Official Release: BMW i stands for a whole new conception of premium mobility and calls for a new generation of flexible, simplified mobility services that are designed to enable vehicles to be linked seamlessly into the customers’ individual lifestyles. BMW i will be the world’s first fully networked sub-brand offering tailor-made, state-of-the-art BMW i ConnectedDrive services.
BMW i ConnectedDrive services as standard for BMW i models.
For this purpose, all new BMW i models will come as standard with an integral SIM card together with BMW ConnectedDrive services that have been specially devised for electric mobility and future mobility demands. Because the card is built in, it ensures an optimum connection to the BMW ConnectedDrive services throughout the vehicle’s life. The BMW i is furthermore equipped with a navigation system that already features BMW i ConnectedDrive services, and has been systematically tailored to the specific requirements of electric mobility and of flexible, individual, convenient mobility in tomorrow’s world. Examples of this include the Driving Range Assistant, an overview of the available charging stations, efficient route calculation especially for electric vehicles, Intelligent Emergency Call, the facility for accessing public transport options, BMW TeleServices including Battery Guard to protect against deep discharging, as well as further services that are accessible in the BMW i Remote app and the BMW ConnectedDrive internet portal. Should the customer wish to use further products from BMW & BMW i ConnectedDrive services, such as Concierge Services, Internet or RTTI, they can be booked individually from the comfort of their home computer by visiting the BMW ConnectedDrive Store (see also Chapter 3).
BMW i ConnectedDrive services always at the focus of attention.
The BMW i3 comes with two top-quality displays for the exchange of information between vehicle and driver and for operating the infotainment and communications functions. There is a large 6.5-inch screen positioned on top of the steering column, where all driving-related data such as speed and range appears, and a second 8.8 inch screen in the centre of the dashboard for displaying, for example, the information from the navigation system, which is connected to the outside world via BMW i ConnectedDrive. This central display also serves to keep the driver and front passenger fully informed of the vehicle’s status and the drive system’s operating mode. The two displays have been designed to interact in such a way that the information shown is split between them to optimum effect, as the situation requires.
Total networking facilitates mobility planning.
The driving range of electrically powered vehicles is very much dependent on driving style. The BMW eDrive technology aboard the BMW i3 is designed to allow the vehicle to cover a distance of 160 kilometres (100 miles) on a full battery charge. Even before setting off, the BMW i ConnectedDrive services provide the driver with realistic estimates of the vehicle’s current range. One of the key elements of the networked navigation system is a dynamic range map, which delivers precise, reliable readings by factoring in all relevant parameters along the planned route. The battery’s charge status, driving style, activity of electric comfort functions and the selected driving mode are all taken into account for the calculation, along with the route’s topography and current traffic levels. The system is therefore able to make allowance for the extra energy used up for both an upcoming climb and stop-start traffic or traffic jams, and lower its range calculation accordingly. Up-to-the-minute and detailed real-time traffic data is added to the equation, too. High-performance analysis and evaluation of the information is carried out permanently via the BMW ConnectedDrive servers. Every BMW i is constantly in contact with these servers thanks to the built-in SIM card, and this networking provides ultra-precise real-time information at all times.
Dynamic range display for all driving modes.
Taking the vehicle’s current location as a starting point, the dynamic range display from BMW i ConnectedDrive joins up all the points that can be reached with the available energy reserves to form a spidergram in the navigation display. Since the driver is able to actively influence the vehicle’s energy consumption and therefore its range by switching the driving mode, the graphical representation of the range calculation is always made available in two variants, allowing the driver to view the relevant current range in both COMFORT and ECO PRO mode. The driver is furthermore able to see the range that would be available if the ECO PRO+ mode was selected, so that it is always possible to know how much extra range could be obtained by changing the driving mode. The Driving Range Assistant can detect when the remaining driving range might become critical and advise the driver to choose a more efficient driving mode, a more economical route or an available charging station in the vicinity if necessary. BMW i therefore brings BMW ConnectedDrive networked services and BMW EfficientDynamics energy management together to create a perfect symbiosis.
Available charging stations are shown in the vehicle.
Once the destination has been reached, the driver can call up a display of charging stations nearby and even see whether they have any free spaces or not. When plugged into one of today’s public fast-charging facilities, it takes just 30 minutes to charge the battery to 80%, meaning the car can be topped up with enough energy for a further 120 kilometres (75 miles) during the lunch break or a shopping trip. Thanks to the collaboration with car park operators and public charging station providers and the networking with smartphones and navigation systems, the BMW i ConnectedDrive services grant customers highly reliable access to the public charging infrastructure, as well as enabling a simple and transparent means of payment using the BMW i ChargeNow card.
Connected Mobility: public transport to be incorporated into route planning in future.
If the BMW i ConnectedDrive services detect traffic disruption or city centre road closures along the planned route through urban centres, drivers will in future have the option of incorporating local public transport connections into the route planning. All relevant transport connections together with stops and departure times from a specified location can be called up in advance in the instrument cluster display. Drivers are also able to see where they have to change lines during the journey, how far they have to walk to their destination on the final leg and when they will arrive at their destination. The Intermodal Route, as it is known, is calculated on the BMW servers using the information provided by the local public transport operators and transmitted to the vehicle via the built-in SIM card. This technology makes it possible to keep expanding the networked mobility portfolio in future so that the very latest mobility options can continue to be offered to customers after they have bought their car. Once a public transport journey has been selected, the driver is first directed by the navigation system to a public car park close to where the journey starts. After leaving the vehicle, BMW i ConnectedDrive uses the BMW i Remote app (available for Android and iOS) to guide the customer to the correct stop, instruct them when and where they need to change lines, and finally direct them to their end destination on foot with the greatest of ease. Further BMW i mobility services are already in development as part of a steady expansion of the networked mobility portfolio of BMW i and BMW ConnectedDrive.
