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29 November 2023

CES: BMW switches gear to introduce new technology

By Joseph George

BMW has demonstrated technological advancements that it plans to introduce in its vehicles in the years to come.

One of the new safety features introduced at CES is the collision avoidance system which works with the external i3 sensors to help a driver avoid any large objects ahead.

As soon as the avoidance system detects an object in the line of sight, it will moderately apply the brakes and the car stops with about an inch to spare. These are a different type of sensors than the ones found in the current i3. The system works when the car reverses as well.

The new parking system will autonomously find a spot to park without anyone in the vehicle. The self-parking feature can be initiated from the BMW i app for Samsung Gear Smartwatch. The i3 looks for an open space by laser scanners, sometimes combined with the digital site plan of a building, for example a multi-storey car park.

According to BMW the system 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 Smartwatch and voice command.

The company also announced its in-house intelligent app technology that allows in-car integration of the latest digital services and apps. The ConnectedDrive on a BMW i3 is equipped with cloud-based connectivity and a HERE Map app that synchronises digital devices such as a smartphone with the vehicle’s navigation system.
Destinations entered on the smartphone using the HERE Companion App are simultaneously imported to the car, where they can be used by the navigation system to compute a route, or can be saved as favourites. BMW has also introduced high resolution of the map display in the BMW i3 offering a three-dimensional display.

The company also introduced its BMW i Home Charging Services that enables for home charging of electric and plug-in hybrid BMW models. It is based on the smart home-enabled BMW i Wallbox Pro system which was showcased last year.

According to the company, the vehicle is charged with home generated solar power whenever this is available. At other times, or if the household does not have a solar generating system, the vehicle is automatically charged at the cheapest off-peak rates (in markets where such a system exists). In the United States  for example the company notes that it can result in savings of up to $800 a year.