Driver training with the BMW i8.Two new BMW Driving Experience courses allow participants to sample life in the sports car of the future at the BMW and MINI Driving Academy’s training facility in Maisach.

Munich 09.02.2015 – BMW i has served as a byword for sustainability, future-focused mobility and visionary vehicle concepts since 2013. The all-electric and locally emission-free BMW i3 was Germany’s highest-selling electric vehicle in 2014 and has been an integral part of the BMW Driving Experience from the word go. With the BMW i3 eDrive Experience, BMW became the first premium car manufacturer to offer a specific training course featuring electrically-powered vehicles.

And now two new training courses have been added to the programme which offer the participants the chance to drive the BMW i8 sports car with plug-in hybrid technology. The BMW eDrive Experience shines the spotlight on electric mobility and the functionality of the BMW i3 and BMW i8, while the “BMW i meets BMW M” course is centred around sporty driving in the BMW i8 and BMW M6.

The two new courses line up alongside the BMW i3 eDrive Experience, in which the participants drive the BMW i3 exclusively.

BMW eDrive EXPERIENCE
This new training option allows participants to experience the fascination of BMW i to the full. Experienced BMW instructors provide them with a greater understanding of future mobility, at first in theory and later in practice. A special course has been set up at the BMW and MINI Driving Academy so that participants can experience the various driving modes offered by these trailblazing cars. And, in the highlight of the day, the participants get behind the wheel of the BMW i8 to experience how the combination of sports performance and exceptional energy efficiency feels first-hand.

BMW i meets BMW M
The two flagship models in the BMW i and BMW M model ranges are the stars of this new training course. The participants are given the opportunity to drive the BMW i8, with its plug-in hybrid system, and the high-performance BMW M6 in the same afternoon. The BMW instructors offer an insight into the sophisticated technology which guarantees the BMW i8 sports-car performance capability yet also small-car efficiency, before the group heads out onto the practical training area. The participants finish off by taking both models for a few laps of the BMW and MINI Driving Academy circuit.

BMW i3 eDrive Experience
This successful training course, where participants drive the BMW i3 exclusively, remains a fixture of the program. At the BMW and MINI Driving Academy facility in Maisach, the participants familiarise themselves with the BMW i3 and find out everything they need to know about the BMW i mobility and lightweight design concept, the car’s battery and driving characteristics, and service and maintenance. They then take to the wheel of the BMW i3 themselves for driving exercises on two training areas and a circuit, enabling them to sample the driving properties of an all-electric car and its technical capabilities. The positive reaction of customers to the BMW i3 course at the training facility in Maisach has ensured its status as a genuine success story.

BMW i8 joins fleet of The Peninsula Shanghai

BMW continues to promote innovative sustainable mobility
– First five-star hotel in the world to feature a BMW i8 in its fleet

Munich / Shanghai. 07.09.2015 – Guests at The Peninsula Shanghai can now experience the excitement of the BMW i8 for themselves after the five-star hotel added the award winning, innovative sports car to its fleet. This is a further step in the BMW Group’s strategy to encourage sustainable mobility and is being fully supported by The Peninsula, Shanghai which has installed public charging stations compatible with all electric cars standardized for China.

The move is part of the BMW Group’s efforts actively to promote electric mobility in China and comes after the company handed over a BMW i3 to the Kempinski Hotel Beijing last year. The BMW Group also encourages the construction of public charging networks in China by working with major Chinese state and local enterprises such as the State Grid, Shanghai Electric Power, Expo Shanghai Group, Vanke Group and Swire Group. Private customers are also being assisted to make the change to electric driving, as free BMW i wall-boxes, including installation, are being offered to the first BMW i customers. BMW i authorized dealers are obliged to make sure all BMW i customers have adequate access to a charging point.

Since its launch in June 2014, the BMW i8 has proved to be a highly sought-after vehicle with well over 4,000 delivered to customers worldwide. It is the world’s most sustainable sports car and the first plug-in hybrid from the BMW Group.

Rolls-Royce, BMW and MINI vehicles are used as limousine service cars at each of The Peninsula Hotels worldwide; the addition of BMW i to the line-up underlines the continuing successful partnership between BMW Group and the luxury hotel group.

NTU receives BMW i3 and BMW i8 as research platforms

Singapore 06.30.2015 – BMW Group and Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) today launched a new electromobility research programme, involving the all-electric BMW i3 and plug-in hybrid sports car BMW i8 that runs on electricity and petrol.

This new research programme will be conducted at the Future Mobility Research Lab located on the NTU campus, which is the BMW Group’s first joint lab in Southeast Asia.

Both parties will be injecting a combined S$1.3 million to drive the new research projects, on top of the initial S$5.5 million funding allocated to the joint lab in 2013.

The new research programme will focus on two new areas, Electromobility in Asia and also Smart Materials. This is in addition to the original three research topics that the joint lab is working on: Advanced Battery, Driver Enhancement and Intelligent Mobility.

At the launch ceremony today at NTU, the BMW Group announced that the BMW i3 and BMW i8 will be provided as research platforms to the Future Mobility Research Lab.

