While BMW ConnectedDrive has been tying technology like mobile phones or GPS navigation into the driving experience for over a decade, BMW is taking a new step toward a future where vehicles can communicate with other vehicles to provide assistance to the driver. Aptly called Car-to-X communication, the new technology from BMW is designed to provide a safer driving experience. For instance, a driver that starts signaling for a left turn on a busy road will continue to see vehicle alerts on the dashboard until the left side of the road is clear to make the turn. This can be invaluable in situations where there is limited visibility due to a hairpin curve or a large building obscuring the view.
The same concept can be applied when pulling out onto a busy road from a driveway or perhaps from a parking spot. BMW also plans to design the technology to warn other drivers of hazards in the road, adverse weather conditions or bumper-to-bumper traffic. For instance, a car that runs over a hazard in the road would automatically issue a warning to the next vehicle that reaches that area. When a vehicle comes to a stop at a slowdown in traffic while on a morning commute, the drivers of the incoming vehicles see an alert in the dashboard and are aware of the upcoming stoppage. The technology can also be applied to police and other emergency vehicles issuing a warning to drivers about pulling to the side of the road. BMW also hopes to try this technology into traffic light systems.
Car-to-x communication currently operates through mobile phone connections or WLAN. There are currently latency issues with using mobile phone connections, but BMW claims that these will improve over time. High-speed WLAN networking is currently more suitable for the real-time communication between automobiles.