BMW to develop Intelligent Learning Navigation System

Rumors | February 25th, 2009 by 6
intelligent navigation system ilena

BMW is taking the navigation systems to the next level. They are currently working towards a new navigation system that will learn your driving patterns …

intelligent navigation system ilena 498x332

BMW is taking the navigation systems to the next level. They are currently working towards a new navigation system that will learn your driving patterns and adapt the destination based on the previously registered data. Anticipating your next destination is the idea behind this new navigation system.

The system is called ILENA, short for Intelligent Learning Navigation and according to BMW, it intends to record your daily driving habits, in order to increase the efficiency of your car. No privacy issues are mentioned at this point, but such a navigation system could raise many new questions. The navigation system in most of the cars are already able to broadcast your location through the GPS installed in these cars, but I am not aware of the possibility of permanently recording your daily routes.

This new intelligent navigation system seems to follow the steps of the airplanes’ black boxes, a device that records all the flights data and communication.

Andreas Winckler, a developer at BMW, told Spiegel Online, the hit rate of the Intelligent Learning Navigation System is now at almost 80 percent.

“We want to already know before the departure, the objective of driver control, and which route he chooses, even if the navigation system is not activated,” says Winckler. His car, a BMW 335i, runs an ILENA prototype.

The system also records all the road conditions, elevations, curves and since BMW’s main focus in the future is fuel efficiency, by knowing this data, the system can save up between 5-10% in fuel efficiency.

Even though the system is being currenty tested in live environment, there are a few hardware shortcomings that are delaying it to move from a research phase into development.

So, at least for a few more years, we can all relax, no extra “eyes” watching over us.

But let me leave you with this: would you feel comfortable having such system in your car? Are the advantages of ILENA be enough to overcome the privacy rights you’re giving up?

[Source: Spiegel Online -English translation ]

6 responses to “BMW to develop Intelligent Learning Navigation System”

  1. Gord says:

    I saw an episode of Top Gear before where BMW gave them a “Driver Training” 330i equiped with some electronics. The car “learned” the TG track and did a pedal-to-the-metal lap with no human help (Clarkson was in it, but did nothing). So I guess something like this was already being worked on.

    Can you give me an example of how this system works ?, because I’m not quite sure how it would work. Let’s say that you floor it sometimes when going to work. Will the system cut the power or something to increase fuel economey ?

  2. Doug says:

    @Gord: I recall that. It seemed very promising, but for a self-driving car, not so much “navigation” as we think of it now. But you’re right, there’s some “convergence” with what Horatiu is describing.

    Nav systems already have ways to program destinations, waypoints, POIs, etc, already have ways to “bookmark” coordinates, and even have topological data in some instances.

    So I’m still confused too as to what this system’s objectives are. Sure, it could infer the destination based on routes previously chosen, but to what end? Could it recommend a different route based on traffic? Could it pre-order my usual from pizza hut? Would it recommend Papa John’s instead and offer a coupon?

    Will it tell me, “We will now turn left in 100 feet *ding*” and swerve us toward our final destination?

  3. red says:

    We are blazing down a path where we will no longer control out own vehicles. Where it will be illegal for us to control our cars. Think ez pass lanes, express corridors. That’s where it will start. Cheaper insurance rates, fuel economy, traffic control and the law will cause the general population to lay down their rights to drive without a fight. I loathe that day because it will be sooner rather than later.

    In the meantime, we can look for these future cars to start prosecuting us for habits or violations. The government will issue you a parking ticket, speeding ticket, a commuter tax, fuel consumption fee, emission tax, and a road tax directly to your credit card and email it to you and your insurance company, employer, finance company/bank and the dmv where this information will be stored for eternity to reveal all the reasons why you are a insurance risk so you can be micro charged to death. Worse yet, some marketing company will buy this information for top dollar to sell you stuff you don’t need. All while your cruzing down the open road! Joy.

    So yea I’m against it, the black box or whatever. Get your cars now before they install all this stuff as standard equipment and then charge you for it.

    You know what else would increase fuel consumption? Make the car weight 2500 pounds.

    Now the cars just bong and maybe shift into neutral if you don’t have the door closed or something. Next thing you know it will be revoking your right to drive.

    I hope I’m wrong about all this because I love driving.

  4. Toy Yoda says:


    You know, if a car can eventually drive itself, I wouldn’t mind giving up the pleasures of driving. I bet, though I wouldn’t know for sure, that most people spend most of their driving hours stuck in traffic going to and from work. I hope this isn’t your idea of fun driving.

    So, if my commute time can be cut substantially, get better fuel mileage, and allow myself to read or catch a nap instead of waiting for the lights to turn red, or getting annoyed at some other driver then I am for it.

  5. Toy Yoda says:

    Horatio: So, at least for a few more years, we can all relax, no extra “eyes” watching over us.

    red: In the meantime, we can look for these future cars to start prosecuting us for habits or violations.

    I think it’s too late. There was already a case in California where police asked Mercedes for gps tracking information found in an MB car of a person suspected of a felony. He was suspected, not found guilty. MB refused to give the information. The case made it into California’s supreme court where MB lost. I’m not sure if MB is appealing.

    There’s another case where the supreme court ruled that it is illegal for the us government to eavesdrop on On Star users’ conversations without notifying them. So makes you wonder just how often the government was doing this before the ruling and if they are still doing it.

    Just do a search on either one.

  6. bayu says:

    Navigation is important for driver so he do not lost on his trip, i can not imagine if i lost in big city like new york, BMW is one of the top brand car, so this is will increase their brand. bayu.

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