BMW has chosen the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014, held in Las Vegas, to show off its self-driving car. As they put it, it “a new kind of research prototype for highly automated driving which uses advanced control technology to demonstrate maximum safety up to the car’s dynamic limit.”
In other words, the M235i prototype running the system (called ActiveAssist) can drive itself (even around a track, briskly), and is capable of doing no-hands powersliding, as the opening photo shows. Moreover, it is claimed that it can thus predict if the car wants to oversteer or understeer and nip it in the bud, making even more planted driving possible when it’s not doing it by itself.
Another new piece of technology showcased at the fair is the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch which runs a simplified Android OS, and can now be connected wirelessly to an i3 EV via the BMW I Remote App that it supports. Through it, the user/driver receives state of charge and range information, and is also made aware of whether or not the windows and/or sunroof are closed – the climate control can be remotely altered too.
The Bavarian automaker is also proud of its safety-oriented camera-based assistance systems – they’ve managed to bring costs down by not using radar, relying entirely on visual input from the cameras to make it work. They say, “modern camera-based systems have advantages over purely radar-based applications when it comes to recognition of stationary obstacles. A wide camera angle, moreover, enables reliable detection of objects pulling in or out at the edge of the driver’s field of vision.”
By Andrei Nedelea