BMW ConnectedDrive in the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: June 29, 2012
Categories: BMW, BMW 6 Series

BMW ConnectedDrive in the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe: A richer experience thanks to intelligent networking.

  • Unique position in the competitive environment:
    networked driver assistance systems and mobility services, such as the BMW Head-Up Display, Parking Assistant, Internet and Apps.
  • Speed Limit Info, Lane Change and Lane Departure Warning.
  • Combined camera and radar-based collision warning system with brake activation.

BMW 6 Gran Coupe park assist

Due to the unique diversity inherent in the BMW ConnectedDrive technology, the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe sets new, exacting standards in its segment in the field of driver assistance systems and mobility services. The intelligent network set-up between the driver, the vehicle and the outside world ensures an enhanced level of comfort, significantly increases safety and provides a new dimension of infotainment in the vehicle.

Active Cruise Control incorporating the Stop & Go function.

The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is fitted with a cruise control system that includes brake activation as standard equipment. The optional Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function also includes a system which automatically monitors the distance to the vehicle ahead, assuring an effortless, comfortable passage through free-flowing traffic, both on the motorway and on country roads. In low speed, stop-and-go traffic the distance set by the driver to the vehicle ahead is automatically maintained.

A collision warning system incorporating brake activation is also a part of this functionality. It can be enabled independently of the cruise control system and is active from 15 km/h up to the maximum speed of the vehicle. The system uses radar sensors combined with a camera, positioned between the windscreen and the rear view mirror, to determine the distance to the vehicles on the road ahead. The collision warning system generates a two-stage alarm. As an initial warning, a visual signal appears on the instrument panel indicating a potentially dangerous situation. The level at which this initial warning triggers can be individually configured by the driver and is one of the settings in the iDrive menu. When an urgent warning is issued, an acoustic alarm sounds and the symbol flashes, prompting the driver to intervene. Simultaneously, a braking procedure is initiated. For a period of up to 1.2 seconds, the vehicle is slowed at a deceleration 3 m/s2.

BMW Connect Drive

Surround View and Side View: Camera systems provide assistance when parking and manoeuvring.

A reversing camera, integrated into the luggage compartment lid just below the BMW badge and the Surround View system, which incorporates Side View, are also available to complement the Park Distance Control system (PDC). In addition to the reversing camera and the PDC sensors, the Surround View system utilises two cameras mounted in the wing mirrors. The data thus captured is fed to a central computer and processed. This generates a comprehensive picture which is delivered to the Control Display and shows a bird's-eye view of both the vehicle and its immediate surroundings. Guided by this visual information, the driver's ability to manoeuvre with high precision in confined spaces is greatly enhanced.

The driver also has Side View, a component of the optional Surround View system, at his disposal to assist him as required. Side View utilises two cameras integrated into the front bumper to monitor traffic crossing the path of the vehicle. The images they deliver are also sent to the Control Display. They provide not only a higher level of comfort when manoeuvring, but also give the driver first sight of the traffic approaching the vehicle from both sides – a feature which is particularly useful when driving out of narrow gateways with restricted views and when leaving multi-storey car parks.

Additional safety in the dark: The High-Beam Assistant and BMW Night Vision.

The High-Beam Assistant and BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition, both available as options, provide invaluable support to BMW drivers during the hours of darkness. The driver enjoys excellent visibility at all times – the system automatically activates the high-beam and dips the headlights again, as the current traffic situation changes.

The second generation of the BMW Night Vision system is fed by a thermal imaging camera integrated into the front of the vehicle, merging elegantly into the overall design. It provides a high-resolution, real-time video image to the Control Display enabling the driver to see people, animals and anything else that radiates heat even if these people, creatures and objects are located outside of the area illuminated by the headlights.

An additional level of safety is provided by the pedestrian recognition feature. Using intelligent algorithms, a control processor analyses the stream of video data, looking for pedestrians and cyclists who are potentially on a collision course with the vehicle. The driver is alerted to any potential danger to persons that the system detects on the Control Display and as an option also receives a warning via the Head-Up Display.

Everything you need to know in your field of view: The BMW Head-Up Display projects realistic icons portrayed in a complete spectrum of colours to the ideal viewing location.

The latest generation of the BMW Head-Up Displays delivers a quality of image which has been optimised yet again. Graphics are generated in a complete spectrum of colours so that extremely realistic symbols are projected onto the windscreen – where from an ergonomic point of view they are presented to the driver in the ideal location. The scope of information available on the Head-Up Display has also been broadened. In addition to the High-Guiding information supplied by the navigation system, speed limits, Check Control messages, status messages generated by the Lane Departure system and alerts issued by the BMW Night Vision system are also available, depending upon the options fitted to the vehicle.

Parking has never been easier: The BMW Parking Assistant.

