Connected Drive Meets Efficient Dynamics

Connected Drive Meets Efficient Dynamics

Under the term Connected Drive, the BMW Group already unites a unique portfolio of innovative features that enhance comfort, raise infotainment to new levels and significantly boost safety in BMW Group vehicles. Whether it is the latest traffic updates, Advanced Emergency Call, Surround View, email and internet access, or hooking up mobile phones and audio players - thanks to BMW ConnectedDrive and MINI Connected features, your car can be your personal concierge, guardian angel or entertainer, as the situation demands.

In future, Connected Drive will be extending this portfolio with numerous new features arising from the link-up between driver, vehicle and surroundings. On the information and entertainment front, for example, connecting with web servers is opening up fresh possibilities, while mobile devices mean that vehicle functions can be used virtually anywhere, and application-based programming ensures the car's functions are as up-to-date and extendible as possible.

In terms of safety, Connected Drive innovations significantly widen the driver's scope of action and reaction, so that in critical and poor-visibility situations on the motorway, in heavy city traffic or when parking, the BMW Group driver assistance systems help avoid hazardous situations and accidents, or mitigate their consequences.

The scenario becomes even more interesting when the developers link up the Connected Drive features with other vehicle functions, such as Efficient Dynamics technologies. Indeed, Connected Drive information and sensor data perfectly complement the fuel-saving measures of Efficient Dynamics. The upshot is that the car can recognise "green" routes, get to know the driver, his driving style and the traffic environment, and consequently "look into the future" to some degree. This holds out the prospect of the car being optimally prepared for driving situations ahead.

The Car Key of the Future
These days, your average car key can generally unlock and lock a vehicle as well as start the engine. Some car keys are able to store vehicle-related data, such as mileage, fuel level, battery charge level or service data, though this information can only be read by the appropriate appliance at a specialist garage. Beyond this, the keys of BMW Group vehicles are also used for customisation purposes. Favourite radio stations and settings such as one- touch indicator flashing can be allocated to individual drivers via the car key. The BMW Group believes that the car key of the future will allow personal access to a new mobility experience and offer a significantly wider range of features. It will permit the simple and convenient use of future services along the travel chain and in everyday use. A BMW Group research prototype demonstrates the kind of possibilities this would open up: these days the key is already able to store tickets for public transport (KeyTicketing) as well as vehicle information (KeyInfo); it can be used to make payments (KeyPayment) and opens not just cars but hotel rooms as well (KeyAccess).

KeyTicketing - Paperless Tickets, Please
If the navigation system warns of congestion in the town centre or the driver wishes to make a particular journey by rail, he can use KeyTicketing to purchase the relevant ticket for use on local public transport or a train service from the comfort of his car and have it stored on his key. Using the iDrive Controller, he can select the destination and confirm the purchase of the requested ticket. As an alternative to this form of booking via the display and iDrive, the driver will in future also have the option of requesting the BMW ConnectedDrive call centre to search for the most suitable connection. Following confirmation by the customer, the relevant ticket is then booked, e.g. from the servers of Deutsche Bahn, paid for and sent to the car via the existing BMW Online connection. The car automatically transfers the ticket to the customer's key via the available UHF (ultra high frequency) interface, which is also used for remote vehicle locking and unlocking. The customer can now proceed straight from the car to the train without having to buy a ticket from a machine or print out an e-ticket.

Once on the train, all the passenger needs to do is hold the car key to the conductor's data terminal for the booked ticket to be read. Today this kind of handheld unit is already able to validate e-tickets stored on mobile devices, for example. But the electronic train ticket is just one example taken from the broad spectrum of KeyTicketing applications; in principle, entry tickets for all kinds of events with NFC-based access can be stored on the smart car key.

