Since 2018, the BMW Group has been using various AI applications in series production. One focus is automated image recognition: In these processes, artificial intelligence evaluates component images in ongoing production and compares them in milliseconds to hundreds of other images of the same sequence. This way, the AI application determines deviations from the standard in real time and checks, for instance, whether all required parts have been mounted and whether they are mounted in the right place.
The innovative technology is fast, reliable and, most importantly, easy to use. Christian Patron, Head of Innovation, Digitalization and Data Analytics at BMW Group Production: “Artificial intelligence offers great potential. It helps us maintain our high quality standards and at the same time relieves our people of repetitive tasks.”
At the BMW Group, flexible, cost-effective, AI-based applications are gradually replacing permanently installed camera portals. The implementation is rather simple. A mobile standard camera is all that is needed to take the relevant pictures in production. The AI solution can be set up quickly too: Employees take pictures of the component from different angles and mark potential deviations on the images. This way, they create an image database in order to build a so-called neural network, which can later evaluate the images without human intervention. Employees do not have to write code; the algorithm does that virtually on its own. At the training stage, which may mean overnight, a high-performance server calculates the neural network from around 100 images, and the network immediately starts optimizing. After a test run and possibly some adjustments, the reliability reaches 100%. The learning process is completed and the neural network can now determine on its own whether or not a component meets the specifications.
Even moving objects are reliably identified largely independent of factors such as lighting in the production area or the exact camera position. This opens up a wide range of potential applications along the entire automotive process chain, including logistics. In many cases, the AI technology relieves employees of repetitive, monotonous tasks such as checking whether the warning triangle is in the right place in the trunk or whether the windscreen wiper cap has been put on.
Artificial intelligence can also perform more demanding inspection tasks.
In the final inspection area at the BMW Group’s Dingolfing plant, an AI application compares the vehicle order data with a live image of the model designation of the newly produced car. Model designations and other identification plates such as “xDrive” for four-wheel drive vehicles as well as all generally approved combinations are stored in the image database. If the live image and order data don’t correspond, for example if a designation is missing, the final inspection team receives a notification.
Christian Patron: “We rely entirely on the experience and expertise of our employees in these efforts. They can judge best at which production steps an AI application may improve quality and efficiency. We deliberately keep the setup and implementation of such applications simple. Their operation requires no advanced IT proficiency.”
AI eliminates pseudo-defects
At the press shop, flat sheet metal parts are turned into high-precision components for the car body. Dust particles or oil residues that remain on the components after forming can easily be confused with very fine cracks, which occur in rare cases during the process. Previous camera-based quality control systems at the BMW Group’s plant in Dingolfing, Germany, occasionally also marked these pseudo-defects: deviations from the target, even though there was no actual fault. With the new AI application, these pseudo-defects no longer occur because the neural network can access around 100 real images per feature – i.e. around 100 images of the perfect component, 100 images with dust particles, another 100 images with oil droplets on the component, etc. This is particularly relevant in the case of the visually close calls that have previously led to pseudo-defects.
The BMW Group’s Steyr plant and the BMW Group Data Analytics Team are also successfully working on eliminating pseudo-defects. Presumed irregularities in torque measurement in the engine cold test later often turn out to be insignificant. Before introducing the AI solution, however, such results led to complex manual inspections and further test runs, up to and including hot tests with fuel. The analysis software was trained based on many recorded test runs and thus learned to distinguish between actual and presumed errors.
AI ‘in control’: Integrating artificial intelligence with facility and robot control systems.
The first smart AI control application at the BMW Group celebrated its premiere at the BMW Group’s Steyr plant. This application speeds up logistics processes by preventing unnecessary transports of empties on conveyor belts. To this end, the containers pass through a camera station. Using stored image data marked by employees, the AI application recognizes whether the container needs to be lashed onto a pallet or whether – in the case of large, stable boxes – no additional securing is required. If no lashing is required, the AI application directs a container by the shortest route to the removal station for the forklift truck. Containers that must be additionally secured, on the other hand, are guided directly to the conveyor section with the lashing system and only then to the removal station located behind. Previously, all containers had to be transported to the removal station for large containers. From there, the containers that required additional securing had to be forwarded – and would only reach the lashing facility and finally the correct removal station after taking this detour.
