- Alfa Romeo
- Aston Martin
- Land Rover
Next month, BMW will unveil its updated lineup of law enforcement vehicles at the General Police Equipment Exhibition & Conference (GPEC) in Leipzig, Germany, but to hold us over, the German automaker has released photos of its 2013 BMW 7-Series High Security along with its updated X3 and 5-Series models.
A dizzying line of taillights that goes on for miles is enough to ruin anyone’s day. Pressure mounts in your temples and your skull feels like it’s going to crack. Welcome to the traffic jam migraine.
Don’t worry though, the commuter’s burden will eventually be a thing of the past. If there’s one thing luxury cars are good at doing, it’s showing us technology we can expect in econo-boxes years down the road. One of the latest features found at the forefront of cool luxury tech could stand to silence screams from angry drivers stuck in traffic: autonomous driving.
BMW is showcasing a video on YouTube that gives details on their highly-automated driving mode, which essentially drives the car for you.
Nico Kaempchen, the project manager behind the technology, explains that the car will fully take over driving under certain circumstances, but that the driver remains in control at all times. During that period, the car takes advantage of four different sensor systems to stay on track: radar, cameras, laser scanners and ultrasonics.
It’s not as simple as gluing a few sensors onto a 5-Series and hitting the road. Kaempchen tells us in the video that they need to map each road out that the car drove itself on down to the very inch (or centimeter as he says it).
BMW isn’t the only manufacturer to play with the idea of a car that drives itself. On January 24 we published a story about Volvo testing similar technology in what they call a road-train. Of course for Volvo to be involved it had to do with more than convenience. Their iteration involves a self-piloted convoy that can interact with independent traffic with the goal of making the road safer.
BMW ends their video by saying that the research they conducted will go towards improving already existent systems like their Traffic Jam Assistant. We’re not sure how far to look into the future for mass production, but rest assured when it’s here we’ll have a different outlook on traffic jams. You can watch the video below.
While automakers and outside research firms publish sales figures and earnings reports on a regular basis, one metric we rarely get a glimpse of is how profitable each vehicle is. In an era of re-badging and platform sharing, one would think that the most profitable vehicles are those with a large number of derivatives to spread the cost around. But a new report from Bernstein Research suggests that two factors – price point and volume – are the keys to making big bucks off vehicles. And judging by the list, longevity seems to help as well.
The BMW 5-Series ActiveHybrid will make its debut at this December’s Tokyo Auto Show, featuring BMW’s familiar twin-turbo I6 engine and an electric motor that will produce a total output of 340 horsepower. Backed by an 8-speed automatic, the car will be able to operate in pure electric mode up to 37 mph.
BMW is recalling 32,000 vehicles in order to replace potentially faulty electric auxiliary water pumps. An issue can cause the water pumps to overheat, potentially causing a vehicle fire. Models impacted by the recall include 2008-2011 5-Series, 5-Series Gran Turismo, 7-Series, X5 and X6 equipped with either the eight- or 12-cylinder turbocharged engines.