KeyInfo - All Vehicle Data at a Glance While on the Move
The idea behind KeyInfo is to grant the driver access to important vehicle information even when he is not in the car, by means of a mobile device with an NFC interface. The data currently obtainable includes the open or closed state of the vehicle, mileage, fuel level, battery charge level (for electric vehicles), latest alert messages, service data, GPS location of the vehicle and stored tickets. This allows the driver to double-check whether the car is locked or see when the next service is due. A proposed CarFinder would be able to read the password-protected GPS position data and guide the driver back to the car if he is having difficulty finding the parking space. The charge level for an electric vehicle, moreover, tells you whether the range is sufficient for a detour via the park or lake. The possibilities are numerous, as this set-up basically allows for the display of any kind of vehicle data and conditions while on the move.

The user's mobile device merely acts as a display unit, while the sensitive data remains on the key. The requirement for using KeyInfo is an NFC- enabled device with the BMW application installed. Data is automatically transferred from car to key at certain points, for example when the driver exits the car. Password protection for access to the relevant data is already in place.

KeyPayment - Paying with the Car Key
Following the pattern of contactless credit cards, micropayments of sums up to approx. 25 euros can be made quickly and simply. Again, all you have to do is hold the key to the terminal once. Larger sums can also be paid, but these require additional authorisation by the customer in the form of a signature or PIN, as when paying by ordinary credit card. Integrating the credit card function into the car key opens up further options for using services and applications from the car. These might range from new insurance and financial services to acquiring new vehicle software, all the way to drive- through payments allowing the customer to pay for a fuel bill, parking ticket or road toll from inside the car. Even paying at drive-in restaurants would be another conceivable option based on this concept.

The car key of the future will also serve as a contactless credit card. Thanks to a steadily growing infrastructure, this is already possible at many contactless payment terminals around the world. Since the car key - unlike a conventional credit card - is always there during a car journey, the customer's ability to pay when travelling is ensured.

KeyAccess - a Key That Unlocks Many Doors
Based on the infrastructure described (KeyTicketing, KeyPayment), today a hotel room can be booked from the car and electronic access authorisation stored on the car key. Hotel room doors equipped with the appropriate technology can already be opened by car key. Instead of the contactless key card handed out by the hotel, you simply hold your key against the door lock. Future applications might also include the car key replacing the conventional house key or other access systems such as card readers. Likewise, the key could store access authorisation to the workplace and thus dispense with the ubiquitous company ID card.

The Key Vision
The possibilities extend beyond the four scenarios described, however. In future, via an interface at home the key could also enable personalised access to the BMW ConnectedDrive internet platform and thus allow numerous functions to be configured for even better and convenient control - without the need to enter login names, passwords or PINs. In this way, the intelligent car key would also open virtual doors. Vehicle settings and content compiled at the computer, such as a carefully plotted holiday route, are automatically uploaded to the car the next time it is used, the key serving personalisation, authorisation or even data storage purposes.

On a holiday trip, the smart car key of the future could do more than open hotel rooms: if, as well as booking an e-ticket, you also need a hire car to continue your journey, the smart key could also store the necessary authorisation to open and start the hire car - dispensing with the need to pick up the key for the hire car at an office. If the car key has stored authorisation for use of the hire car, KeyInfo can also display the car's location on a mobile phone to enable it to be found easily. Personalised settings and functions from one's own car would also be available in the hire car. And, needless to say, similar solutions would also be conceivable for company vehicle fleets. It isn't even necessary to develop all these solutions for the BMW key of the future since such functions are already partly available and partly in the offing; the "key" factor is that they could all be "opened up" using just one key.

My BMW Remote
BMW remote functions allow individual operations to be controlled from outside the car, such as locking and unlocking doors or adjusting the climate control. Currently, the driver can ring up the BMW ConnectedDrive call centre to have remote functions carried out. The services are made available once the driver has provided his BMW ConnectedDrive login name, password and memorable information for authorisation. With My BMW Remote, the BMW Group developers are now transferring these remote functions to a smartphone application so that the user can access them directly from a mobile phone.