The BMW Parking Assistant is a further option available for the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe. When searching for a potential parking space, the system provides assistance using the ultrasonic sensors which are integrated into the bezels of the turning indicator lights, mounted on the sides of the vehicle.

These continuously measure the length and width of potential parking spots at the side of the road at speeds of up to 35 km/h. When this system is engaged, the parking process consists of the driver simply using the accelerator and brake pedals and keeping an eye on his surroundings. The Parking Assistant takes control of the steering wheel and reverses the vehicle into the parking spot quickly and effortlessly. Acoustic and visual information supplied by the Park Distance Control system (PDC), the reversing camera and the Surround View system aid the driver in maintaining a safe distance to other vehicles and nearby obstacles.

On a safe course at the ideal speed: Speed Limit Info, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning.

In combination with the optional Professional navigation system, the Speed Limit Info feature ensures that the driver is always aware of the speed limits. A camera integrated into the rear-view mirror continuously locates and registers both road signs positioned at the side of the road and the changing, programmable signs mounted on gantries spanning motorways and dual carriageways.

This data is then compared with the data stored in the navigation system. The system is also able to identify and react to supplementary road signs and temporary speed limits in force around places such as construction sites.

The speed limit that the system reads is displayed by means of a traffic sign icon on the instrument panel or via the optionally available Head-Up Display until a different speed limit is recognised, or the driver finds himself on a road with no speed limit. The system temporarily saves all of the data so that after taking a short break the driver still has the last speed limit and any signs showing traffic restrictions at his disposal. In addition, the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is fitted with a speed control system incorporating braking as standard equipment.

The camera integrated into the rear-view mirror is also used for the optional Lane Departure Warning system. It recognises and registers the road markings on at least one side of the traffic lane. A control unit calculates the position of the vehicle in relation to these road markings while also taking the vehicle's speed into account. If the vehicle drifts unintentionally out of the traffic lane, the system alerts the driver by making the steering wheel vibrate. The system can be used at speeds of at least 70 km/h and also works in curves, in narrow traffic lanes and at night, as soon as the headlights are turned on. If the driver indicates his intention to change lanes or to change direction by activating the turn indicator, the system will not issue a warning.

The optional Lane Change Warning system alerts the driver to potentially critical situations caused by vehicles approaching from behind when overtaking. The system monitors the traffic travelling in adjacent lanes by means of two radar sensors mounted on the rear of the vehicle. In this way, this area in the adjacent lanes known as the blind spot can be reliably monitored to a distance of approximately 60 metres from the rear.

An illuminated yellow triangular icon, integrated into the housing of the left wing mirror, alerts the driver to the presence of a vehicle in the critical zone. This LED warning signal begins to flash if the driver sets the turn indicator, showing that he intends to pull out, or pull back in. In addition, this system also makes the rim of the steering wheel vibrate in order to warn the driver of the potential hazard.

Networked mobility services, Internet-based services and technologies for the integration of mobile devices into the vehicle (some features not available in South Africa).

The BMW ConnectedDrive information service is in effect a personal concierge service, at the driver's disposal around the clock. At the touch of a button and at no additional cost, a telephone call to the Information Service can be can be initiated via the iDrive menu in the Information Service section.

The staff at the call centre are happy to research addresses, provide information on points of interest as well as to find the opening hours of cultural facilities, flight information, addresses of restaurants, to book discounted hotels via the HRS reservation portal for the driver, to provide the addresses of pharmacies with extended opening hours, ATMs and golf courses. These telephone numbers and address details are then transmitted directly from the call centre to the navigation system in the vehicle and are available to the driver at the press of a button. The information service will not be offered in South Africa at this stage.

A part of the BMW Assist service is the Enhanced Emergency Call feature which includes the automatic detection of both vehicle location and accident severity. BMW Online delivers a number of Internet-based services to the vehicle. New additions to the service include access to the Qype portal and the use of Wiki Local.

With the Apps option of BMW ConnectedDrive and the BMW Connected application, owners of an Apple iPhone can use a number of applications in the vehicle. These include the Web Radio feature and the display of messages from Facebook, Twitter and your personal calendar on the on-board monitor. With the News extension of the BMW Connected app, news from your favourite Internet sites can be selected at will and enjoyed alongside the pre-set RSS feeds.

The Wiki Local feature allows Wikipedia entries which relate to the current position, the destination set on the navigation system or any postcode chosen at will, to be selected. In addition, the Wiki Local tour guide will draw the driver’s attention to the main attractions in the area. The information that has been found in this way can then be read aloud by the system in the vehicle as a voice output.

Real-Time Traffic Information: No disagreeable surprises (not available in South Africa).

Real-Time Traffic Information (RTTI) provides the driver with up-to-the-minute data on the situation on the roads. The navigation system is updated every three minutes with precise traffic alerts and re-routing recommendations. In addition to motorways and dual carriageways, RTTI also covers main roads and many inner-city roads. This option will not be offered in South Africa at this stage.