Besides the application in Steyr, AI is behind numerous other logistics innovations at the BMW Group. It also supports virtual layout planning, which creates high-resolution 3D scans of buildings and factories. Artificial intelligence ultimately contributes to the recognition of individual objects in the 3D scan, such as containers, building structures or machines. This allows engineers to remove individual objects from the 3D scan in the 3D planning software and to modify these individually, which makes it easier to simulate and understand adaptations on the shop floor.
There is already a distinct trend toward using AI applications at the BMW Group’s plants. The increasing integration of smart data analytics, state-of-the-art measurement technology and AI opens up new opportunities in production management. At the body shop, for instance, images from the final inspection may show that weld metal has sprayed out at the same welding point in several car bodies. Using AI, the control loop can thus be closed and system control or maintenance cycles be adjusted even faster and more efficiently. At the paint shops, AI and analytics applications offer the potential to detect sources of error at such an early stage that errors can hardly occur any more: If no dust attaches to the car body before painting in the first place, none has to be polished off later.
The world is constantly changing, whether we like it or not. I have to be brutally honest here.. I am at the age where the thought of owning or driving an electric vehicle, frankly, left me cold.
Like many of similar vintage to me, when we think we know best, we simply have to be presented with a few brutal facts to make us finally stop and think.
Never has this been brought so drastically to the fore, than it did at our latest BMW Drivers Club meeting, held in Dandenong at a modern industrial facility, building electric commercial vehicles.
We were invited by fellow club member Warren Fairweather, who, along with other members of his family, own and operate SEA Electric Trucks. This relatively new company kindly opened their doors to show us what they believe to be the way forward for the trucking and transport industry.
We were greeted with a massive spread of food, tea and coffee, the quality and quantity of which would put some catering businesses to shame.
Proceedings began with a talk by newly appointed Regional Director (Australia and New Zealand), Mr. Mark Cameron. Mark has had a long career in the truck and transport industry, and obviously knows that trade well. Some of the figures Mark quoted in his speech frankly shocked me, and for the first time ever made me question the world’s carbon emissions, and what MUST be done to reduce it. Even in the last couple of days, every time I see a diesel engine truck on the road, I think of what it and other trucks driving around are pumping into the atmosphere, all of them at frightening levels.
Enter SEA Electric. A company that is obviously forward thinking, and excited about what they are doing. At this moment in time, they have the ability to provide companies with fully electric vehicles from 4 to 24 tonne GVM. Which is really only the start, with constant and rapid improvements in battery technology and performance. The sky truly is the limit.
Production numbers are also about to increase, with plans to have a second facility in regional Victoria within the next 2 years.
We were then invited to walk through their large, pristine facility, and were able to view all variants of the vehicles into which they are implanting electric “Hearts”- Mini Buses, Delivery Vans, Garbage Trucks, 6 Wheelers, and even a couple of cars, the Brand of which you would never have imagined could or would have become “electrified”. I wont drop any names but some of the logos on vehicles being prepared were of some very high profile, and what I would describe as visionary and “forward thinking” organisations.
It’s a well worn saying, but we really could have eaten our meal off the factory floor, such was the pristine condition of the entire premises.
So, what was the big thing I got out of this night? The answer will be similar to most others that attended, that we must start to think more of the environment than ever before. Maybe not for ourselves, but for our children, and our children’s children.
I offer a vote of thanks, to Warren and Tony Fairweather, (not forgetting Mrs. Fairweather, too) Mark Cameron, and all the staff at SEA Electric, for opening our eyes.
The future for road transport it’s bright, it’s clean, it’s sustainable. And most certainly, it’s Electric..
Steve Garth | Member #40
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
The new BMW X6 blends the agile and versatile driving properties of a Sports Activity Vehicle with the head-turning looks of a coupe. The third-generation X6 employs a clean, exclusive design language to underscore its confident and commanding appearance. And advanced powertrain and chassis technology teams up with a wealth of innovations to deliver a uniquely sporting yet also luxurious driving experience. Like its predecessor, the new BMW X6 will be produced in the US at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg. The market launch will begin in November 2019.
Dynamically stretched proportions exude sporting prowess.
The new BMW X6 has grown by 26 millimetres in exterior length over the outgoing model (to 4,935 mm) and by 15 mm in width (to 2,004 mm). It now stands 6 mm lower (at 1,696 mm) and combines dynamically stretched proportions with exceptional visual muscularity. The car’s wheelbase has increased by 42 mm to 2,975 millimetres.
