There is plenty of room for improvement although voice control systems have become more capable over the years. The BMW iNext electric vehicle will feature a better voice control system with enlarged gesture control capacities and gaze recognition technology. Dubbed BMW Natural Interaction, the system also enables drivers to point to a building and learn more information such as what time it closes.
Drivers can interact with the car gestures, via voice controls, or by looking in a certain direction, based on their preference at the moment. If the driver is talking to a passenger, he or she might choose gaze or gesture controls rather than voice commands, for instance. Functions which the driver can control include shifting an option on the central screen and closing the windows or sunroof, adjusting the air vents, and opening. They can also point to buttons on the vehicle and ask what they do.
The most fascinating part of this new technology is the driver’s ability to interact with his or her surroundings. Drivers can point their finger to a building and ask what it is it opens, and it&rsquo. They can also point to an area and ask, “Can I park here and what does it cost? ” Essentially, BMW wants drivers to interact with their cars.
“BMW Natural Interaction is also an important step for the future of autonomous vehicles, when inside concepts will no longer be geared solely towards the driver’s position and occupants will have more freedom,” said Christoph Grote, senior vice president of BMW Group Electronics, in a statement. BMW is showing off the technology at MWC Barcelona this week.
BMW introduced gesture controls on the 7 Series back in 2015, but they were fairly limited. Now, thanks to improved sensor technologies, BMW can catch hand and finger movements in three dimensions throughout the driver’s space and determine a directional vector, allowing drivers issue a command and to point to the screen. Eye and head direction can be detected by A camera integrated into the instrument cluster. The information transmitted between vehicle and the driver is assessed with the help of artificial intelligence.
Later on, BMW says, the technology will be able to discover a driver’s emotions. Based on the mood, make suggestions to the driver or the system can decide to wait for directions. Drivers may be able to book parking without ever needing to press a screen.
The BMW iNext will arrive in 2021. Expect it to boast a range of around 435 miles on a single charge. The model will start with SAE Level 3 autonomous capability, and BMW will upgrade it to Level 4 freedom as soon as a year later. Drivers can take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel.
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