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BMW Innovations at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show

BMW was already demonstrating at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014 how perfect control technology can provide highly automated mastery of all drive statuses right through to very tight margins. Innovative sensors will allow BMW to demonstrate a number of features at the CES 2015 (6 to 9 January, Las Vegas) including the possibility of entirely collision-free driving. This success plots another benchmark defined by the specialists at the BMW Group on the road route to individual mobility free of accidents with a driver and also in fully-automated mode with no driver at all.

If the driver uses the Smartwatch to activate the fully-automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant, the system will steer the vehicle independently through the levels, while the driver has already got out of the car and is on his way to a business appointment. The fully automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant recognizes the structural features of the car park and equally reliably steers round any obstacles that appear unexpectedly – such as incorrectly parked vehicles. Once the BMW i3 has arrived at the parking space, the vehicle locks itself and waits to be called by Smart-watch and voice command.

The platform for 360-degree collision avoidance is secure position and environment recognition. The research vehicle is a BMW i3. Four advanced laser scanners record the environment and reliably identify impediments such as columns, for example in a multi-story car park. If the vehicle approaches a wall or a column too quickly, the system brakes automatically to prevent the threat of collision. The vehicle is brought to a standstill very precisely with centimeters to spare. If the driver steers away from the obstacle or changes direction, the system releases the brakes. This system relieves the burden on the driver in an environment with poor visibility and makes a further contribution to enhanced safety and comfort. Like all BMW assistance systems, this research application can be overridden at any time by the driver.

Fully automated parking in multi-story car parks – dynamic and safe even without the driver. The fully automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant in the BMW i3 research vehicle combines information from the laser scanners with the digital site plan of a building, for example a multi-story car park. If the driver uses the Smart-watch to activate the fully-automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant, the system will steer the vehicle independently through the levels, while the driver has already got out of the car and is on his way to a business appointment. The fully automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant recognizes the structural features of the car park and equally reliably steers round any obstacles that appear unexpectedly – such as incorrectly parked vehicles. Once the BMW i3 has arrived at the parking space, the vehicle locks itself and waits to be called by Smart-watch and voice command. The fully automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant then calculates the exact time until the driver arrives at the car park and starts up the BMW i3 so that it arrives at the car park exit at exactly the right time.

Navigation without GPS signals.
BMW has succeeded in achieving fully automated control of the vehicle by connecting up vehicle sensor systems and a digital site plan. This avoids dependence on the GPS signal, which is not at all precise in multi-story car parks. Alongside the laser sensors, the research vehicle also has the processing units and necessary algorithms on board and this means it can determine its exact position in the car park, monitor the environment perfectly, and carry out independent and fully automated navigation. It is not necessary to provide car parks, for example, with complex infrastructure in order to allow cars to orientate and navigate around the area safely.

Long track record of experience in vehicle automation.

Once again, the BMW Group is a global pioneer with BMW Active Assist, which empowers implementation of partially and highly automated systems.

As early as October 2009, the BMW Group gave a highly automated demonstration of driving round the North Loop of the Nürburgring – the world’s toughest racing track – on an ideal line in the precursor research project BMW Track Trainer. Later on, the BMW Track Trainer developed by engineers from BMW Group Research and Engineering demonstrated its superior performance on the race tracks at Laguna Seca, Zandvoort and Valencia, and back home on the Hockenheimring and the Lausitzring. The researchers gathered some important practical experience under extreme conditions at these venues for vehicle control and positioning.

Additional important findings were also provided by the research project entitled BMW Emergency Stop Assistant. If the driver collapses, for example in a medical emergency such as a heart attack, the vehicle changes to highly automated mode and can steer safely to the side of the road and initiate an emergency call.

In the middle of 2011, a test vehicle from the BMW Group drove along the A9 motorway from Munich towards Nuremberg without any interventions from the driver. In the meantime, this research prototype has been consistently developed. The test vehicle brakes, accelerates and overtakes entirely independently. These interventions are carried out in response to the momentary traffic situation in a speed range from 0 to 130 km/and in compliance with the highway code. Our specialists have now driven some 20,000 test kilometers. The vehicle is equipped with sensor systems like lidar, radar, ultrasound and camera recording on all sides.

Since January 2013, the BMW Group has been working with international automobile supplier Continental with the aim of moving the project forward. The overarching goal of the research partnership is to lay the groundwork for highly automated drive functions up to the year 2020 and beyond.

The different levels of vehicle automation.
Assistance systems increase safety and comfort in road traffic, although the degree of driver support varies. The highest level of automation is provided by fully automated assistance systems.

Drive functions are fully automated if they no longer need to be monitored by the driver. There is no longer even any need for the driver to be in the vehicle – as in the case of the fully automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant.

The precursors for fully automated driving are highly automated systems which do not need to be monitored continuously by the driver. They take over the linear steering (forward and reverse motion) and transverse steering (sideways motion with the steering wheel) of the vehicle.