The large, single-frame BMW kidney grille is the most striking feature of the front end, the outer edges of the kidney grille now approaching the headlights at a clearly defined angle. The new BMW X6 is available for the first time as an option with an illuminated BMW kidney grille, which adds an exclusive flourish to the exterior design. The illumination is activated by opening or closing the car, but the driver can switch it on and off manually too. This lighting function for the kidney grille is also available while driving.
If the optional BMW Laserlight with Adaptive LED headlights is specified, a BMW Laserlight spotlight with Selective Beam optimises the non-dazzling high beam function, whose range increases to around 500 metres. BMW Laserlight can be identified by the blue x-shaped elements inside the signature BMW twin headlights. The flanks of the new X6 are defined by familiar BMW proportions, a crisply drawn character line and the dynamic roofline. 19-inch light-alloy wheels are fitted as standard, with other wheel variants ranging in size from 20 to 22 inches available as an option. The BMW X6 M50i and BMW X6 M50d come with 21-inch light-alloy wheels as standard.
The new BMW X6 is available from launch in xLine and M Sport model variants as an alternative to standard specification. The two equipment lines each have their own distinctive design cues.
Interior: an exclusive ambience imbued with sporting flair.
The interior of the new BMW X6 is geared squarely to delivering an exclusive and dynamic driving experience. Clear structures lend the cabin a modern and sporty appearance. The design of the cockpit, complete with the new arrangement and design of the control elements, represents a progressive re‑interpretation of the driver focus for which BMW is renowned. The new BMW X6 comes as standard with Vernasca leather upholstery.
The interior offers a high degree of variability, thanks to 40:20:40 split rear seat backrests that can be folded down to increase boot capacity from 580 to 1,530 litres. Highlight equipment features from the list of optional extras include multifunction seats with massage function for the driver and front passenger, four-zone automatic climate control, thermoelectric cup holders, glass applications for selected controls, the Panorama glass roof Sky Lounge, the Ambient Air interior fragrancing package and the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond+ 3D Surround Sound System.
Four powerful engines and an M duo from launch.
The line-up of engines available for the new BMW X6 from launch includes two petrol units and a pair of diesel variants from the latest generation. The model line-up is spearheaded by a BMW M model with a newly developed 390 kW/530 hp V8 petrol engine. The BMW X6 M50i (fuel consumption combined: 10.7–10.4 l/100 km [26.4–27.2 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 243–237 g/km)* is joined in the range by the BMW X6 M50d (fuel consumption combined: 7.2–6.9 l/100 km [39.2‑40.9 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 190–181 g/km)* with 294 kW/400 hp six-cylinder in‑line diesel engine and a quartet of turbochargers. A straight-six petrol unit with output of 250 kW/340 hp sees action in the BMW X6 xDrive40i (fuel consumption combined: 8.6–8.0 l/100 km [32.8–35.3 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 197–181 g/km)*, and the BMW X6 xDrive30d (fuel consumption combined: 6.6–6.1 l/100 km [42.8–46.3 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 172–159 g/km)* employs a six-cylinder in-line diesel with 195 kW/265 hp. All variants of the new BMW X6 fulfil the requirements of the EU6d-TEMP emissions standard. The M Sport exhaust system fitted as standard on both M models is also available as an option for the other versions of the BMW X6 or as part of the M Sport package, and gives the car an unmistakable and emotionally rich aural presence.
All new BMW X6 models come as standard with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission, while intelligent all-wheel drive maximises traction, agility and directional stability. The latest generation of the BMW xDrive system once again splits drive torque between the front and rear wheels variably and as the situation demands – only now with even greater precision and speed. In situations which do not require all-wheel drive, drive can be channelled entirely to the rear wheels in the interests of efficiency. The xDrive system also maintains a rear-wheel bias in particularly dynamic driving situations. The car’s sporting attributes are aided by the electronically controlled M differential lock at the rear axle available as part of M Sport specification or in conjunction with the optional xOffroad package.
Perfectly tuned chassis systems enhance sporting responses, comfort levels and off-road prowess.
