Less than 24 months since first
launching the BMW in car Satellite Navigation, with operation in Melbourne
and Sydney, BMW Australia is about to release the latest update of the
maps which drive the system.
Version 3.0, which is scheduled
for release in August, now includes mapping allowing BMW Navigation to
operate in all mainland capitals with Darwin added to the latest CD maps.
In addition the BMW system provides the major highways linking the capital
cities. The most recent update also includes the ability to nominate destinations
by street number, a feature which has been available since early 1999.
Added to the functionality
of the latest update of BMW Navigation has been the introduction of Voice
Control which is now an option offered on all BMW 7 Series (all of which
feature BMW Navigation as standard).
Voice control not only allows
the driver to change format of navigation instruction and request additional
instructions but also interfaces with the in built telephone system allowing
spoken number dial up and stored number retrieval and dialling. In addition
the Voice Control system provides a memo function allowing the driver
to store and retrieve verbal memos whilst on the road.
BMW Navigation operates by
use of the GPS satellite system in combination with CD maps of the locality
and movement and magnetic sensors in the vehicle to fix the position of
the car accurate to within 10 metres.
Introduced to Australia by
BMW in October 1998 and with the data of the CD's exclusive to BMW for
the first 12 months, the Philips CARIN based system operates in conjunction
with the BMW On Board Monitor which also provides details of all on board
computer and sound system functions and allows for broadcast TV reception
on to its LCD screen (the television picture can only be viewed when the
vehicle is stationary).
The System provides audible
instruction to the driver minimising the need to view the screen once
the destination is entered. The visual support to the spoken instructions
can be viewed either as a series of pictogram arrows with street name
and next action information or as an adjustable scale colour map with
the chosen route highlighted and vehicle position and movement reflected
in real time. The system also provides for a 50-metre countdown to the
next major change of direction to be displayed in the On Board Computer
information panel on the lower part of the dash, within the drivers direct
line of vision.
BMW Navigation is standard
on all 7 Series and on the BMW M5. The On Board Monitor, which facilitates
easier option fitment of BMW Navigation at $3,800, is also standard on
540i Executive, 330Ci coupe and 330Ci sedan and the soon to arrive X5
Sports Activity Vehicle. On Board Monitor and BMW Navigation can be fitted
as an option to most of the current BMW model line up at a variable cost
dependant on the model.
With the release of the latest
version of BMW Navigation and the additional functionality of Voice Control
BMW has once more demonstrated that it leads the market in providing beneficial
21st century technology to Australian motorists.