BMW Group to become the first premium manufacturer with 5G in series production.

BMW Group to become the first premium manufacturer with 5G in series production.

11.11.2020: BMW #NEXTGen 2020 The BMW iX will now go one step further by becoming the first premium model to be equipped with 5G mobile technology. 5G offers extremely high data bandwidth and low latency – meaning fast data transmission – and also expands th


BMW #NEXTGen 2020




The BMW iX will now go one step further by becoming the first premium model to be equipped with 5G mobile technology. 5G offers extremely high data bandwidth and low latency – meaning fast data transmission – and also expands the possibilities for connectivity between the vehicle and its environment. It forms the basis for real-time reception and transmission of data and sensor system information to the BMW cloud.



Together with the improved quality of service offered by the 5G network, this will bring about significant enhancements and innovations in the areas of entertainment, infotainment, automated driving and road safety. The high data transmission rates will additionally enable a far greater degree of cloudification. This involves transferring vehicle functions requiring a lot of computing power to the BMW cloud, where the combined performance of an entire computing centre is available with the ability to process vast quantities of data and complex tasks. The computed data is sent back to the car in a matter of milliseconds courtesy of 5G.



This cellular mobile technology and, most notably, the 5G standard also have the potential to connect vehicles with other road users. C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle to Everything) solutions allow cars, motorcycles, buses and trucks to communicate with one another, with the smartphones of pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders and even with the infrastructure directly without any need to connect to the mobile network. This enables information such as direction of travel to be shared in specific traffic situations and warnings of potential hazards to be transmitted.



5G is nothing less than the next level of connectivity and it represents a crucial advance for mobility’s next evolutionary step.




More complex functions, simpler operation.



The increasing functionality and connectivity of vehicles and their extensive digitalisation inevitably add to the complexity of the overall system. By contrast, vehicle operation is becoming simpler, more intuitive and more natural. This is made possible by increasing levels of intelligence and function automation on the one hand, but also through the deployment of shy tech and pared-down, clearly arranged controls like those in the BMW iX.



As vehicle intelligence increases, more complex functions can be taken off the driver’s hands, allowing the person at the wheel to focus purely on the essentials and the pleasure of driving. If on-board intelligence is handling more tasks and more information is being made available, this also means that the vehicle is playing a more active role in the interaction between human and machine.


After all, in a mobility context, vehicles sometimes know more than the driver: where the next free parking space or fast-charging point is, for example, or that heavy rain is starting to fall a few hundred metres further on, that a corridor for emergency vehicles needs to be formed in a couple of miles, or that there is an upcoming temporary speed limit due to moving roadworks – all information that is relevant for the driver.



What is crucial here is that the right information is presented in the right place at the right time, allowing the driver to react and interact in an appropriate manner for the situation at hand. Interaction design at BMW clearly focuses on multimodal operation using a combination of physical controls and touch, voice and gesture control.




Accumulated digital expertise in development.




At the BMW Group, a team of digital experts strive for perfection as they work together eagerly to integrate groundbreaking technologies into a car and fuse hardware and software to harmonious effect. They interconnect mobility and the digital world and turn the vehicle into a highly integrated, integrative device that dovetails seamlessly with the customer’s digital ecosystem.



The BMW Group operates with an international network of developers stretching from China via Europe – through the Research and Innovation Centre in Munich and Critical TechWorks in Portugal – to various sites in the USA. This way, different skills and areas of technical expertise and, most notably, the differing customer requirements of each region are incorporated into the design and development phases.



The young team of more than 7,200 software and IT experts encompasses a diverse range of disciplines, including software engineers, UX designers, psychologists, data scientists, as well as specialists in AI, robotics, autonomous driving and smart production. Agile work processes and methods in workspaces that have been purpose developed for collaboration lend themselves to short development and innovation cycles.



On average, 70 customer studies a year are conducted in relation to interface design alone. These studies are an essential component of customer-centric and data-driven development. They allow prototypes to be continuously checked for user-friendliness and compared against the customers’ mental model. Clear feedback is evaluated and subsequently fed directly into the next development steps.



Development also factors in anonymised data from the vehicle fleet. The information from the vehicles of customers who have actively consented to data being transmitted is depersonalised and aggregated in order to provide a picture of how the majority of users behave and how behaviour varies in different regions of the world. Further customer-centric development tools include specially designed dialogue formats as well as trend scouting and research.





The overriding objective is to develop a system that is as easy and intuitive to use as possible, suited to all customer groups and therefore highly flexible and customisable.






Matthias Schepke- photos BMW


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11.11.2020 / MaP

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