A double-wishbone front axle and five-link rear axle give the new BMW X6 the ideal suspension tools to deliver dynamism and ride comfort on the road, plus unshakable traction off the beaten track. Dynamic Damper Control is included as standard, the Adaptive M suspension Professional with active roll stabilisation and Integral Active Steering endows the car with exceptionally agile and dynamic driving qualities, and the new BMW X6 is also available with two-axle air suspension including automatic self-levelling. The car’s height can be altered at the touch of a button in the cockpit through a maximum 80 millimetres. An off-road package is available for all model variants with the exception of the BMW X6 M50i and BMW X6 M50d, allowing the driver to choose from four modes that optimise progress over snow, sand, gravel or rocks respectively. And at the press of a button, they can also activate the ideal settings for the vehicle’s ride height, the xDrive system, accelerator response, transmission control and the DSC system’s corrective inputs.
Innovative driver assistance systems offering new functions.
An extensive selection of standard and optional driver assistance systems mark out the new BMW X6 as an exceptionally innovative Sports Activity Coupe. Fresh from the addition of myriad new functions, the systems do an extremely effective job in enhancing comfort and safety. Standard specification for the new BMW X6 includes Cruise Control with braking function and the Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, which also alerts the driver when a cyclist is detected. The Active Cruise Control system with Stop & Go function is available as an option. The Driving Assistant Professional can also be found on the options list for the new BMW X6. This complete package of safety- and comfort-enhancing tech includes both the steering and lane control assistant with Traffic jam assistant and lane keeping assistant with active side collision protection. The Evasion Assistant is another component of the Driving Assistant Professional, as are the rear collision warning, road priority warning and wrong-way driving warning systems, crossing traffic warning, Lane Change Warning and the Emergency Stop Assistant. The innovative reversing assistant, which helps the driver when exiting parking spaces and manoeuvring within a confined space, represents another step en route to automated driving.
BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is on hand to help the driver.
The BMW Live Cockpit Professional in the new BMW X6 combines a new display and operating concept with unbeatable connectivity. It includes a high-resolution instrument cluster and a Control Display, both with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches. The new BMW X6 comes with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, an intelligent digital character who responds to the prompt “Hey BMW”. One unique feature over other digital assistants is that drivers can choose their own name for him. The arrival of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant ensures there is always a genuine BMW professional on board. He is able to explain all sorts of different functions, provide up-to-date information and assist the driver. The range of functions and skills available will be constantly expanded as part of regular updates, which can be carried out seamlessly on a smartphone and in‑car via Remote Software Upgrade.
Click a photo above to enlarge it.
As part of the DTM weekend at the Norisring (GER), the legendary BMW M1 Procar series is making a comeback. Numerous iconic drivers such as Hans-Joachim Stuck (GER), Marc Surer (SUI), Harald Grohs (GER) and Jan Lammers (NED) will be involved.
Thrilling battles for position between Formula 1 drivers and international privateers in identical BMW M1 cars made every race in the series, launched 40 years ago, a spectacular event. On the Nuremberg street circuit, 14 of the 470 hp mid-engine sports cars built according to Group 4 regulations will revive the passion of the Procar series founded specifically for the racetrack debut of the BMW M1.
“I’m really looking forward to the revival of the BMW M1 Procar series,” said Stuck. “The combination of the six fastest Formula 1 drivers and cool privateers hasn’t been seen since. Then there is the unique sound of the BMW M1. That is unique to this day. I just want to enjoy the ride. It really doesn’t matter to me whether I finish second, third or fourth. I want to drive the car, hear it and experience it. I’ve won enough races in my life.”
To mark the occasion of the Procar Revival, BMW Group Classic has lined up numerous acclaimed drivers to return to the BMW M1 cockpit. In the 1980 Procar race at the Norisring Hans-Joachim Stuck won ahead of Jan Lammers and Marc Surer – all three legends will be reunited in Nuremberg this weekend. Also lining up will be Harald Grohs, who won the first ever race in the DTM 35 years ago at Zolder in Belgium, with a BMW 635 CSi.
MONTH IN REVIEW
June is over and we're at the halfway mark of 2019. Winter is in full swing and we're already dreaming of the warmer Spring days on the horizon (well, almost).
Our first event in June was our June Members Meeting hosted by South Yarra BMW. It was great to see some new faces and also hear from Chris Sager about the 2019 Geelong Revival.
We were then invited to a special BMW Australia presentation where we met Calvin Luk, the exterior designer of the X1, X3 and the new Z4. Those who attended had a fantastic day learning about how Calvin got to where he is now and the design process.
We then went on a weekend away over Queen's Birthday Weekend with Club MINI, starting at Essendon BMW on Saturday morning and finishing at Dunkeld on Monday. It was really fantastic to see all the different silo artwork, it's really amazing how they do it!
