08 Jan Updates from CES 2015: Another Year of BMW Innovation
Last year BMW made a splash at CES by letting attendees test drive the i3 before its release.
Test drives are a big part of BMW’s CES presence again this year as they are running an anti-collision demo on their Active Assist vehicles. One of the early news stories was from The Verge, who reported trying and failing to crash a self-parking BMW. The car uses sensors which allow it to avoid objects, avoiding damage from sharp turns, tight parking spots and oncoming objects.
Touchscreens and Gesture Controls
An additional improvement demonstrated by BMW at CES is the new iDrive interface, featuring a touchscreen and gesture controls. This system allows the driver to access the navigation system, control their radio and take phone calls. Gestures, such as rotating a hand, control radio volume and internal temperature. Incoming calls can be swiped left or right to accept or reject. There is also a virtual keyboard. For rear-seat passengers, a tablet allows control of in-car entertainment and comfort functions.
There is also an optional key fob with an LCD display screen which shows information such as fuel level. The touchscreen can be swiped for menus which show if the car is locked, windows are open, or if the car is due for service.
i Home Charging Stations
One of the biggest announcements from BMW at CES 2015, is the i Home Charging Services package. For car owners with solar panels on their homes, the cars will charge when their panels are generating excess electricity. This will save money and be more environmentally friendly. BMW says the i Home Charging Services package can save their customer us to $800 in operating cost per year.