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BMW showcasing urban mobility connectivity applications at ITS World Congress

The BMW Group is showcasing developments from BMW ConnectedDrive at the ITS World Congress this week in Vienna under the slogan “BMW Urban Mobility”. BMW ConnectedDrive is the BMW Group’s definition of Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS); the BMW stand at the Congress presents App- and vehicle-based routing functions, safety systems and solutions for mobility on two wheels.

Mobility Assistant. The Mobility Assistant, currently being tested in Berlin as an iPhone app, provides individual, intermodal navigation. When one enters a destination, the mobility assistant will display various routes to allow reaching this destination cost-effectively and quickly—whether travelling by car, using suburban public transport or combining the two modes of travel.

The Mobility Assistant is an initial step towards the reality of actual intermodal traffic use. The objective is to ensure mobility over a range of different modes of transport. This is empowering the BMW Group to support mobility sustainably and tailored to individual needs.

—Martin Hauschild, Head of Traffic Technology and Traffic Management at the BMW Group

The concept of intermodal routing is enhanced by the DriveNow package available in Munich, Düsseldorf, Berlin and San Francisco. (Earlier post.) This premium car sharing with BMW and MINI automobiles is independent of car-hire stations. This service is now available in four cities and is proving to be extremely popular, according to the company. The DriveNow App displays the nearest DriveNow vehicle in the vicinity.

Adaptive navigation and strategic routing. BMW subsumes two functions under the concept of “Urban Navigation” both of which use local “traffic knowledge” to make navigation in cities faster, simpler and more predictable, particularly during rush-hour periods: adaptive navigation and strategic routing.

With strategic routing, the BMW Group is working together with cities to make traffic management data such as information about temporary disruptions (roadworks) or events and strategic diversion recommendation accessible to navigation systems and to take this into account in route planning. These future routing options create a route based on adaptive traffic management that takes local traffic planning into account and enables you to have a smooth drive through the city with minimum impact on the environment.

Traffic light assistant. The research project “traffic light assistant” involves the traffic lights communicating with vehicles. The lights transmit information about their switching sequences. A proposal for an optimum speed is then given to drivers enabling them to take advantage of a “green wave”. The system can also warn drivers if they are about to go through a red traffic light.

The traffic light assistant evaluates the data received in the vehicle. If the traffic light at the intersection would already be red if the vehicle continued without changing speed, the person driving the car or motorcycle receives this information early enough to brake smoothly. The driver is therefore able to look into the future and adjust the driving style to the timing of the traffic lights.

The net effect is that you drive more calmly and more safely, save fuel and protect the environment all at the same time.

Cooperative transponder technologies (Ko-TAG). In the joint project Ko-TAG BMW is exploring the use of transponder systems for precise object localization and classification based on cooperative sensor systems. The future aim of this technology is to provide protection for vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists) and in the area of vehicle-vehicle safety.

The previous project entitled “AMULETT” (Active mobile accident avoidance and minimisation of accident consequences through cooperative capture and tracking technology) saw employees of BMW Group Research and Technology developing a prototype pedestrian protection system where the vehicle communicates with a radio transponder which a pedestrian or cyclist carries on them for protection.

The transponder answers a query pulse from the vehicle by sending an identification message. This response is evaluated by the vehicle to yield the gap and angle to the transponder. The type of road user can also be identified. The location system operates up to a distance well in excess of 100 meters in the open country, while operating at a radius of at least 20 metres in built-up areas.

Even without direct visual contact, this means that the driver receives information at an early stage, for example that a pedestrian is standing close to the road behind a vehicle being parked and they are moving quickly towards the road.

