Enhanced ConnectedDrive offers 3D representation, blends infotainment and navigation

July 10, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Though more and more OEMs yield to the market pressure and install inexpensive navigation systems from volume vendors, BMW these days has introduced the next generation of its custom-made navigation and infotainment systems, providing insights which direction HMI design will take over the years to come. BMWs latest ConnectedDrive generation features 3D representation even for the menus and animated transitions, all powered by a 1.3GHz processor with dedicated graphics chip.

Besides the menu representation, also the navigation display has been improved and enhanced through additional interaction options. For instance, a so called High Guiding feature has been added to the traditional navigation guiding. This feature displays detailed navigation information in the multifunctional instrument display, the center stack display and the head-up display. High Guiding is activated automatically as soon as the driver enters into a certain range for the next navigation information. At distances of less than 300m (outside of urban areas) or 150m (within urban areas) the display changes from simple directional arrows to a detailed three-dimensional perspective representation of the environment. A dynamic representation of the respective position, computed in real time in 3D, accompanies the driver. 

A new enhanced toolbar helps the driver to individualize map content without the need to leave the map display, enabling drivers to chose the preferred display mode at any given situation. The toolbar also gives the driver instant access to functions hitherto connected to the option menu. For instance he can chose to fade in RTTI (Real Time Traffic Information), weather information or change the display mode from perspective to top view representation. The RTTI information is obtained through the built-in 3G mobile functionality in connection with a car-integrated SIM card. 

Also the Mobile Office functionality portfolio integrated into BMWs ConnectedDrive has been enhanced - it now provides connectivity for two mobile phones at the same time; calendar functions are displayed in the optics of widespread office software. 

In the infotainment section, the FM radio has been enhanced by displays similar to the ones associated to digital radio systems such as DAB+. The 40GB fixed disk offers ample space to store the driver's preferred audio and multimedia files. In addition to the online functions, the display also shows widgets - split-screen optimized browser apps from BMW Online. Currently BMW plans to offer a watch and a Panoramio widget. Further widgets will