In today’s world, driving conditions can change on the fly, while you’re on your way. Deep, thick fog, black ice and even accidents happening on your route can lead to dangerous situations which could prove hard to avoid. BMW is working on a system in collaboration with other manufacturers, which aims to prevent dangerous situations by using what the Germans call the Hazard Preview 2.0 system.

By sending out local hazard warnings to its intelligently connected vehicles, the BMW Group is increasing safety out on the road. To do this, the data registered by the vehicle sensors is collected in anonymous form and processed centrally so information indicating hazard situations can be derived from it. This allows warnings of accident sites or extreme local weather conditions to be relayed specifically to vehicles in the vicinity of those situations.

Warnings of both weather-related hazards, such as fog, black ice, heavy rain and aquaplaning, and broken-down vehicles have been transmitted to BMW vehicles with the requisite connectivity technology since November 2016. This technology still offers a great deal of untapped potential, though. Over the course of 2018, real-time traffic jam reports are set to become even more specific by using instances of emergency braking, while requests from the police to keep a corridor free for emergency vehicles will also be transmitted.

The swift and accurate relaying of information on road conditions and traffic situations also provides an important basis for optimizing the operation of automated driving systems. By sharing this information with other manufacturers and receiving similar data from their cars on the road, the BMW system can gather vast amounts of information which can then be dissected and sent out to both autonomous and human-operated machines just in time to avoid a dangerous situation. In this regard, Artificial Intelligence will start playing a more central role.

Artificial intelligence already plays a key role in the development of algorithms, which sort through and evaluate large quantities of data and incorporate it into decision-making on how vehicles should behave. The BMW Group is using artificial intelligence in the development of systems for automated driving which can deal with even extremely complex traffic situations in city centers. Autonomous driving in which artificial intelligence helps to ensure safe and comfortable mobility for all is another BMW Group development goal.

The benefits of systems equipped with artificial intelligence include their boundless capacity for work. Unlike humans, an intelligent system can maintain constant performance levels. It doesn’t get tired or distracted, and maintains full concentration even in confusing situations.