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To be in the 7 Series before end 2005
BMW "FIR" Night Vision
scans up to 300 meters ahead

Night Vision shows more than what normal headlights can cover.

PR, 21 July 2005.

Driving in the dark is still one of the most strenuous driving situations and one which tends to bear greater risks. With the new driver assistance systems BMW Night Vision and High-Beam Assist, BMW drivers will be able to drive with even greater foresight in the
half light and at night. Critical situations can be identified earlier than was previously possible and one’s driving style adapted accordingly. In addition to providing a significant safety bonus, it is a relief to the driver when potentially critical situations are detected early on and redundant operations avoided. The driver thus experiences a significant gain in comfort.

BMW Night Vision - A thermal imaging camera covers an area up to 300 m in front of the vehicle. The image thus created on the central monitor displays objects more brilliantly, the greater the warmth registered by the camera. People (pedestrians at the edge of the road) and animals (wild animals crossing the road) would thus be the brightest areas of the image – at the same time these are the most important points to concentrate on when driving responsibly.

BMW Night Vision offers customers particular benefits over routes through the country, along narrow roads, entrance drives and in dark underground garages, tangibly increasing safety when driving at night.

Two pedestrians and a dog shown only with the BMW Night Vision.

Based on comparative studies, BMW engineers have opted for the innovative Far Infrared (FIR) technology since it best meets the goal of detecting people, animals and objects at night. Scientific studies also prove that FIR is a more suitable technology than Near Infrared (NIR) for performing this function. In addition to the fundamental advantages of FIR, BMW has extended the technology by adding other functional features.

For example, the image section follows the course of the road (panning) and objects in the distance can be enlarged (zoom). BMW Night Vision is activated/deactivated simply by means of a switch next to the light switch. BMW Night Vision is planned to be available in the BMW 7 Series as of fourth quarter 2005.

High-Beam Assist - With High-Beam Assist (see separate presentation), available from September 2005 in the BMW 5 Series, 6 Series and 7 Series, a camera sensor integrated in the rear mirror casing registers activity on the road and automatically controls the activation and deactivation of the high beam. The system identifies the headlights and rear lights of vehicles, as well as the surrounding road lighting. The high beam switches on in the absence of vehicles on the road ahead or oncoming traffic, provided the road itself is not sufficiently illuminated. BMW is the first European premium manufacturer to offer such a system (click here to read about the High-Beam Assist technology).

BMW driver assistance systems - The function of BMW driver assistance systems is to support the driver in certain situations without taking away his responsibility. The driver remains the sole “master” of the vehicle. On the one hand, driver assistance systems serve the purpose of providing the driver with improved information on potential dangers or giving him an early warning. On the other hand they provide relief by taking on simple, repetitive tasks. In general, more information is a bonus in road traffic: up to 50% of all serious accidents are caused by the fact that the driver did not have information early enough. A linear increase in the quantity of information is not the aim, however. Important information must be qualitatively processed and made available at the right moment. In addition to increasing safety for vehicle occupants and other road users, BMW driver assistance systems also increase driving pleasure.    More details on next  page.

Related Topics:
Two main categories of night view systems, each with its own fortes

Night Vision: Cadillac to Lexus, Honda, BMW & Mercedes-Benz

Honda Legend (Japan) Intelligent Night Vision System

Siemens combines head-up display with Night Vision

BMW's FIR Night Vision system for the 7-Series

Night Vision in the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Automotive Lighting equips the new S-Class

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