Wednesday, July 24

Another Step Toward Autonomous Driving

01.12.16 - BMW AirTouch

As we have discussed at length what autonomous driving will mean for the automotive market the ability to drive a vehicle without a driver has yet to be fully developed, but other technologies have come from the research.  We have Tesla with their semi-autonomous driving one road with well-marked lines and other luxury vehicles with similar features but BMW gives us a new and different type of autonomous feature for us to admire and eventually enjoy in other models.  This new technology is found in the BMW 7-Series and allows for the control of some features via gestures.

The BMW 7-Series prototype that showed up at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas gave us a look at this new technology to ensure we would see and understand the benefits of gesture controls.  With this feature the driver and passenger can control different functions with just the wave of their hand or a finger.  This feature is called “AirTouch” and will certainly give us the next wave of technology for us to enjoy.  With this new technology you may never have to touch a piece of electronics in your vehicle again which means you won’t see fingerprints all over your screens when this feature is aboard.

So far the “AirTouch” feature allows you to change the volume on the stereo, reject and accept calls, operate the infotainment system and much more.  This is made possible through a series of sensors and cameras to measure the different movements of your hand.  There are buttons for the driver and the passenger to validate the selection made using this technology with the one for the driver being placed in the steering wheel which allows you to keep your hands on the wheel while making selections across the technology of the vehicle.

Until now touchscreen technology was the wave of the current day, but this “AirTouch” will rid us of the need for using touchscreen.  The only drawback I can see at the moment is the fact you need to validate every input, but that makes some sense since the systems might start trying to read a wide variety of inputs that you did not intend to make.  This means you could have significant changes to the system outputs if the validation process were removed, making it a necessary evil of this advanced technology.  Whether this will become a mainstream part of vehicles in the future is yet to be determined, but it’s pretty cool to think about and make use of.

What comes next as a step toward even more autonomous driving is a wonder, but you can bet we are on the way toward no longer needing to drive our own vehicles.  For some of us this seems like a really great idea and for others this could mean the end of their fun.  If you are someone who loves to drive it will certainly be a long time before the cars of today are replaced by autonomous vehicles so don’t worry too much just yet and enjoy the various technologies that come out of the research being done.

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *