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Technology

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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 … CONTINUED

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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 … CONTINUED

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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 … CONTINUED

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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 … CONTINUED

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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 … CONTINUED

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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 … CONTINUED

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We bring you the first photos of a red F30 3-series sedan spied, showing the best F30 interior photos yet. The interior photos are telling, revealing a semi-black panel display, lane change assistant, and auto-start stop technology.

See our analysis and photos inside.

BMW Spyshot
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A new video demo by the Senior Engineer of the BMW Technology Group demonstrating the newest ConnectedDrive feature – BMW Apps (6NR option). Rob Passaro runs through the main features – integrated Web Radio, Facebook, Twitter, iPod, and Pandora functions. Video inside.

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Some interesting BMW transmission development news comes via Automobile and Autoblog from the just concluded BMW Innovation Days in Munich. BMW is said to be currently developing a smart new 8-speed automatic transmission (with technology dubbed “Foresight”) which will know to downshift prior to the car entering corners or engaging hills, much as a manual driver would. The result is keeping the car in a proper ‘sweet spot’ gear and RPM range to allow for a sportier driving experience.

But that’s not all Foresight will do. According … CONTINUED

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Literally one highlight about the just announced BMW 6-Series Coupe are the Adaptive LED headlights. Available as optional equipment for the 6-Series Coupe, horizontal LED ribs positioned in the centre of the light rings are used as light sources for both low beam and high beam. Squared-off LED angel eyes and LED accent lights in the upper corner complete the visual appearance.

But, the LED headlights aren’t just a design feature, they also make for several technical advantages. According to BMW, “their bright white light provides an … CONTINUED

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For the first time following the launch of MINI Connected, the BMW Group is now also offering select iPhone applications for integrated use in a BMW. This capability sees the already extensive range of BMW ConnectedDrive features enhanced by a function hitherto unmatched by the competition. With this offer, BMW is once again underlining its leadership role in the field of in-car integration technology. The new option is designed to improve the integration of the Apple iPhone in the car and will be available from March … CONTINUED

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Dependable and accurate against traffic congestion: BMW ConnectedDrive presents a new generation of traffic information. Denser coverage for road networks in several European countries, more detailed information, more frequent updating, optimised re-routing recommendations – BMW Navigation System Professional with Real-Time Traffic Information (RTTI) from BMW ConnectedDrive will be available in all new BMW models from autumn 2011