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BMW's ConnectedDrive Takes In-Vehicle Technology To New Heights

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On: Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 6:32PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW's ConnectedDrive Takes In-Vehicle Technology To New Heights

BMW unveiled its Vision ConnectedDrive roadster concept last month, but saved some juicy details for the official Geneva debut. Interestingly, in a concept as striking as the VCD, BMW chose to focus its presentation on interior technology as opposed to exterior styling. But that technology is as intriguing, if not more intriguing, than the looks of this particular concept.

When BMW first showed the Vision ConnectedDrive last month, it detailed some of the technology inside, but left some major components for Geneva. We already knew about the three-dimensional heads-up display with its ghosting effects. That system lets the passenger preview certain information on his own display and then pass it along to the driver's display as he sees fit. It can also superimpose direction information in such a way that the turn signal appears overlaid the actual physical road ahead. What we didn't know about is some of the three-tiered (comfort, safety, and infotainment), K.I.T.-like functions that BMW envisions for the future of driving.

BMW makes this concept so smart that it can literally think for you. The ConnectedDrive system is designed to sync with your phone and offer intuitive functions. One of the examples out of Geneva is the car reading your calendar, identifying that you have a meeting in 25 minutes, calculating the fastest possible route to work, and then telling you where to park. All without you having to dedicate a single brain cell to the process.

The ConnectedDrive will be part administrative assistant, but it will also be part tour guide. Its "Emotional Browser" aspect is designed to offer information and details about the surrounding area and points of interest on your drive. This function is built into the passenger information display, as to prevent distraction to the driver.

Finally, the ConnectedDrive system is designed to serve as your own personal body guard. Using a series of sensors and computer communications with surrounding vehicles, the system will keep you safer on the road.

While BMW didn't detail the powertrain or spend much time talking about the styling, it has indicated that the design language of the VCD expresses its new concept of 'layering.' In a press release, the company explained: "The term 'layering' describes a new approach to the BMW Group’s design language, redefining the way surfaces, interfaces and materials have been treated in the past."

The unique lighting on the front end and around the cabin highlights the connected flow of information in the car.

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Akbuyers | 6:31PM (Sat, Mar 10, 2012)

2008 e93

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