Next, we went to Broadford for Round 4 of the Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers' Championship. This was the first time we have hired a track in our own right, and it was a great success. We had lots of members attend to help, as well as all those that came to drive. Our day was matched with perfect weather, meaning perfect driving conditions.
We then finished our month with St Johns First Aid Training where we had a full day of learning about CPR, Emergency Life Support and General First Aid. We look forward to running more of these in the future!
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: 402 MEMBERS
Welcome to all our new members, we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event!
Don't forget to catch up with this month's update from our President, Graeme Bell here.
THE MONTH AHEAD
Here's our plans for July:
Keep an eye on our calendar for events coming up, we’re always adding something new.
NEWS | BLOG
CAMS Speed Read
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President | Graeme Bell 0407 186 296
Vice President | Jo Mawson 0412 661 900
Secretary | Lawrence Glynn 0414 563 290
Treasurer | Shaaron Glynn
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
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June was another very busy month, we started with the Monthly Member’s meeting at South Yarra BMW. Many thanks to Riley and the Staff for a lovely evening checking out all the new cars and sampling the treats they had for us. We also had Chris from Geelong Revival come along and tell us all about this year’s Geelong Revival and how the organisers are featuring our Club and BMW in a special area, both to celebrate BMW’s 40th anniversary in Australia, and also to celebrate our own achievements as a Club. It will be a great event to come along to and many thanks to Geelong Revival for offering us this very special opportunity.
We had a few members take their cars up to Winton for the Historics and put on a display and a lot of interest was shown in Lawrence’s little 700, as always, it is such an interesting car.
We had a very special invitation from BMW Group Australia, to come to Head Office in Mulgrave to meet and chat with the designer of the new BMW Z4, Calvin Luk. What a lovely young man. There were around 30 of our members, plus a few from BMW Car Club Victoria and the BMW Motorcycle Club who all had the chance to listen to Calvin tell his story of designing the new Z4 as well as how he came to work for BMW, very interesting. One of those events that can just pop up, so ensure you keep and eye on emails and the club calendar, you just never know when something special like this will happen.
On the Queen’s Birthday Weekend we went away touring the countryside, taking in the Murray Valley, Silo Art Trail and returning through the Grampians. What a fantastic event in every way. We had 40 people from DCM and Club MINI come along and enjoy some fantastic touring roads, lovely nights in nice motels and visited so many wonderful places along the route. Many thanks to Peter Williams for the drive route planning and Jo for her usual impeccable planning. Everyone had a ball and we got to see so many different aspects of our state. The group looked amazing on the road, if you look on the facebook page you will see some videos of us as well as lots of photos.
Next, we went to Broadford for Round 4 of the Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers' Championship. This was the first time we have hired a track in our own right, and it was a great success. We had lots of members come and help, as well as all those that attended and drove, and I must say a special thank you to them for coming and volunteering to help the club run such a good event. It was perfect weather as well and all had a great day out. There were quite a few people from other clubs there too and everyone had plenty of track time, with no incidents or hold ups to slow the day. Thanks again for coming and I look forward to our next track day at Winton on 20 July.
This month, we also ran a special event at the Shannons facility in Heatherton, where we held St John’s First Aid course for members to come along and learn about CPR, Emergency Life Support and General First Aid. This was an invaluable course, as the skills learned could come in handy at any time and could possible help someone save a life one day. I recommend everyone to do one of these courses if they can, you just never know what is around the corner. I personally have been the recipient of emergency first aid and when it counts these skills will save a life! The committee is thinking of running this as an annual event too, so if you are interested, let Jo or I know. This is actually a RTO Certificate Course, so as well as a few new skills you get a nationally recognised Certificate as well.
Amazingly, half the year is gone already, and July has some great events to look out for, our Members Meeting on Tuesday 2 July looks very interesting, visiting an electric truck company that manufactures and exports electric trucks. Christmas in July is always a very popular and fun event, this year with a drive and lunch in the hills at Noojee. I wonder if it will snow this year, regardless, it will be a fun event, with the usual silly jumper competition etc. Look out for other events on the calendar too, always something coming up, whether it’s one of our events or something we are invited to by one of the clubs we do events with.