Following download and installation, the user need only register the application once - for the initialisation process - by entering his BMW ConnectedDrive login name and password and providing his memorable information. From then on he can use the services as often as desired without having to sign in repeatedly. Usage is reliably protected by the mandatory input of a self-selected PIN whenever the application is started.

In addition to locking and unlocking the car, the driver can also use My BMW Remote to access the climate control inside the car and create the desired temperature using a time setting. As the driver won't always know whether the car is parked in the sun or the shade, the vehicle itself decides - on the basis of the outdoor temperature measurement - whether it needs cooling via the ventilation system or, if it features auxiliary heating, needs warming up. Beyond this, the driver also has the option of being visually and audibly alerted to the car's location by means of the "Flashlight" and "Blowhorn" functions. If the vehicle is out of sight and hearing, the Vehicle Finder comes into play: this function can locate the car within a range of up to 1,500 metres, a static map showing the driver the way. However, the Vehicle Finder will only work if the car's ignition is switched off to prevent it from being used as a tracking device. The Local Search function rounds off BMW's extended range of remote options available from My BMW Remote. It allows the driver to use the Google Local Search interface to look for specific Points of Interest (POIs), have them displayed on a map and then transferred to the car. Within the navigation system, the POIs can be directly entered as destinations.

In future, vehicle data such as fuel and oil levels or the next service appointment will be available through My BMW Remote. Information on the outside and inside temperature and on whether the windows, soft-top or sliding roof are open or closed can then be viewed from a distance. As standard, the display shows the vehicle status after last being locked. The user can retrieve the latest status at any time by actively requesting that this information be sent.

A similar range of functions is planned for electric vehicles. In addition to the remote functions already implemented, services specially designed for electric cars will be developed in the future. Here the focus is on user-friendly and practical transfer of precise information such as the current battery charge state, remaining range and remaining time for a full charge if the vehicle is hooked up to a charging station. The remote functions will also help the driver when looking for a nearby charging station. The features specifically designed for electric vehicles have been implemented in the BMW Concept ActiveE concept car.

Seamless Media Access
A strong trend towards digitisation in the home can be observed today. Where only recently shelves were weighed down with CDs, videotapes or vinyl records, now you may well find an entertainment server allowing easy access to the media - such as music, audio books and videos - stored on it. The Seamless Media Access research project by BMW ConnectedDrive will in future make virtually the entire contents of an entertainment system available on demand in the car. With Seamless Media Access, entertainment functions and content so far accessible only on the home computer will find their way into the car. The aim of the BMW Group developers was to recreate the comfort and convenience the customer is familiar with from home inside the car by means of Seamless Media Access: personal settings such as playlists or information on the most recently played content are automatically synchronised between car and home. This means that content will be available on the relevant device - including the car - ready to be resumed from where you left off. In all, Seamless Media Access offers three specific functionalities: aggregated search, intelligent play history and a browsing function.

Mood-based Playlist
Connecting the car to the World Wide Web opens up entirely new possibilities for personalised music enjoyment. For several years, BMW Group researchers and developers have been investigating this potential under the banner of "personal radio". BMW Group specialists are even exploring the possibility of tying the car in with the content of major music providers to create the largest possible music collection within the car. With a choice of several million music tracks, this would open up an extremely broad and deep range of music to be enjoyed in the car. But how will the driver find the music he likes quickly and simply among this huge diversity? That is precisely the question at the heart of the "Mood-based playlist" research project being pursued by BMW Group engineers, a feature that allows rapid and intuitive access to music that matches the driver's preference at any given time.

Micropause Apps
The use of micropauses arises from a simple idea: to provide the driver with enjoyable or helpful applications - so-called micropause apps - whenever the car is at a standstill, even for a brief moment. The content of these apps is potentially very diverse, ranging for example from simple news headlines to videos or games.