—Andreas Rauch, Project Manager Ko-TAG at BMW Group Research and Technology

Emergency calling and advisories from BMW Assist. If a BMW with BMW ConnectedDrive is involved in an accident, the automatic emergency call ensures that help arrives at the scene quickly. Crash sensors and a phone unit integrated in a failsafe position enable BMW eCall to send an emergency call automatically if an accident occurs and set up a voice link with the BMW Assist Call Center. The employees there automatically receive the most important data from the accident and pass them on to the emergency services. These details and additional information about the type of vehicle, e.g. the engine design (internal combustion engine/hybrid vehicle/electric car) help the emergency services to institute the correct steps promptly.

In the future, the accident data will be able to advise approaching traffic to slow down safely and reduce the risk of follow-on accidents. The dynamic traffic management system modifies the permitted top speed accordingly with the aim of slowing down the traffic following on behind and designates a rescue lane for the emergency personnel if there is a tailback of traffic.

The Urban Safety Concept (BMW C 650 GT) with BMW ConnectedRide. BMW ConnectedRide is the two-wheeler equivalent to BMW ConnectedDrive. BMW Motorrad became established at an early stage as a trendsetter in the area of motorcycle safety. BMW Motorrad Research is continuing to work at expanding these advances in safety. In 2011, the Advanced Safety Concept (BMW K 1600 GT) was launched which had features such as daytime light, BMW eCall and various camera-based BMW Motorrad driver information and assistance systems.

The next stage saw the development of the Urban Safety Concept (BMW C 650 GT). The research projects Left Turn Assistant, Traffic Light Assistant and the Lane Change Warning were implemented in the scooter, commented Felix Deissinger, responsible for strategy and vehicle concepts at BMW Motorrad. Researchers also integrated a head-up display as a two-wheeled innovation. This system displays parameters such as current speed, the symbols for the Traffic Light Assistant, the Collision Warning and Traffic Sign Recognition in the wind shield. The daytime light was also incorporated in this scooter.

The Left Turn Assistant prototype developed for cars and motorcycles is an active system which is intended to prevent a critical situation when drivers are turning left. The system calculates positional curves and speed profiles in order to assess the likelihood of a collision. When a critical situation occurs, the motorcycle raises its visibility. If the oncoming car driver fails to react, automatic braking is initiated in the automobile.

BMW ConnectedRide also offers a wide range of further assistance systems to make motorcycling safer in the future. For example, the bad weather warning system alerts motorcycle riders at an early stage with a visual message in the display indicating any section of the route subject to adverse weather conditions. Fog, rain, snow and ice are all much greater hazards for motorcycle riders than car drivers. The hazard warning also gives motorcyclists a visual alert—with an option of voice alert—if they need to anticipate a hazard such as oil, loose road chippings or a vehicle abandoned on the motorcyclist’s side of the road. The warning is linked with information about how far away the obstacle is located. The warning and the position of the hazard site could be sent by the vehicle or vehicles travelling in front to the vehicles following on behind using the Car-to-x communication.

Parking with innovative mobility services of BMW i. Finding a parking space at locations with lots of visitors is often not easy. Two new mobility services from BMW i show BMW’s concept of making it easier for customers to locate parking spaces in the future.

“ParkatmyHouse” is an innovative online marketplace which sets up a link between free parking spaces and drivers looking for a parking space. ParkatmyHouse follows on from MyCityWay as another participation by investment company BMW i Ventures in an enterprise for internet-based mobility services. ParkatmyHouse is directed towards entrepreneurs and homeowners who want to rent their premises to car drivers looking for a parking space. This service has spread throughout the United Kingdom and now has more than 150,000 registered drivers and parking spaces at more than 20,000 locations.

The electronic mobile parking service “ParkNow” allows users to book their parking space in advance. They get a guaranteed parking space at a clearly defined rate based on the personal preferences of the driver. Customers can either use the ParkNow App for smart phones to look for a parking space, or reserve a parking space on the ParkNow website and pay for their space immediately. This reduces the time expended in looking for a parking space and the impact on the environment due to the emission of pollutants. There are currently 14 ParkNow stations installed in and around San Francisco. ParkNow is a joint venture between BMW i and Urban Mobility.


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