At our Driver Training & 2019 Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers' Championship Round 5 at Winton, we have invited BMW Car Club Victoria, BMW Drivers Club NSW and BMW Car Club Canberra to join us to continue the tradition of what used to be a fantastic weekend of inter club fun and on track (friendly) rivalry between the NSW and Victorian Clubs and we would love and make this another fantastic inter-club event on the calendar each year. We need our members to enter and compete for the inaugural BMW Club Champion of Winton that we are instigating, where each driver will compete for points toward their club winning a perpetual trophy for the event each year. Not sure how we will work this out just yet, but should be a bit of fun anyway… Of course, if you’d like to come and help us run the event, we are always welcoming of anyone that would like to help as an official for the day.
There are a couple of events coming up in following months that you should start thinking about too. Our first AGM will be in October, if anyone is thinking of standing for a position on the committee, keep an eye out for notices in the next few months. The Bathurst 12 Hour package we did for 2019 is open now. If you’d like to join us at the Mountain for one of the best motorsport events you will ever see, contact Jo for details on inclusions and prices. The December weekend away with NSW and Canberra Clubs will be up soon too, again, another fantastic event that will happen every year.
Membership is now at 402. We are very happy with the retention rate of members and the continued growth of our little club. Thank you to all of you that continue to support the club, and welcome to all the new members, I hope you enjoy everything the club has to offer.
I look forward to seeing you at an event soon. If you have an idea for an event, don’t hesitate to tell us, we are always open to new ideas and welcome member input to make the club what you want it to be.
Graeme Bell | President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
P.O. Box 81, TYABB, VICTORIA. 3913
Incorporated in Victoria #A0102695GBMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc is a member of:BMW Clubs Australia and the BMW Clubs International CouncilCAMS Affiliated Motorsport Club
The digital BMW ecosystem: early insights into myBMW.
The BMW Group #NEXTGen event provided exclusive background information on what the future holds for the myBMW digital ecosystem. All BMW Group and NOW services, along with mobility services and products, will be pooled together under this name. Products and services will be split into My Car, My Life and My Journey categories, presenting customers with a single gateway into an all-encompassing portfolio of personal mobility-enhancing offerings. The BMW Group will reveal further details on myBMW at the IAA Cars 2019 motor show in Frankfurt on 12 – 22 September.
“Hey BMW, what’s your favourite colour?”. Chatting away with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.
Since March 2019 the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant has been available in a large number of models fitted with BMW Operating System 7.0. Responding to the prompt “Hey BMW”, the intelligent, digital character helps the driver, learns their preferences, knows their favoured settings and is an expert on everything to do with the vehicle. Thanks to the regular Remote Software Upgrades supplied over the air for seamless installation directly into the vehicle, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant acquires new skills all the time, enhancing and expanding his capabilities. The next upgrade will make it possible to enjoy casual chats with him and engage in brief, entertaining exchanges.
Amazon Alexa in BMW and MINI models.
Seamless integration of Amazon Alexa is now available for a host of BMW and MINI models, enabling customers to access many of the Alexa functions they already use at home while out and about in their car. They can ask Alexa questions, get weather forecasts and traffic information, catch up on sporting events, listen to tracks from Amazon Music or TuneIn, or check out audio books from Audible. Appointments and to-do lists or shopping lists can likewise be managed simply by speaking. Added to which, the Control Display in the BMW or MINI also provides visual feedback for the selected content. And Alexa even makes it possible for customers to operate compatible smart-home devices, such as lamps, thermostats and automatic garage doors, from their car.
The BMW Digital Key turns smartphones into car keys.
The Digital Key dispenses with the need for a conventional car key. Employing Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, it allows the new BMW 8 Series Coupe and other models in the BMW range to be locked and unlocked from a smartphone. Holding the smartphone up to the door handle opens the car. Once inside, the engine can be started as soon as the phone has been placed in the wireless charging or smartphone tray. Accessed via BMW Connected, the Digital Key can optionally be shared with up to five other people. The BMW Digital Key is currently available for all NFC-capable Samsung Galaxy devices running Android 8.0 and above.
Digital charging services for electric cars.
The charging services from BMW put an end to the stress of searching for an available charging station. Customers can check the probable availability of a specific station along the selected route before they begin their journey. Once they are within 20 minutes’ drive of the intended charging station, they can also reserve a space directly from their car. And if that car happens to be a BMW plug-in hybrid, they will additionally earn valuable iMILES bonus points for any sections of electric driving recorded within the BMW eDrive Zones. These can then be exchanged for extra charging credit at all ChargeNow stations.
