Geneva 2011: BMW ConnectedDrive System Explained

BMW’s Vision ConnectedDrive concept is the big news from Bavaria at the 2011 Geneva auto show . We particularly like the Z1-style sliding doors, but haven’t been able to pry any real details out of BMW on the car itself. There was some talk about the concept’s interior as the “Layering” interior design language should preview the interior we see in future BMW models. We were able to get an overview of the ConnectedDrive system that controls everything a customer might want a human-machine interface (HMI) to do.

The first is convenience. BMW (and most other brands) already offer a form of this connected technology. For example, when your phone connects via Bluetooth to your car. However, BMW aims to take it a step further. Imagine your car then reading your calendar, figuring out that you have a meeting in 25 minutes, noting the address and calculating the fastest route possible (taking traffic information into account, of course) and then telling you where to park when you get there. We like it.

Next up is Infotainment, a tragic name no doubt, but the technology is pretty cool. BMW was quick to point out that the more labor and brain cell intensive stuff is purely for the passenger, not the driver. Let’s say you drive by a museum. ConnectedDrive tells your passenger as much, then tells them what’s on display as well as the museum’s hours of operation and then – because the car is plugged into your credit card – buys you some tickets.

The final component of the ConnectedDrive trifecta is safety. Car to car proximity communication is the next step in active vehicle safety, but BMW didn’t go into specifics. We imagine tha the car will be able to sense that another car is nearby and not crash into it. As often happens here at Geneva, there wasn’t enough time in the 15-minute long press conference for them to go into any great detail, though they did mention “technologies we haven’t even thought of yet!” And there you have it.

For more on all the world debuts from Geneva, including more photos, videos and information, be sure to click over to Automobile Magazine’s 2011 Geneva Motor Show coverage.


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2011 BMW 7-Series

2011 BMW 7-Series

MSRP $122,000 Alpina B7 Sedan


18 City / 28 Hwy

Horse Power:

230 @ 6500


200 @ 2750