The first stage of this research project concerns the scenario of waiting at traffic lights. The idea is to put the stationary red light phase to meaningful use by streaming a variety of content into the car. The prerequisite is that the vehicle knows how long the lights will stay red. The researchers are exploring several approaches. One possible solution is demonstrated by the first prototype, where active communication between the traffic lights and the vehicle allows the lights to send information to the car. Other possible waiting scenarios, such as at level crossings or in traffic jams, are also being considered. Here the experts are currently investigating how the waiting times can be reliably determined in such situations.

iDrive Controller with Integrated Touch Control
On laptops they are commonplace, yet in the car they are few and far between - touchpads, or surfaces that are sensitive to fingertip touch. As part of a development project, the engineers at the BMW Group are for the first time integrating a touchpad into the iDrive Controller, the central control unit of the iDrive system. The aim is to make certain operating functions more intuitive, faster and easier to carry out by means of touch control.

The great advantage of the touch control placed in the iDrive Controller lies in its high integration capability. Mounted directly in the central control unit, it allows for even more intuitive operation - without direct eye contact. The controls for entering, selecting and confirming are sited close together, enabling a seamless transition when switching between voice input, touchpad and rotary knob operation. Depending on preference and situation, the driver has the option of making and confirming selections - or, if he finds it easier, quickly switching between the deliberately redundant control options. As the integral touchpad barely takes up more installation space than the iDrive Controller used so far, it will be relatively easy to install into future vehicles. Before that stage, the technology still needs to be honed and tested in various applications. Asian character recognition, for example, is highly complex. The BMW Group specialists are working intensively to provide solutions that will meet customer requirements.

Modern navigation systems provide accurate, failsafe navigation to any desired destination. But if that destination happens to be, say, a multistorey car park, the driver may still be left wondering how to find the entrance - and how to get from there to a specific location within the car park as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, detailed information about large, enclosed destination areas is not - or not yet - available in today's vehicles. To address this need, the specialists at BMW Group Research and Technology are currently working on a "microNavigation" research project, which they hope will be able to plug this gap sometime in the near future.

Urban Navigation
Navigation in urban areas always involves a certain number of unknowns. It is not always easy for the driver and the navigation system to find the quickest route to a destination. Not only is it necessary to take into account real-time local traffic information, for example about which routes are currently worst affected by rush hour traffic, or what roadworks or public events are currently taking place; it also has to be remembered that what might appear at first sight to be a very short route may actually be a very time-consuming one, due to traffic light phasing. With its work on "urban navigation" systems, the BMW Group is therefore developing two functions that will use local "traffic knowledge" to make navigation in large cities faster, easier and, particularly at rush hour, more predictable, namely adaptive navigation and strategic routing.

Mobility Assistant
As already indicated, ensuring quick and trouble-free mobility around town can be something of a challenge. People on the move often face the following questions: What can be done to ensure a punctual arrival even when the navigation system indicates congestion? Will a parking space be available on arrival? Where is the nearest recharging point for an electric vehicle? Will Park+Ride get the driver to his destination more quickly, or more conveniently? Answers to all these questions will in future be available from the BMW Group's Mobility Assistant, which is currently undergoing testing in Berlin as an iPhone application. This service will allow individually customised navigation, using different modes of transport. When a destination is entered, the Mobility Assistant will show various possible ways of getting there - whether by car, by local public transport or by a combination of the two. Depending on the details entered, the users will be presented with a range of options for reaching the desired destination conveniently, quickly, or using a preferred form of transport.

Active PDC
With Active PDC (Active Park Distance Control), the information and warning system Park Distance Control is making the transition to active intervention. Active PDC, the new, extended version of this well-established parking aid, offers even greater protection from parking bumps and scrapes. Active PDC uses a three-stage intervention strategy - based on speed limitation, appropriate adaptive braking and braking to a complete stop - for safe and convenient parking particularly in poor-visibility parking and manoeuvring situations, thereby preventing the risk of annoying dents or scratches on the vehicle.

