7 BMW innovations that changed the world of mobility.

7 BMW innovations that changed the world of mobility.

7 BMW innovations that changed the world of mobility.

Radar, chips and gesture control – BMW was always at the forefront when it came to integrating new technologies in its vehicles. Join us for an exciting time travel now – as we journey back through the innovations from our past.

Ready for the Olympics.

The first BMW electric vehicle gave an electrifying performance at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Deployed as an escort vehicle during long-distance events like the marathon, the BMW 1602 Electric was the ideal emission-free choice of car to accompany athletes while they raced. Even back then, it was also equipped with a regenerative braking system.

On the radar.

A vehicle without radar technology? More of an exception than the rule these days. However in 1972, the BMW Turbo concept car with its built-in braking distance radar monitor was a small revolution. The system monitored the distance to the vehicle in front and then independently adjusted speed to ensure sufficient braking distance. Think of it as the great grandfather of today’s Active Cruise Control.

The start of our digital journey.

Today it’s impossible not to imagine a BMW without it: Check Control. But in 1976, still long before computers became part of everyday life, the system was premiered in the BMW 6 Series. With just the push of a button, it enabled drivers to check the status and readiness of their BMW before starting off on their journey.

Steering into the future.

You could hardly see them – but drivers could really feel their effects. We’re talking about the active rear-axle kinematics of the BMW 8 Series, launched in the autumn of 1989. As the name suggests: the important stuff happened to the car’s back wheels. They steered too. Only a few degrees – but enough to make the already sporty coupé even more agile, and minimise the dangers of skidding during sudden evasive manoeuvres.

Driving digitalisation further.

In 1979, just three years after Check Control, the Digital Motor Electronics (DME) system was built into the BMW 732i. Under the name, Motronic, it became the first electronic engine control system to be integrated within an entire vehicle series Europe-wide – bringing fuel injection and ignition systems together. The result: more power and lower fuel consumption.

Pioneering all-wheel-drive.

With the newly developed BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system in 2003, BMW extended its leadership in the area of AWD vehicles. Unlike conventional AWD systems, which merely respond to already spinning wheels, BMW xDrive detects every trend towards over- or understeer early and then intelligently counteracts it with a corresponding redistribution of torque. For the first time, additional data on steering wheel angle, accelerator position and lateral acceleration are used alongside wheel speed in the driving situation anaylsis.

The power of small gestures.

Accept incoming call? Simply point a finger at your Control Display. Music too quiet? Then just move your index finger through the air clockwise. Sounds like science fiction? Not at all. Following its launch in our 7 Series BMW Gesture Control has been intuitively responding to driver’s needs since 2015.

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