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BMW offers glimpse at Efficient Dynamics future

Date: 14 October 2009   |   Author: John Challen

BMW has shown some of its planned developments to be added to the Efficient Dynamics package in future plus a host of new technology that will appear on BMW and Mini models in the next three to five years.

The expansion of EfficientDynamics is key to the BMW's future strategy, largely through the use of heat management. BMW's boffins said that currently, two-thirds of the energy in the car's fuel is wasted, and engineers have been working on ways to reduce that waste through redirection. By using this energy available, BMW claimed it can further reduce CO2 levels as well as fuel consumption figures by up to 5%.

BMW highlighted cold starts as a major energy effort, so has devised an insulation jacket that sits around the engine to retain the heat. Tests have found that an insulated engine running at 80°C, still retains half of its heat 12 hours after the engine has been switched off.

Outside the car, BMW is also touting technology that, if implemented correctly in its home country of Germany, could reduce CO2 emissions by 8%, the equivalent to 7.4 million tonnes of CO2. The idea is called the "optimised green wave", and relies on a wireless connection between the car and traffic lights or road signs to ensure better traffic management.

The idea is that the traffic lights 'know' when cars are approaching and ensure that green lights remain, if it improves the overall efficiency in the traffic. It is yet to be confirmed whether such a system will be investigated for UK, given this country's record on large government-run IT projects.

Inside the car, BMW models will offer much to aid driver comfort, such as a larger, more realistic, 3D head-up display unit, lightweight seats that mould to your body shape and a internet Radio and TV options. Already available in Germany, BMW has confirmed that internet will be offered in UK cars within the next 12 months.