BMW has a reputation as one of the finer automakers in the world. A recent win at the 2013 Telematics Update Awards for “Best Safety and Security Solution” for its improvements to its ConnectedDrive technology, BMW demonstrates once again why they're so revered.
ConnectedDrive in 2014 models will come standard with powerful safety features unheard of only a few years ago, according to BMWblog.com. With an array of new abilities, the new BMWs will take driving to the next level — a level drivers should be able to test at countless dealerships in the near future.
The Next Level of ConnectedDrive
The award comes after BMW announced its decision to include AssistTM eCall along with an improved Automatic Collision Notification and Teleservice in almost every model from 2014 onward. With these additions comes a service plan of 10 years, providing constant connection to an abundance of safety and usability features.
Photo of 2014 BMW 640i Gran Coupe Sedan with ConnectedDrive at Chapman BMW in Phx. Used with permission.
Automatic Collision Notification
Automatic Collision Notification communicates a range of relevant information to BMW’s call center after a collision. In the event of a crash, the system will inform BMW of the location of the vehicle, the traveling direction and specific information about the crash. Each vehicle is equipped with a number of sensors that can detect what type of accident occurred, as well as the severity of the crash. The call center receives this information immediately, and then sends out emergency crews specific to the situation. A representative will also remain on the line with the occupant of the vehicle until help arrives. Drivers can also use the emergency system manually if necessary.
TeleService eliminates the need for the standard fixed intervals for vehicle service calls. Using a variety of sensors, the vehicle’s computer will notify the driver whenever service is necessary. It can even communicate automatically with the nearest BMW Service Center with pertinent information about the next service call.
The new iDrive 4.2 firmware will improve the driving experience in several ways. Drivers can browse the Internet while the vehicle is stopped and will be able to use both S Voice and Apple’s Siri Eyes Free, according to EnGadget. It will also allow drivers to search Google maps using voice commands.
Traffic Jam Assistant
Traffic Jam Assistant will “float along” in heavy traffic, according to BMW.com. As long as the driver keeps one hand on the wheel, the vehicle will automatically brake and accelerate, maintain a consistent distance with the vehicle in front and assist in steering as well.
Active Cruise Control
New models will detect the distance from the car to those vehicles in front when cruise control is engaged. The car will work to maintain a safe distance between it and other vehicles, and will accelerate and brake when necessary.
Lane Departure and Lane Change Warning
When the driver drifts over the lane markers without using a turn signal, the steering wheel will vibrate in warning. Cameras on the vehicle also detect other cars in the driver’s blind spot and show a warning light when changing lanes may be unsafe.
In dangerous situations, the system will take precautionary measures such as tightening belts and closing windows. These new models even detect when the behavior of the driver might indicate fatigue and will recommend the driver take a break from driving.
The Car of the Future
BMW ConnectedDrive has vastly improved the safety and driving experience of the modern automobile. The driver still has control, but the car does everything possible to keep him or her safe in the process. This type of innovation demonstrates what is possible, and sets a standard for the car of the future.
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