Remote Controlled Parking
While the Park Assist system in the new BMW 5 Series helps drivers during parallel parking, Remote Controlled Parking goes a step further, performing an entire parking manoeuvre - in this case forward perpendicular or garage parking - single-handedly. The driver does not even have to be sitting inside the vehicle. The Remote Controlled Parking function, also known as the "garage parker", was first presented by the BMW Group in 2006, and the development engineers have been improving and refining it ever since. The new prototype of this system, which is capable of parking in any garage, even an unfamiliar one, without the aid of a reflector, demonstrates the progress made in developing near-production, automated driving functions.

A driver planning to park in a narrow garage or other confined parking space using Remote Controlled Parking gets out of the vehicle and activates the automatic parking manoeuvre using the vehicle key. From this point on the garage parker takes control of the acceleration, braking and steering functions and manoeuvres the vehicle autonomously into the narrow garage - or out of it again. This spares the driver any awkward gymnastics or the risk of damage to the doors when getting into or out of the car in confined garages.

The parking manoeuvre is activated by pressing a specific sequence of buttons within a set time limit. The driver must remain in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle throughout. Activation of the system simultaneously locks the vehicle, switches on the parking aid and the dipped headlamps and folds in the exterior mirrors. The latter operation also serves as confirmation to the driver that the vehicle is ready to park. If the driver then presses and continues to hold the key button, this gives the signal: "Over to you, RPC."

Proactive Pedestrian Protection Systems
The best protection against an accident that carmakers can offer is active safety. Fewer than two percent of accidents occur due to technical problems such as punctures. The overwhelming majority are due to human error. Hence the importance of offering effective strategies that assist with the driving task and avert potential accidents at the earliest possible stage.

In many countries the number of fatal accidents has been falling for years - despite more vehicles being on the road more often and for longer periods. This is due partly to passive safety (e.g. seatbelts, airbags), but also and above all to active safety systems (chassis control, driver assistance systems). In all of this, of course, special attention must be devoted to protecting the most vulnerable road users - pedestrians.

Since accidents involving pedestrians frequently occur at night or in the early morning or evening, in 2008 the BMW Group added a pedestrian recognition function with warning to the BMW Night Vision system. A second frequent accident scenario involves daytime encounters between cars and pedestrians in heavy urban traffic. For this highly complex risk scenario as well, the BMW Group is developing a proactive pedestrian protection system designed to minimise injury or ideally to prevent an accident altogether.

Camera-basedpedestrian Protection
The BMW Group's advanced development project "Proactive pedestrian protection" is geared particularly to preventing - or mitigating the consequences of - potential collisions with pedestrians in an urban setting.

The system identifies a potential pedestrian accident, warns the driver at an early stage and, if there is nothing the driver can do to prevent a collision, initiates emergency braking in order to reduce the vehicle's kinetic energy as much as possible. Bearing in mind that if a vehicle collides with an obstacle at 40 rather than 60 km/h kinetic energy is reduced by more than 50 percent, it is clear that a reduction in speed of even just a few km/h will significantly reduce the severity of injury in the event of a collision between a car and a pedestrian.

In parallel with conventional pedestrian protection measures, whose focus is on reducing injury risks in a collision, the BMW Group is also carrying out intensive development work on proactive systems designed to prevent contact between a vehicle and a pedestrian in the first place. The highly sensitive sensor technology used in these systems can accurately calculate the likelihood of impact. As well as camera-based proactive pedestrian protection systems, the BMW Group is also researching transponder-based systems, under the AMULETT and Ko-TAG projects.

The AMULETT research project ("Active mobile accident avoidance and mitigation of accident effects through cooperative data acquisition and tracking technology") has demonstrated a way in which "car-to-X" communication can be used to improve pedestrian safety. The vehicle communicates with a wireless transponder worn or carried by the pedestrian or cyclist.