The ceremony was graced by Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State at Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry; Mr Volker Bouffier, Prime Minister of the Federal State of Hesse and President of the German Bundesrat; and His Excellency, Dr Michael Witter, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Singapore.

The scientists at the joint lab will use the two BMW i vehicles to conduct research on real-life driver behaviour and to collect in-depth data on vehicle performance. The two cars will also conduct on-road trials of new technologies such as a mobile application that can accurately predict traffic and estimated end-to-end travelling time.

Mr. Axel Pannes, Managing Director of BMW Group Asia said: “We are very satisfied with our partnership with NTU and the establishment of the Future Mobility Research Lab, thanks to the high level of competency from NTU’s research staff and interdisciplinary teams.”

“Through the relentless efforts of the dedicated researchers, we have already made some important findings through the earlier research topics in a short period of just two years. With the expanded research scope on Electromobility in Asia and Smart Materials, more invaluable knowledge will be gained by both parties. Further, the knowledge will also be transferred to Singapore’s academia and broaden their technical understanding of modern full-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. It will definitely forge a stronger technological partnership between the BMW Group and NTU,” added Mr. Pannes.

Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s Chief of Staff and Vice President (Research), said the new research programme will build on the research successes of the NTU-BMW joint lab.

“The new research programme will further exploit the synergy between BMW Group’s leadership and expertise in automotive sciences and NTU’s leading research in sustainability and clean technologies. The NTU-BMW joint lab has already made important advancements in areas such as new battery materials that can extend the range of an electric vehicle and innovative driver assistive technologies to greatly enhance safety.”

“NTU is one of the eight top universities across the globe that BMW has established a strategic partnership with. The BMW i3 and i8 will be used by BMW and NTU scientists to develop and test innovative technologies in real-life conditions and this new research programme extends NTU’s efforts in developing future mobility solutions with global impact,” said Prof Lam.

Mr Volker Bouffier, Prime Minister of the Federal State of Hesse and President of the German Bundesrat, said: “The new electromobility research programme launched by NTU and BMW emphasises the strong and fruitful bilateral relations between Germany and Singapore in the fields of research.

ertainly the programme will further strengthen the ties on each side. Thus, to study and develop key areas which relate to future transportation will be a crucial factor on our way to a modern globalised world based on sustainable development.”

Mr Tan Kong Hwee, Director, Transport Engineering, Singapore Economic Development Board, said: “BMW’s partnership with NTU for the set-up of its Future Mobility Lab is testament to the increasing interest in urban mobility and Singapore’s attractiveness for the conduct of research and development in this area.”

Electromobility in Asia
The main goal of embarking on the Electromobility in Asia project is to find out how drivers interact with BMW i vehicles in real life, so as to better understand user behaviours and to improve electric and plug-in hybrid technology for the future.

By conducting the research in Singapore, a densely-populated, urban city state, it will enable researchers in the joint lab to gain insights on how electric vehicles can be made more relevant for global megacities. Other study topics include how emerging technologies like fast charging, wireless charging and smart assistant driving technologies will impact the consumer.

Smart Materials
With today’s proliferation of touchscreen interfaces being used increasingly in vehicles, there is a need to study how these touchscreen surfaces can be made more tactile.

Through research in various shape memory materials and dielectric polymers, scientists will look at developing technologies which can enable buttons to appear on interactive surfaces and touch screens when needed.

Mr Pannes added that Singapore is the perfect venue for the BMW Group to conduct research on electromobility.

“In Singapore, the second most densely populated country in the world, we anticipate that electric vehicles with its zero tailpipe emissions and exhaust fumes will be a key player in the transportation network of the future. The city-state also has high connectivity and a tech-savvy population, which makes it more receptive towards new cutting-edge technology. Further, we believe Singapore has the potential to become a R&D hub for electromobility, especially with its clearly expressed ambitions to become a Smart Nation. We want to play a contributive role in that,” said Mr Pannes.

Future Mobility Research Lab breakthroughs
The Future Mobility Research Lab, set up in April 2013, aims to research and develop key areas relating to future transportation, which includes Advanced Battery, Driver Enhancement, and Intelligent Mobility.

After two years of intensive research, the Future Mobility Research Lab has made some significant findings in the following areas:

Advanced Battery
New battery materials are being experimented on, such as high-voltage cathodes and anodes (the positive and negative poles of a battery), which can potentially double the energy density, which is important in extending the range of an electric car as well as enable faster charging times.

Driver Enhancement
Current sensor technologies are able to tell if a driver is sleepy or alert and if the vehicle is on a collision course with another vehicle, based on the speed and direction it is travelling. However, the sensor systems are independent of each other, and does not take into account the driver’s present condition and adjust to it.

A driver enhancement system is now being developed to adapt to the driver’s condition, to either increase or decrease the number of assistance technologies deployed to help the driver. It is based on parameters such as whether the driver is alert or sleepy, if he/she is paying attention to the road, and if traffic conditions around the vehicle is congested or sparse.

Intelligent Mobility
A mobile application has been developed which can better predict the traffic conditions and accurately estimate arrival time at the destination. This app is based on an intelligent routing system that calculates individual driving style and current traffic situation based on real-time traffic information. It also has a parking search system that analyses the parking situation around the destination.