For more than 90 years, the 2-cylinder boxer engine has been a key element of the BMW Motorrad identity, in both technological and visual terms. But as the BMW Group consistently pursues electrification, the question arises as to what a BMW motorcycle might look like that is electrically powered? And how would it reveal itself at first sight to be a BMW? One possible answer to these questions is provided by the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster, a highly emotional naked bike with electric drive.
“The boxer engine is the heart of BMW Motorrad – an absolute stalwart of its character. But BMW Motorrad stands for visionary zero-emissions vehicle concepts, too. In view of this, one question that arises is: what would happen if we were to replace the boxer engine with an electric motor and the required battery? The Vision Bike shows how we’re able to retain the identity and iconic appearance of BMW Motorrad in distinctive form while at the same time presenting an exciting new type of riding pleasure,” explains Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad. “After all: anyone who’s ever tried it out in practice knows very well that riding on two wheels is just as exciting when its electrically powered! The high level of torque right at set-off makes for breath taking acceleration. This almost brutal power delivery creates a whole new experience of dynamic performance. And the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster puts a face to this experience.”
New drive, familiar appearance.
In a motorcycle, the motor is the centrepiece – it is the fundamental element, providing the basis for the entire architecture. But electrical drive components have completely different requirements in terms of installation space. While in a conventional motorbike the size of the engine is mainly determined by its capacity, it is the battery that takes up most space in the case of an electrically powered vehicle. The electric motor itself is relatively compact. Starting from this new basis, the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster is able to make this transfer – retaining the iconic appearance of a boxer while filling it with a new function. This is why the Vision Bike is instantly recognisable as a BMW motorcycle, revealing its electric nature on closer inspection.
Replacing what would previously have been the engine, there is now a vertically fitted, longitudinally oriented battery. For cooling purposes, two side elements protrude with cooling ribs and integrated ventilators. As in the boxer engine of the BMW R 32 – the development of which was masterminded by Max Friz in 1923 – the cooling elements are placed in the air stream. The cylinder-shaped electric motor is positioned underneath the battery and is directly connected to the universal shaft. The BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster thus demonstrates a clever drive architecture that visually echoes the history of BMW Motorrad while at the same time taking it a step further.
Dynamic performance reflected in the proportions.
In the side view, the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster presents a highly dynamic gesture with clear front-wheel orientation. The low front section and the short, high rear convey a sense of agility. Instead of the fuel tank, a flat, finely-wrought tubular structure spans the vehicle corpus. Its further shaping integrates the seat in a modern form, thereby creating the flyline of a sporty roadster. The frame structure is a key factor in defining the dynamic side view.
The large battery with its laterally protruding cooling systems is positioned at the centre of a frame milled from aluminium. The three-dimensional surface finish on the battery trim conveys a contemporary aesthetic appeal with its precise contours. The cooling elements echo the slight forward tilt of the battery silhouette, giving the side a dynamic momentum. When starting the electric motor, these cooling elements move out slightly, indicating that the bike is ready to go.
High performance with a light touch.
The overall appearance of the BMW Motorrad Vision DC conveys a sense of lightness so as to emphasise driving dynamics. Elements such as the seat and the cooling system appear to hover around the battery. On the frame itself, lengthwise milled grooves create a fascinating visual effect, reducing the perceived volume and highlighting the bike’s longitudinal dynamics. This impression is further underscored by means of openings in the milled aluminium frame and the tubular frame structure arranged above it. High-tech materials such as carbon fibre and aluminium reduce the overall weight and give the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster a technical aesthetic. Meanwhile, red contrast elements and brushed aluminium at selected points such as the battery, frame and cool systems emphasise the bike’s innovative geometry.
High-quality details on closer inspection.
A key element of the BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster’s captivating overall appeal is the elaborate finish to be found in all its details. Within the mainly dark colour concept, it is the mechanical elements such as the exposed universal shaft and the Duolever fork that add striking accentuations. In this case, the two classic BMW features are re-interpreted and elaborately showcased. In the same way, the suggested triangular frame echoes a typical feature of earlier BMW motorcycle models, even recapturing its white lines, which in this instance fluoresce in the dark. The minimalist design of the front and rear lights is an iconic implementation of the hallmark BMW Motorrad lighting, reflecting maximum reduction in modern style. The headlamp shows the LED daytime riding light in a dynamic, flat U shape, while two compact LED lenses on each side provide the low and high beam. This creates a hallmark lighting design that makes the concept vehicle instantly recognisable as a BMW motorcycle – both during the day and at night. The rear light consists of two C-shaped LED elements which are integrated in the aluminium rear carrier in minimalist, technically high-quality form. On the flanks of the tires exclusively made by Metzeler for the Vision Bike, five fluorescent elements, each about the size of a postage stamp, are integrated. They combine innovative design with safety aspects: standing and moving, the lighting elements create an exciting graphic effect. In darkness, they increase the visibility from the side and thus providing more security. They also convey dynamics when in motion.