In contrast to fully automated systems, partially automated systems take control of linear and transverse steering of the vehicle (e.g. Congestion Assistant), but they need to be monitored at all times by the driver.

Assisted systems (e.g. ACC) in turn only provide support for the driver in linear or transverse steering.

Video from CES of an M235i drifting … itself

This BMW M235i is claimed to be the next step in autonomous driving: a car that will not only drive itself, but that can perform extreme manoeuvres like drifting. This official BMW video shows the car drifting car with no input from the driver.

BMW has shown a version of its forthcoming M235i coupe at the 2014 CES show which is capable of drifting with no input from the driver. The research prototype demonstrates what BMW says is an essential component of autonomous driving – the ability to safely master extreme driving situations. This official video from BMW shows the M235i driving and drifting on track ahead of its CES reveal.

Discuss BMW at the Consumer Electronics Show

BMW at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas 2014

BMW has earned an undisputed status as one of the world’s leading carmakers with developments – grouped under the BMW ConnectedDrive banner – focusing on every aspect of the link-up between the driver, vehicle and outside world. The company is underlining its position in the vanguard of technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014 in Las Vegas. The company will use the headline US fair – which spotlights advances from across the world of digitalization and connectivity – to present innovative previews of future developments and new applications for series-produced vehicles.

Highly automated driving at the limit.

The BMW Group has created a new kind of research prototype for highly automated driving which uses advanced control technology to demonstrate maximum safety up to the car’s dynamic limit.

The BMW Group has created a new kind of research prototype for highly automated driving which uses advanced control technology to demonstrate maximum safety up to the car’s dynamic limit. In addition, the prototype vehicle will highlight the effectiveness of a new generation of control systems on the closed-off track. These systems actively intervene in the direction-changing decision-making process and ensure the electronically controlled steering works in perfect harmony with the brakes and accelerator. These systems go a crucial step further than current systems, which react to the onset of understeer or oversteer with carefully calculated braking inputs.

Special connection: BMW i3 and the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
The rapid spread of smartphones means that the internet, apps and digital services have long since become established elements of daily life. Wearable devices like the new Samsung Galaxy Gear are driving this trend ever onwards. These devices are worn like wristwatches and display information from a linked smartphone directly onto the user’s wrist. At CES 2014, BMW became the world’s first carmaker to present vehicle functions on the electronic wristwatch as part of a research application. The Samsung Galaxy Gear with BMW i Remote App functions has similar attributes to the BMW i Remote App, which keeps drivers connected with their BMW i3 at all times. The app also works efficiently to provide drivers the assistance they need outside the car. The Samsung Galaxy Gear with BMW i Remote App functions offers information on the battery charge and available range of the first all-electric premium model in the compact class, as well as any departure times that have been inputted. The research application also shows whether the windows, doors and sunroof are closed and gives users the option of sending a navigation destination to the vehicle and adjusting the interior temperature in preparation for a journey.

Camera-based assistance systems bring enhanced safety into new vehicle classes.
Advances in camera and video technology have allowed visual detection to serve as a basis for modern assistance systems for some time now. For example, series-produced cars are already available with a camera (mounted in the centre of the windscreen in the base of the rear-view mirror) which delivers data for the Lane Departure Warning and traffic sign recognition systems. The Collision Warning system and Pedestrian Warning with city braking function, Traffic Jam Assistant and camera-based Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function work exclusively on the basis of visual detection. They dispense with additional and costly radar technology, but offer similar functions. These safety systems can therefore also be extended to vehicle classes where demand for sophisticated systems has traditionally been low.

Modern camera-based systems have advantages over purely radar-based applications when it comes to recognition of stationary obstacles. A wide camera angle, moreover, enables reliable detection of objects pulling in or out at the edge of the driver’s field of vision. At the same time, however, camera-based systems do require certain light conditions. These systems are already enhancing safety in the innovative BMW i3, for example.

New Parking Assistant with longitudinal and lateral guidance.
The new Parking Assistant with longitudinal and lateral guidance offers customers significantly greater comfort and safety. Not only – as with existing systems – does it use ultrasound sensors to find parking spaces parallel to the road and take over the parking of the car via the electronically controlled steering (lateral guidance); the assistance system now also switches between the forward and reverse gears of the automatic gearbox and allows the car to pull away and brake automatically (longitudinal guidance). These functions are underpinned by an interface to the gearbox and the electronically controlled accelerator and brake pedal. All the driver has to do is hold down the button activating the new assistance system and monitor the automatic parking procedure.

The functions of systems like the new Parking Assistant with longitudinal and lateral guidance and the Traffic Jam Assistant go much further than existing assistance functions designed to ease the strain on drivers at the wheel. With their range of part-automated functions, they already lighten the driver’s workload much more significantly than conventional systems. Highly automated vehicles, meanwhile, can take over more of the driver’s tasks at a given time. All the systems performing these partly automated and highly automated roles are grouped under the BMW ActiveAssist banner and form a new branch of technology within BMW ConnectedDrive.

BMW at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas 2014

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