Yesterday, we harped about how Audi stole the show in the beginning of CES 2015, with their LG smartwatch that can control an autonomous car. Well, now it seems that BMW doesn’t want to be too left behind – as is evident from their demonstration of a similar scope that involves a Samsung Gear S smartwatch and the electric-powered BMW i3 automobile.
In case you are oblivious to the credentials of the BMW i3, the car is envisaged as the German automaker’s very first zero emissions mass-produced vehicle – a claim partly fueled by the automobile’s electric powertrain. Wait, did we say partly? Well, that is because the BMW i3 is also the first commercially-manufactured vehicle that will boast of low-energy consuming carbon-fiber reinforced plastic being used in large volumes.
And now, the company has befittingly exhibited the remote-controlled version of the vehicle, which is often touted as a Highly Autonomous car. The showcasing at CES involved a Samsung Gear S smartwatch that communicated its commands to the BMW i3 parked inside a garage-like shed. The driver-less car did receive the WiFi-fueled signal, and as a result spurted forward with an automated nonchalance. The crowning stroke was finally pulled off when the rep literally positioned himself in front of the moving vehicle. But instead of what might have been a tragic accident, turned out to be a technological success – with the car stopping just short of the man due its built-in safety sensors of the ultrasonic variety.
This was clearly an allusion towards the safe driving experience that might be a norm for autonomous vehicles. But unfortunately, the BMW i3 in question here, entailed a modified version of the factory model, with its bells-and-whistles tailored to a remotely controlled scope. In other words, one CAN’T surely expect such smartwatch-oriented features in the BMW i3s currently under the production phase. However as always, the technology does hint at the future, where vehicles can interact with objects, and consequently alter their navigational course in a self-assisted, automated basis.