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)

Jmac it's very clearly stated in the video that the driver can take control immediately at any time.
Jan 21, 2012 7:49 am
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Well, I meant longer term as the technology becomes more prevalent and established. Will we just see cars whereby you get in, state your destination and it takes you there.
Jan 21, 2012 7:58 am
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Nooooo, I don't want to live on this planet anymore :( Driving is one of the things I will never want to be done for me.
Jan 26, 2012 5:19 am
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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..
Jan 21, 2012 5:56 am
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Good luck B.M.W., you will need it.
Jan 21, 2012 2:06 am
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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.
Jan 20, 2012 9:52 pm
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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
Jan 20, 2012 9:20 pm
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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...
Jan 20, 2012 7:04 pm
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The should spend their R&D money on better looking cars..
Jan 20, 2012 5:49 pm
2 4
Do u want the 7er look like a new A8 for example?
Jan 20, 2012 10:12 pm
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