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BMW's new 5 Series debuts Remote 3D View camera feature

BMW is being very coy about its next-generation 5 Series sedan, which is set to debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show in about a month.

Instead of relating details about the car itself, BMW is dropping hints about related technologies, like the Remote 3D View system that will be available on the new 5 Series when it launches next year. Remote 3D View allows drivers to get a 360-degree 3D view of a car on their smartphones. That’s about all BMW has to say about it for now, though.

The system appears to work like the existing in-car Surround View setup, which gives the driver a 360-degree bird’s eye view of the car on the dashboard screen during low-speed maneuvers. Several carmakers offer similar systems, but BMW may be the first to try to export the feature to smartphones. But how will BMW drivers use that ability?

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While BMW hasn’t confirmed anything, it would make sense for Remote 3D View to be paired with remote parking, which is already offered on the larger BMW 7 Series in Europe. Remote-parking systems allow the driver to get out of the car and let it park itself. Having a full overhead view of the car and its surroundings would make monitoring that process a bit easier.

Just as the true purpose of Remote 3D View remains a mystery, so does the next-generation 5 Series itself. Reports so far have indicated that the new model will get a plug-in hybrid variant, alongside a mix of turbocharged four-cylinder and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. The M5 performance variant will return, as will the rather strange 5 Series Gran Turismo hatchback. Expect BMW to pile on technology to compete with rival Mercedes-Benz’s redesigned E-Class.

The 5 Series will be revealed at the 2016 Paris Motor Show at the end of next month, and will likely go on sale next year as a 2017 model. Check back with DT for more updates on this high-tech luxury sedan and other goings-on in Paris.