Cool

July 28th, 2010 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

BMW New Zealand customers will soon be able to surf the using the vehicle’s dashboard-mounted information display screen.

The company has announced that customers with a suitable screen, iDrive system and internet-capable mobile phone will be able to buy wireless internet functionality.

The system will allow BMW customers to access the internet and email, although drivers will only be able to view the web and email pages when the vehicle is stationary.

I like it. One of those BMWs will do nicely for my birthday present thank you very much.

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19 Responses to “Cool”

  1. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    What colour and trim?

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  2. cabbage (457 comments) says:

    Unfortunately i-drive precludes all the BMW’s i would consider buying!

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  3. Jibbering Gibbon (198 comments) says:

    although drivers will only be able to view the web and email pages when the vehicle is stationary.

    What kind of fun is that?

    “BMW. We’re sensible”

    “BMW, Boring Motor Wehicles”

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  4. scrubone (3,105 comments) says:

    Took them long enough – apparently they locked up one of the class “A” address ranges years ago in order to do something like this.

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  5. American Gardener (556 comments) says:

    I wonder if the system will be tied to one particular network or will the customer have a choice of SIM ?

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  6. James Stephenson (2,227 comments) says:

    Seems a bit of a waste, since from observation the drivers of these things can’t even operate four small orange lights on the corners of the car correctly…

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  7. Rich Prick (1,727 comments) says:

    Mercedes Comand NTG models have had that for a while now.

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  8. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    Or one could just use an Ipad.

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  9. Chris2 (770 comments) says:

    I remember when driving a car was considered a full time preoccupation, even when stationary waiting at the lights.

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  10. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Great idea by BMW… they no doubt realised that the nods that can afford to buy their cars… can’t drive them… stationary options like this that they can… will keep the nobs buying them.

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  11. thedavincimode (6,877 comments) says:

    I believe that the new 7 series under development will give you a blow job (but only when stationary of course).

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  12. SouthernRight (53 comments) says:

    wonder if they will trade my diahatsu charade

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  13. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    DPF said…
    although drivers will only be able to view the web and email pages when the vehicle is stationary

    May be, when autonomous vehicle (i.e., a vehicle that drives on its own, not remote control) arrives and available commercially, then drivers can surf the web, while the vehicle itself does the driving.

    I am pretty much sure that BMW is working on such autonomous cars. The first operational autonomous vehicle that was built & tested on a public road, was done by a team from CMU robotic lab in the late 1990s. It was called ALVINN (Autonomous Land Vehicle In a Neural Network). The core technology of ALVINN was an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) which is a self-adaptive and self-learning algorithm.

    ALVINN Overview:
    ———————
    ALVINN is a perception system which learns to control the NAVLAB vehicles by watching a person drive. ALVINN’s architecture consists of a single hidden layer back-propagation network. The input layer of the network is a 30×32 unit two dimensional “retina” which receives input from the vehicles video camera. Each input unit is fully connected to a layer of five hidden units which are in turn fully connected to a layer of 30 output units. The output layer is a linear representation of the direction the vehicle should travel in order to keep the vehicle on the road.

    ALVINN had limited capability back then, but it was successfully test driven on a public highway (in presence of other travelling vehicles) between 2 states which was cruising at over speed of 100km/hr. A human starts driving ALVINN first, and after a few minutes on the road, the human then switch or handover the control to ALVINN, which it then took over the driving itself. The short period of time that the human is driving, ALVINN sensors record every signal from the human driver, thus it learns on the fly about the task of driving. Once ALVINN had enough data to learn from (according to the human occupants who still in control), the ALVINN can then relieve the human by taking over the driving (only when the human gives the Ok by switching the control to ALVINN). ALVINN had problems with sharp turn, i.e., it couldn’t steer itself when it encountered one. It was only able to drive on sealed road, because its digital camera computer vision system could see the painted lanes, so it acted as a guide to the vehicle to follow those. It was useless in gravel roads, since there is no clear marking on such roads. ALVINN was discontinued in the early 2000s, but industries/academics are still active in researches for autonomous type land vehicle today.

    Now, here is a recent test of an autonomous vehicle from Stanford (YouTube).

    Stanford robot car “Junior” in action, DARPA Urban Challenge

    I am pretty much sure that BMW is engaged in autonomous vehicle R&D today. I think that it will perhaps take 20 to 30 years before society can accept the idea that ALVINN type vehicles (or any autonomous vehicle) should be no problems if they’re allowed to operate in our roads at the same time when we humans are driving the roads. There will be initial resistance but I reckon that it will happen at some stage in the future.

    PS: Any car engineer here who is interested, can check out the papers on ALVINN that the CMU team had published on their research, which are available for free download here.

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  14. PaulD (97 comments) says:

    “The system will allow BMW customers to access the internet and email, although drivers will only be able to view the web and email pages when the vehicle is stationary.”

    Various BMW press releases over the years have talked about only under 3 mph or only whilst in Park. Expect more delays at traffic lights. At the moment it’s bad enough with all the txters staring down at their laps. Since it’s using a cellphone does non voice usage count as “hands free”?

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  15. Phil (128 comments) says:

    @ Cabbage
    Agreed – the iDrive is a disaster.

    @ Jibbering Gibbon
    I believe it’s actually
    BMW: Bankers, Marketers, Wankers.

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  16. RRM (10,021 comments) says:

    In Taiwan it’s Big Mouthed Woman.

    Beautiful cars, pity most fall into the hands of cretins.

    I remember when a BMW was all about the engine and the handling, not the computer screen…

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  17. Stuart Mackey (337 comments) says:

    Bah, BMW’s are utterly boring, no matter what gimmick is on the inside. Give me one of the new Ian Callum deigned Jaguars any day.

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  18. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    I always wondered why BMW drivers didn’t indicate, ignored green lights, and were general assholes on the road. It’s because they’re on the internet.

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  19. Rich Prick (1,727 comments) says:

    “I believe that the new 7 series under development will give you a blow job”

    Audi R8’s have a vibrating massaging seat … ssshhhh, don’t tell Chris Carter, he will be booking a test drive on his card and we don’t want any more happy-endings on our account.

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