality feature, the navigational details appear to be on the street itself and show you the way forward. In addition, the freely programmable instrument cluster displays a two-dimensional map of your surroundings, with your route highlighted upon it. Your passenger is watching a film on the Passenger Information Display in front of him. All the while, the sensory system constantly scans the space around the vehicle and along the chosen route.

Caution! Several sets of traffic lights on your route have just failed. The vehicle immediately projects a warning directly into your field of view on the Head-Up Display. Simultaneously, the instrument cluster provides you with a map of the affected area, showing in detail precisely which traffic lights along your route are out of operation. The warning also stops the film playing on the passenger’s display so that nothing will distract you from the hazard ahead. In all the situations in which BMW ConnectedDrive issues a warning, the fundamental principle is that warnings have priority over any other information.  his gives you the best possible opportunity to grasp the situation, evaluate it and react appropriately. After the initial urgent warning, the warning icon moves off to the side, reminding you to pay greater attention than usual while continuing your journey. The film resumes where it stopped.

Making the invisible visible - sensors that can see around corners.

Just before the road junction with the first set of failed traffic lights, a new warning appears: danger of collision! Even before the road junction comes into view, your vehicle has exchanged information with other road users on the route ahead and has recognised a potentially dangerous situation. A car is approaching the road junction from the left at full speed even though it does not have right of way. If both vehicles maintain their present courses and speeds, a collision is likely. Your vehicle immediately makes you aware of the probable collision on the Head-Up Display and highlights the approaching car on a map on the instrument cluster. Again, the film on the passenger’s display is stopped. As soon as the other car comes into view, it will be highlighted by an augmented reality outline. This gives you the opportunity to brake in time, let the other vehicle pass and to avoid a possible accident.

Further along the route, suddenly a vehicle unexpectedly emerges from a parking spot on your right. The sensory system immediately registers this and shows the emerging vehicle as a hazard in the Head-Up Display. The brakes are automatically applied, reducing your speed, and the minor jolt prompts you to deal with the situation yourself and to either continue braking or to take evasive action. Since the peripheral scan has shown that avoiding action will not be dangerous, the vehicle simultaneously makes an avoidance suggestion on both displays in the form of an arrow positioned over the lanes in the road. Displaying the options available in augmented reality allows the driver to quickly grasp the situation so that he can react intuitively, promptly and appropriately.

Car2Car communication and automated actions.

During this short sequence of events, the safety features of the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive warned you of three critical situations and helped you avoid two very probable accidents. This scenario elegantly demonstrates the potential of vehicle-to-vehicle communication, advanced object recognition and partially automated safety features. The BMW Group has been conducting intensive research in these fields for many years and has developed key functionality such as the BMW Night Vision Pedestrian Recognition System to a level where it can be put into series production.

The direct exchange of information with other road users via vehicle-to-vehicle communication (Car2Car) allows the car to “look into the future” and to “see around corners”. It can thus determine where other vehicles or people are and how they relate to your own vehicle’s route and it can recognise critical situations at an early stage. The combination of partially automated safety features with a sophisticated environment recognition system acting via sensors and with the consolidation of sensor data puts you in a position to carry out a controlled emergency manoeuvre should a critical situation arise - either emergency braking or avoidance, depending upon the situation.

The fundamental principle of BMW ConnectedDrive safety features, both today and in the future is as follows: as long as the driver is able to take action, his actions will always take precedence over any active intervention on the part of the vehicle. Only if the driver does not react appropriately or is unable to react at all, will the vehicle provide support in the form of automated intervention, as a last resort.

Interface design – in touch with your world.

The new display and operating concept in the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive is both visionary and innovative. As the heart but also as the expression of the highly integrated networking of the vehicle, these interfaces are the points of contact via which driver and passenger interact with the vehicle on the one hand and with the environment and the world of data on the other. Three independent display instruments, fully networked with one another, process and prepare the incoming information and present relevant information in the driver’s and passenger’s fields of view. Perfectly matched, they expand awareness of the outside world and of the interior of the vehicle.

Ergonomic, needs-based access to information has always been one of BMW’s special areas of expertise. With the three-dimensional display in the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive, the BMW Group development engineers underscore this most impressively. The three-dimensional Head-Up Display and the three-dimensional freely programmable instrument cluster, familiar from BMW Vision EfficientDynamics, hold the entire spectrum of information for the driver. With the Passenger Information Display, the passenger has - for the first time - his own independent display, which cannot be seen by the driver. The displays, along with their functionality and locations, have thus been carefully tailored to these two people and placed in their lines of sight.

The three-dimensional Head-Up Display - ensuring that vital information is always in view.

A large section of the windscreen, directly in front of the driver, acts as a Head-Up Display in the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive. In the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive this area, enhanced by augmented reality functionality, is the main information display interface for the driver, taking over from a conventional instrument cluster. Information pertaining to the journey such as speed, navigational details or warnings is projected onto the windscreen. The information shown on the Head-Up Display appears directly in the driver’s field of view and looks as though it is hovering above the bonnet. The major benefit is that the driver’s eyes do not need to refocus to assimilate the information because it is presented exactly where his attention is - on the road ahead.

Innovative display technology enables various pieces of content to be shown positioned three-dimensionally, one on top of the other. This superimposition allows different signals to be displayed either in the foreground or the background, depending upon the driving situation and - more importantly - upon their significance. For example, the speed of the vehicle will remain visible in the background while current information on routing or warnings are being displayed in the foreground. A further feature of the three-dimensional Head-Up Display is its ability to show the driving situation enhanced by augmented reality. The actual driving situation can be overlaid with virtual information, enriching it. The driver sees more. The Head-Up Display places the additional virtual information precisely over the actual driving situation. This, for instance, enables the superimposition of navigational information on the street itself or the highlighting of certain buildings or hazards such as vehicles or pedestrians. Thanks to the highlighting, the driver can assimilate important information much quicker and take appropriate action.

