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08/29/2011    11:15 PM

Even the most efficient internal combustion engine can only convert about one-third of the energy derived from fossil fuels into the mechanical kinetic energy needed to power a motor vehicle. Over the past few years BMW EfficientDynamics has made great improvements in engine efficiency, for example with technologies such as direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, exhaust-driven turbochargers, brake energy regeneration and the Auto Start Stop function. However, about 60 percent of the generated energy is still lost, half of it being exhaust heat, with the remaining half as heat absorbed by the engine cooling system. Finding ways of recovering this lost heat energy is one of the major goals being pursued by engineers working on BMW EfficientDynamics for the future. That is why the BMW … CONTINUED

08/22/2011    2:20 PM

BMW of North America announced today that it is partnering with MOG to develop a new BMW Apps Certified App, which the companies expect to bring MOG’s award winning, on-demand streaming music service to BMW vehicles equipped with the BMW Apps smartphone app integration option. The two companies will demonstrate a beta version of the app at the North American press launch of new 6 Series Coupe.

“The partnership with MOG is another great step for BMW Apps, as we continue to listen to our customers and work to assess, develop and launch the apps they want most in a timely manner,” said Paul Ferraiolo, Manager of Product Planning and Strategy for BMW of North America. “The development of BMW Apps enables us to bring new features … CONTINUED

08/10/2011    10:27 AM

The age of “gamification” has come, and BMW Group Financial Services is bringing this social nuance to its customer base of nearly 1 million individuals. Beginning with the development of a new and unique mobile and social experience, “The Ultimate Drive,” is a social navigation mobile app that allows users to not only discover the best roads to drive in over 50 countries, but to rank, comment and share those roads via Facebook, email or other GPS devices. Future versions will integrate the ability for BMW Financial Service customers to gain points and achieve high rankings. As the first automotive channel, and specifically captive finance organization, to create a branded social navigation tool, BMW Group Financial Services defines itself as a consistent touch point with customers, … CONTINUED

08/02/2011    3:55 PM

Automakers have thrown their considerable weights behind green technology. This comes as no surprise given the seemingly ever climbing gas prices and stringent future CAFE standards. Electric driven vehicles, such as plug-in hybrids are gaining popularity amid these concerns. But does green technology spell the end of performance sports cars? Not if manufacturers such as BMW, Porsche, and even an upstart such Fisker Automotive have a say.

The two German powerhouses and American newcomer are each set to produce their own eco-friendly yet exotic, sleek, low slung plug-in hybrid sports cars. Porsche’s offering is the Porsche 918 Spyder, a hybrid super car starting at $845,000. The Fisker Karma comes in at the other end of the price spectrum and starts at $95900. The just introduced BMW i8 … CONTINUED

06/02/2011    8:30 AM

BMW of North America today announced a national campaign comprised of television, print, online and radio advertising and a strong in-dealership message, all timed for the summer season and designed to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. The campaign, themed “DON’T TXT & DRIVE – When the Engine Starts the Texting Stops,” begins in early June and runs throughout the year.

“Distracted driving is an epidemic in America, and it has deadly consequences for thousands of people on our roads each year,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Putting a stop to these needless deaths, as well as hundreds of thousands of injuries, will require everyone to take personal responsibility for safe driving. I am grateful to BMW for their efforts to raise public awareness … CONTINUED

06/01/2011    3:20 PM

The full range of driver assistance systems and mobility services is now presented online in the BMW ConnectedDrive Online Guide. The bmw.connecteddrive.info portal provides an overview of the services currently available, along with thumbnail descriptions and downloads. It also gives information on their availability for various BMW models and when the services were first introduced, as well as the countries covered and the optional equipment required for using the various services.

With the BMW ConnectedDrive Online Guide , BMW presents a complete overview documenting its global technology leadership in the field of driver assistance systems and mobility services, as reflected both in the diversity of the range and in the quality of the various systems. The systematic development of networking technologies ranges from the first distance warning … CONTINUED

05/29/2011    10:30 AM

Here are some videos featuring the autonomous driving BMW 3-series cars, which can drive themselves (and demonstrate proper driving lines, braking, and accelerating) around tracks for which they’ve been programmed for, including the Nurburgring, Hockenheim, and now Laguna Seca.

The robotic 3-series also feature LED indicator lights which help drivers who takes control manually recognize how close or off of ideal driving lines they are at any given moment on the track. All this info can then be exported to the computer following the laps for immediate graphical analysis and demo on the computer to help the driver improve their next lap. We’d love to see this useful track trainer technology implemented at some point at BMW’s performance driving schools and M schools.

05/25/2011    7:50 PM

Damon Lavrinc at Autoblog brings news about full customizable LCD gauge displays coming to the “refreshed” 5-series and 7-series, which we take to mean the facelift / LCI versions of the current models – supposedly within 2 years time.

It appears that BMW’s two largest sedans will transition from black panel displays to full digital LCD displays where the tachometer, speedometer, fuel meter, and temperature gauge will all take a digital form. The display may also be customized to display navigation and infotainment info and take on different looks appropriate for the car being in sport or comfort mode.

We’ll lament the extinction of the physical needle and gauges in the F10 and F01, but we suspected that it was only a matter of time before full LCD … CONTINUED

05/11/2011    12:25 PM

BMW has been aggressive in developing and advancing technologies to increase energy management in its cars. The BMW navigation system may soon become a smart and integral part of these systems.

BMW is working on a new energy management system where the idea is to utilize the navigation system. The navigation would use an inputted address and plot out the route that is most energy efficient, as well as scheduling the car’s energy management activities and timing to maximize efficiency.

As an example, the on board computer could schedule the starter battery’s recharge using brake regenerative energy during a downhill portion of the trip, when the load on the engine is light.

This new way of looking at the navigation system’s utility – for use as more than just … CONTINUED