AMULETT works as follows: a query signal is transmitted by the vehicle, which the transponder then replies to with an identification signal. The vehicle evaluates this reply, from which it is able to calculate the distance between the vehicle and the transponder, along with the angle of incidence of the signal. It can also identify the type of road user. The electromagnetic waves emitted by the transponder when it replies to the query signal are evaluated by a 2.4 GHz multi-aerial system fitted behind the front windscreen of the test vehicle. A signal-processing unit determines the angle of incidence and identity of the signal. Also, based on the time lapse between transmission of the query signal by the vehicle and receipt of the transponder's reply, the system calculates the distance between the vehicle and the pedestrian on the echo time principle. This location-sensing system has a range of well over 100 metres in an unobstructed environment and at least 20 metres if the pedestrian is concealed. Thus even without a direct line of sight, the driver is informed at an early stage if, say, a pedestrian hidden behind a parked vehicle is close to the road and moving quickly towards it. The driver can then react to the situation in a timely manner.

If, based on the information it receives, the system detects a potential collision situation, the driver is first given a visual warning - via the Head-Up Display as well as the central information display. If he fails to react, or does not react fast enough, the warnings escalate right through to automatic emergency braking, as a last-resort means of preventing a collision. At all times the driver has the option of overriding the emergency braking manoeuvre and remaining in full charge of the vehicle. If the driver intervenes - for example by taking evasive steering action - the brake is automatically released, in order not to restrict the driver's freedom of decision.

Green Driving Assistant
Among the selection criteria that the current generation of navigation systems gives drivers to help them choose a route is the expected journey time of each option and the distance to the destination. With the Green Driving Assistant, the BMW Group offers drivers a tool that also tells them their fuel consumption over each route and helps them to select one which would burn less fuel.

Quick, short or ECO - route planning with the Green Driving Assistant. When planning their route ahead of a journey, drivers can compare suggested routes to determine which offers the shortest travelling time or the lowest fuel consumption. To help them decide, the Green Driving Assistant adds expected fuel savings to the familiar criteria of time of arrival and distance making it easy to decide whether a possible saving of fuel makes a slightly longer journey time worthwhile.

The Green Driving Assistant offers options while driving to ensure that drivers reach their destination even more efficiently and comfortably. The technology informs the driver straightaway if it registers that the vehicle has insufficient fuel in the tank to reach the desired destination with the current driving style and route. The system shows whether, by activating the ECO mode or choosing another route, the consumption could be optimized in order to reach the destination without stopping to top up - and enduring the delay that this involves.

If the driver wants to continue with the same driving style, the Filling Station Assistant subfunction of the Green Driving Assistant allows the timing of a refuelling stop to be planned carefully into the route. When choosing which fuel station to stop at, the system takes into account whether the driver prefers a particular fuel company - because he holds a customer loyalty card, for example - or fuel, and how great a detour would be involved. Once the driver has decided on his preferred filling station, it is entered into the navigation system as an intermediate stop and the route calculation is adapted accordingly.

ECO Mode - Even More Efficient Driving at the Touch of a Button
Giving a car a sportier or more comfort-focused character at the touch of a button is nothing new nowadays. But now the ECO mode adds another facet to this capability, enabling owners to drive more efficiently. The aim here is to develop a driving style that is both relaxed and optimises fuel economy. An integral approach combining drive configuration, display concept and interior comfort offers the customer Sheer Driving Pleasure with the option of reducing fuel economy at the same time: savings of well over ten percent are possible. In combination with the Proactive Driving Assistant and active coasting, the potential rises to as much as 15 percent.

When the driver activates the ECO setting using the switch on the centre console, the output available from the engine remains the same, but its performance characteristics change. The accelerator mapping and the gear change characteristics of the automatic gearbox (or the gear shift indicator settings in cars with a manual gearbox) are adapted in order to support a more efficient driving mode.