BMW i Remote app: vehicle monitoring, mobility planning and efficiency optimization.
The BMW i Remote app allows an upcoming journey in a BMW i car to be planned out in advance easily and conveniently by means of a smartphone. Using this application, which has been purpose-developed for the demands of electric mobility and is available for the iOS and Android operating systems, the driver is able to access all vehicle data or route-related information anywhere at any time. For example, a vehicle status checklist can be called up on the smartphone that retrieves the current vehicle data via the BMW server. The driver can additionally view the vehicle’s location and the destinations in the surrounding area that are within range based on the current battery charge level. The vehicle’s interior can also be set to the desired temperature by remote control, either immediately or in time for departure using the timer control. Even the high-voltage battery can be adjusted to the optimum temperature in advance in order to maximise the driving range. If the vehicle is plugged into a public charging station or the BMW i Wallbox, the charging procedure can likewise be controlled remotely and even programmed to run at times when electricity is cheaper (e.g. at night) with the timer function. Using either the BMW i Remote app or the My BMW ConnectedDrive customer portal, it is possible to search for and select both navigation destinations and charging stations with free spaces, and then relay them to the vehicle. No matter whether they are shown in the navigation system or on the smartphone or home computer, all relevant charging stations appear together with an indication of whether they currently have any free spaces or not.
The pedestrian navigation function included in the BMW i Remote app takes the local public transport network into account and conveniently directs drivers to their final destination after leaving the vehicle. Whether the journey was planned in the vehicle or at home, the destination appears directly in the BMW i Remote app as soon as the driver has left their car. BMW i thereby facilitates an individual, sustainable and easy form of mobility with seamless guidance from start to finish.
Away from their car, drivers are additionally able to evaluate their personal driving style and compare it with other BMW i drivers, allowing them to hone the way they drive by recognising where there is room for improvement.
Highly automated driving: Travelling Europe’s motorways with the electronic co-pilot.
With the aim of offering motorists vehicles equipped with cutting-edge driver assistance systems for supreme convenience and safety in the future, the engineers at BMW Group Forschung und Technik, the company’s research and technology arm, have for a number of years been working on an electronic co-pilot for highly automated driving on the motorway. A prototype vehicle from BMW Group Forschung und Technik already drove along the A9 motorway from Munich towards Nuremberg with no driver intervention back in 2011. The research work has now reached the stage where highly automated changes between motorways are possible at motorway intersections. This is a further key step towards the universal handling of motorway networks, something that will in future allow customers to enjoy a continuous highly automated driving experience.
The principal technologies required for highly automated driving were developed by the BMW Group Forschung und Technik engineers over the course of the preceding BMW TrackTrainer and Emergency Stop Assistant research projects. The BMW TrackTrainer is capable of lapping race tracks in highly automated driving mode while following the racing line in order to provide some very targeted driver tuition. The BMW Emergency Stop Assistant, meanwhile, performs a highly automated manoeuvre to bring the vehicle safely to a stop if the driver is suddenly incapacitated by illness.
The research prototype for highly automated driving is able to brake, accelerate and overtake all by itself, but always in accordance with the prevailing traffic situation and while adhering to all traffic regulations. The team of specialists have already clocked up around 10,000 test kilometres (approx. 6,200 miles). So that this highly automated research vehicle can operate fluidly in road traffic without attracting attention, its operating strategies must be clearly defined. One of the fundamental components from which these strategies are derived, apart from accurate positioning of the vehicle in its own traffic lane, is the unfailing detection of all vehicles and objects in the immediate vicinity. This is achieved by fusing the data from diverse and complementary sensor technologies, including LIDAR, radar, ultrasound and camera scanning on all sides of the vehicle. Despite this 360° sensing capability, there is little on the outside to tell the vehicle apart from a standard production model.
It is of particular importance to the researchers that the technology study’s level of intelligence is constantly enhanced. At motorway slip roads, for example, the research prototype behaves cooperatively by leaving enough space to allow road users on the slip road to filter onto the motorway. The latest advance is the vehicle’s capability to negotiate motorway intersections without intervention from the driver, enabling it to change motorways. At the “München – Nord” motorway intersection, for instance, the car is already able to switch automatically from the A9 to the A92 heading towards the airport, and back again. The main challenges to be successfully overcome by the research team included the very fine lateral control in tight corners, as well as the clarity of points on the high-precision digital map in places where several roads converge.
The BMW Group’s next big target is highly automated driving on European motorways with all of the accompanying challenges – in other words, travelling through tollgates, roadworks and beyond national borders. That prompted the BMW Group to enter into a research partnership with international automotive supplier Continental in January 2013. The collaborative project between the BMW Group and Continental is set to run until the end of 2014, by which time several test prototypes fitted with