More information - the freely programmable instrument cluster.

The perfect piece of equipment to augment the three-dimensional Head-Up Display is the freely programmable instrument cluster, which also has three-dimensional capability. It acts as the central information display. As an expression of maximum driving orientation, it is positioned directly in the driver’s line of sight and takes the place of a conventional instrument cluster. The driver can thus see the information it displays much better, and it keeps the time during which he is obliged to avert his eyes to a minimum. The instrument cluster supplements the projected information in the Head-Up Display with further information: for example, a map showing the current route, entertainment information such as covers or title lists but also short texts like text messages or e-mails. It is therefore far superior to a conventional instrument cluster. Just as with the Head-Up Display, several layers allow content to be displayed in three dimensions and superimposition enables the prioritisation of the individual pieces of information. Since the display interface is freely programmable, the BMW Group developers have succeeded in presenting the information in the instrument cluster in an optimal manner, displaying and prioritising it in accordance with its warning or informational character.

Passenger information display - personalised passenger entertainment.

Since the conventional central display has migrated to the instrument cluster, the passenger has now been provided with his own interface in the form of the Passenger Information Display. Detached from the driver’s two display instruments, the passenger has been given his own arena of interaction. Positioned so that the driver cannot see it in order to avoid distracting him, it enables the passenger to control his information and entertainment programme to suit his own requirements but also to access additional information which he can then transfer to the driver’s instrument cluster with the wave of his hand. This capability makes the Passenger Information Display in the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive an extremely important feature and illustrates the interconnecting BMW ConnectedDrive philosophy in detail. Here, information, music or address details for the navigation system can be researched by the passenger during the journey and then passed on to the driver.

The passenger interface is operated via a touch-sensitive surface located just below it and controlled by gestures. Points of light in the conductive cover of the instrument panel react to each and every touch and provide feedback on the interaction between the passenger and the vehicle. The geometric separation of operating surface and display into two layers ensures optimum operating characteristics. The operating element, located on the lower layer reaching towards the passenger, is optimally accessible. The display is located above it and is further away to optimise viewing. When inactive, the display disappears into the homogenous surface of the instrument panel and is invisible. The integration of operating surface and display into layers and corresponding surfaces gives expression to the special philosophy of functionality of the layering design: form and surfaces are functional and in this case serve as display location and operating surface.

Emotional Browser - surfing the reality.

A special feature of the passenger display is the Emotional Browser: an emotional, virtual gateway to information enabling the occupants of the vehicle to familiarise themselves with the immediate environment by means of information presented in a magazine format. The passenger can simply browse, highlight or exclude topics of interest by means of filters, thus creating a completely new means of access to information - emotional and intuitive. The Emotional Browser therefore meets two criteria. One the one hand, it expands the passenger’s awareness with additional information on the environment and on the other hand it functions as a filter, allowing only desired or relevant information through. Various (semantic) filters allow the flood of information flowing through the Emotional Browser to be specifically filtered and allow access to the information available according to the interests of the users. Thanks to information provided by the Emotional Browser, a building you might have driven past unnoticed, you now discover to be a museum with a rich history that is currently hosting an interesting exhibition. Information from the Data Cloud and from the location-based services connected to the Emotional Browser allow this data to be used to a greater degree, for instance for navigation to the newly-discovered restaurant, for buying tickets to the current exhibition or for an audio-visual city tour.

What about the future of BMW ConnectedDrive?

As the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive demonstrates, in future, the automobile will become a highly integrated and perfectly natural part of the networked world. The networking functionality will not only simply make the connection of the vehicle to the outside world, but will provide the most intelligent networking possible. Ingenious, needs-oriented solutions, which filter and sort, will make the difference. Because in future, you will be able to be online all the time, almost everywhere. Connectivity will not need to be switched on, it will simply be there. The world’s data will be accessible at any time, in any place from an omnipresent Data Cloud spanning the planet. Information retrieved from “the outside” will be indistinguishable from data stored locally. The focus is on providing the right information at the right time. To achieve this, data from the most diverse of sources needs to be processed, consolidated and filtered in a targeted, demand-oriented manner. The goal is to provide the driver, the passenger and the vehicle’s systems with optimal information.

Sophisticated display and operating concepts assist in finding the required information quicker and more intuitively while displaying only up-to-date and relevant data to the individual. Location-based, mood-based or situation-based services such as the familiar Google Local Search or the Emotional Browser, which is a part of the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive concept vehicle, are just a beginning. They filter information according to the driver’s and the passenger’s requirements and ensure that suitable information is available - in appropriate, individual doses. Networking with the outside world will in future also contribute towards the prevention of accidents involving other vehicles and road users. The safety systems presented together with the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive such as the ability to recognise vehicles as yet unseen and the highly automated braking and avoidance system are based upon concrete, on-going research projects such as Car-To-Car Communication or the Traffic Congestion and Tailback Assistant.

BMW ConnectedDrive has a rich history of innovation and now turns its attention to an undoubtedly exciting future. The rapid pace of development in the world of technology provides more and more opportunities everyday to heighten the experiences of Infotainment and comfort but also to enhance safety to an unprecedented degree. Ten years ago, when BMW ConnectedDrive was in its infancy, people were working on realising fax reception in the vehicle. Today, e mail and text messages have made the fax a thing of the past. And perhaps in another ten years, everyday life without the functionality featured in the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive today will be unimaginable.

Source: BMW Group Press Release

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