Smart rider equipment.
The functional two-piece suit is not instantly recognisable as protective clothing: it is an outfit that primarily stands as a modern, emotional fashion statement. The light jacket with large graphics in iridescent colouring and the casually styled black trousers combine fashion sense with new functionalities. The protectors are sewn in almost invisibly, while integrated technologies enable various light functions as well as the digital connectivity of the future. An asymmetrical rucksack vest rounds off the rider equipment for the vision vehicle. Fixed to the jacket by means of magnets, it provides storage space and additional functionality. The permanent magnets means that the rucksack is quick to put on and take off.
Symbol of a new generation.
The BMW Motorrad Vision DC Roadster is a visionary symbol of the future of BMW Motorrad with alternative drive forms. It showcases the electrically powered driving experience in honest, authentic form, in particular creating a new, distinctive aesthetic appeal that is still firmly rooted in the finest BMW tradition.
How will we be moved in the future? BMW Group Design is already shaping how we will experience Sheer Driving Pleasure in the future. The innovative fields of Autonomous Driving, Connectivity, Electrification and Services (ACES) will open up totally new opportunities and experiences – and, at the same time, herald a paradigm shift in the automotive industry. The BMW Group views design as the key to this future: It gives shape to areas of innovation and brings technology to life. Design also has the power to think beyond the possible and set ambitious developments in motion. The BMW Group already showed this with the first BMW X5, which effectively invented the SUV segment; the iDrive Controller, which is found in virtually every vehicle in one form or another these days, or its BMW i models. They were all the first of their kind and made a permanent impression on the automotive world.
We design experiences.
In the future, drivers will be able to choose whether they want to be driven autonomously (in EASE Mode) or drive themselves (in BOOST Mode). EASE and BOOST moments form the basis for the design of every future BMW model. In a nutshell, the concept is: “EASE your Life – BOOST your Moment.” The EASE and BOOST experiences illustrate what BMW Group Design aspires to and also what future products could look like: The purpose of design goes far beyond deciding shape and form. BMW Group Design creates experiences. The automobile is no longer just a “vehicle”; it can be a place for relaxation, interaction, entertainment and concentration. At the same time, it can also become the ultimate driving machine, enabling customers to experience new aspects of driving dynamics. The car will be transformed into a new kind of living space dedicated to people’s needs and wants. The BMW Group Design is applying the ACES fields of innovation in all their different forms to create this experience space.
EASE your Life – BOOST your Moment.
What these experiences could look like in the future in concrete form is shown by the two Vision Vehicles: the BMW Vision iNEXT, unveiled in 2018, and the brand-new BMW Vision M NEXT. Each represents a prototypical implementation of the future BMW experience worlds of “EASE” (BMW Vision iNEXT) and “BOOST” (BMW Vision M NEXT). EASE encompasses all experiences that occur while the vehicle is taking care of driving tasks itself; BOOST, on the other hand, is all about the ultimate, active driving experience. In the upcoming product range, BMW Group Design will realise a wide range of experiences where these two versions meet in the near future.
A first aid course, something more people should do to enhance their knowledge and experience - you just never know when you might need one of the skills we learned.
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne ran a St John’s First Aid Certificate Course at Shannons in Heatherton and it was excellent. Along with the online pre-course we all did, it packed all the information and practical experience of a two-day course into a full single day certificate course. So, all that attended come away with a nationally recognised first aid certificate.
The course covered everything from CPR and using a Defibrillator machine to breaks and bruises to cuts and bites and stings, all the things we could come across in life any day.
Thanks to Owen from St John’s for being an excellent teacher and presenter and helping us all to pass the final exam with flying colours.
We not only came away with a bit of extra knowledge, but also a bag of bandages, masks and slings and other things that can be a great help in an emergency.
I highly recommend everyone to do one of these courses if you get the opportunity. You just never know when a little bit of knowledge will be a good thing to have.
Graeme Bell | Member #1
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
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