In the BMW 7 Series, numerous microprocessors ease driver's life

July 24, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The new BMW 7 Series, to be rolled out these days, is packed full of electronics. The designs show in which direction the industry currently goes - and what middle-class and compact-class car drivers likely can expect in several years.

While the most visible electronic feature are the new full-LED headlights, the most significant innovation is located in the passenger compartment - or, to be more exact, in the electronics compartment between the engine and the passenger compartment. The multifunctional instrument display behind the steering wheel takes its cues from the driver's needs as fully adaptable to the driver's needs. Extended black-panel technology opens up a new range of display options through the 10.25-inch screen. The instruments are presented using different colours and graphics depending on the driving mode selected, and provide situation-specific information such as status and function. Three basic driving philosophies - Comfort, Sport and Eco Pro - are directly translated into the way the instruments are visualized.

The control display in the centre of the instrument panel has also benefited from visual and technical improvements and now uses high-resolution 3D graphics. At the same level of advanced technology as the centre display, the BMW ConnectedDrive portfolio includes new features that acknowledge the vehicles' position in the luxury segment.

Among the systems helping to maximize safety is BMW Night Vision system with Dynamic Light Spot. The system recognizes pedestrians even beyond the range of the high beam. Once a pedestrian has been identified, the system determines whether it is on a collision course and provides appropriate warning to the driver. In addition, the LED Dynamic Light Spots are used to pinpoint the detected object.

BMWs adaptive cruise control system with stop-and-go function has been enhanced. For an enhanced interpretation of the traffic situation ahead, the full-range radar sensors are now supplemented by a front-mounted camera on the rear-view mirror. When driving in heavy-flowing traffic or traffic jams, the driver is able to safely move along with the flow and let the vehicle's automatic systems handle the tasks of stopping and pulling away again as well as approaching junctions where there are already vehicles waiting ahead. Combining radar and