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BMW shows off their semi-autonomous driving system [video]

The future of highway travel

BMW announced their ConnectedDrive Connect (CDC) semi-autonomous driving system back in August, but the company has just released a new video of it in action.

While the clip is in German, it shows some fairly relaxed engineers taking their hands off the steering wheel and letting the car drive itself. As we have previously reported, CDC works on pre-mapped highways by pinpointing the car's position and the location of surrounding objects. Once everything has been determined, CDC controls the braking and acceleration like an advanced cruise control system.

However, when the car senses it is behind a slowpoke, it looks for an open lane where it can safely merge at speeds up to 130 km/h (81 mph). If an opening is found, the system will steer the vehicle into that lane, pass the slower vehicle and return to its original lane.

As Dr. Nico Kaempchen explains, "Our main challenge was to develop algorithms that can handle entirely new situations. In principal, the system works on all freeways that we have mapped out beforehand with [a] centimeter accuracy." He goes on to say CDC ensures the car "adheres to all traffic laws" and sticks to the speed limit.

Source: BMW

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Comments (10)

 Homerlovesbeer Homerlovesbeer
Jmac it's very clearly stated in the video that the driver can take control immediately at any time.
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January 21, 2012 7:49 am
 JMac JMac
Okay, so more and more cars are coming equipped with in car internet and extensive computer facilities that WILL make them vulnerable to malware and hackers. What if some one manages to convince the GPS system its in a slightly different position to what it actually is? Or that the road ahead is clear for 70mph when in fact there's a huge articulated vehicle stationary? I hope there's a manual override..
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January 21, 2012 5:56 am
 yiotis82 yiotis82
Good luck B.M.W., you will need it.
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January 21, 2012 2:06 am
 memexe memexe
Ok nice, but...What if you are in your way for work, have a coffee, reading the morning newspaper and overnight mails, the car is driving itself, and then, an accident occurs in front of you. The car stops itself (I imagine) and your day is already f..d up! I don't think an autopilot is good for such a complex and restricted traffic system. I don't like the idea of a computer braking or changing lanes instead of me. I rarely use the cruise control on the freeway because I don't like to be "relaxed" at 100km/h.
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January 20, 2012 9:52 pm
 adz911 adz911
I love the concept, except I fear it will detract from driver enjoyment. Although I suppose it will make motorway journeys and traffic jams less stressful
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January 20, 2012 9:20 pm
 ATS-V ATS-V
That is a great concept...just hope they can master it to make it safe on everyday road traffic. Just hope G.M is working on theirs...
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January 20, 2012 7:04 pm
 ART ART
The should spend their R&D money on better looking cars..
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January 20, 2012 5:49 pm