The car works in ECO mode at up to approx. 70 percent of maximum accelerator movement. Above this, the accelerator allows the output of the normal driving mode to be accessed. This enables considerably lower fuel consumption to be achieved while still allowing the driver to deal assuredly with situations such as a busy motorway slip road or an overtaking manoeuvre.

Display Concept
The first things the driver notices when he switches to ECO mode are changes to the displays in the instrument cluster. These ECO displays help and motivate the driver to drive more efficiently. An accelerator recommendation is displayed in place of the current fuel consumption. An area highlighted in blue symbolises the efficient accelerator positions. If the driver moves out the blue area, the increasing accelerator pedal angle marks a transition to maximum performance. The accelerator mapping has been adjusted to enable this transition to be understood intuitively and found at any time. The driver also has the option of setting a personal ECO top speed of between 90 and 130 km/h. An "ECO tip" appearing in the central display alerts him if he exceeds this speed. The familiar gear shift indicator is also integrated into the ECO tip concept.

The driver can also consult the central display for a historical record of fuel consumption. He can see which mode he has been driving in and how high or low his average fuel consumption is. The "Experience Technology" monitor - which can be displayed as and when desired - gives visual expression to the BMW EfficientDynamics measures currently in action: from the Auto Start-Stop function at traffic lights or Brake Energy Regeneration when decelerating to active coasting. The active systems are highlighted in an abstracted vehicle diagram, while the accompanying text provides more detailed information on the status and effect of each function. In this way, the customer can find out which systems are activated and when for better knowledge and understanding of the technology.

Using a mobile terminal, different driving parameters can be recorded and the efficiency of a journey can also be analysed away from the car. An example of such an application is the concept of an iPhone App called MINIMALISM Analyser that is based on MINI Connected. In a game-like format, this provides customers with feedback about how efficiently they are accelerating, how carefully they are braking in advance and how well they are changing gear. The MINIMALISM Analyser edits the data in a simple and informative way. Once at the destination, this application enables the journey to be analysed, provides tips for reducing fuel consumption and enables the user to compare his performance in a Community Ranking.

The ECO mode enables the driver to save fuel and increase range, as shown in a new "Bonus Range Display". In this way the driver is given direct feedback about his success in saving fuel and is "rewarded" with bonus kilometres. The longer the driver continues economically in ECO mode, the higher the number of bonus kilometres will be. This could be described as the driver's "kilometre cushion".

Active Coasting and the Proactive Driving Assistant
ECO mode also gives the driver the benefits of the "active coasting" and "proactive driving assistant" functions, which enable an even more efficient driving style.

In the ECO mode, the "proactive driving assistant" is also active. This helps the driver to anticipate future driving situations and make optimum use of the car's kinetic energy. The car recognises speed limits, tight bends and turnings and calculates the exact moment when the driver should take his foot off the accelerator and let the car roll or glide. The vehicle uses data from the navigation system to identify the appropriate situation and the indicator appears in the instrument cluster and in the Head-up Display directly in the driver's line of vision. The proactive driving assistant considers the braking required, based on current data from the car and data on the course of the road and also takes into account whether the car is fitted with the gliding in neutral function (see below). The proactive driving assistant encourages the driver to let the car glide at the right times and in so doing save fuel without impeding vehicles following behind. Added to which, in the future it is likely to use current traffic and road data from the intelligent learning navigation system, in order to optimise its prediction.

Intelligent Learning Navigation
Nowadays, navigation systems are extremely popular among drivers as a reliable means of route guidance. However, drivers have always had to tell the system where they needed to go. Now, though, BMW Group Research and Technology is using artificial intelligence to teach the pathfinders how to learn, opening up totally new potential when it comes to plotting a route. In the future, navigation systems will be able to use these skills to predict the destination of a journey without the driver having to enter it beforehand, to give warnings of traffic jams and to reduce fuel consumption.