BMW Motorrad looks took two-wheeled technology a few steps further when it showed off several new technology concepts at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 in Las Vegas. Showcased here were its laser headlights and in-helmet heads-up display (HUD) systems destined for its production bikes in the near future.
Laser lighting technology isn’t new from the BMW Group. Derived from the system found in the BMW i8 eco-supercar and 7 Series, the tech was displayed using a specially outfitted BMW K1600 GTL demonstrator. BMW’s forward-looking laser headlights generates a brighter light in pure-white, with its high-beam able to illuminate up to 600 metres in range ¬– double that of a conventional light system.
Riding under low-light or night time conditions are made safer with the tech thanks to its increased and highly precise illumination abilities. Furthermore, BMW has designed the system into a very compact and robust construction, promising long service life and low maintenance.
Despite the tech being in preliminary development stages still, BMW remains confident that the tech will arrive in its production bikes in the near future. Presently, the tech is still too cost-intensive and it will take BMW a while for it to work out the economies of scale for the technology’s application in both its volume cars and bikes where the cost structure becomes more feasible.
Also showcased at CES 2016 alongside the laser headlights concept was an innovative and intelligent in-helmet heads-up display or HUD system. Again, BMW is not unfamiliar with this tech having implemented HUD systems in a variety of its cars.
The HUD tech displayed at CES however is adapted for motorcycle use and is integrated directly into a helmet. The system projects data displays directly into the rider’s field of view, thus increasing rider comforts by keeping riders’ on-road vision locked, negating the need to glance down at the instrument panel.
All displays are freely programmable; ideally, to provide the best-possible support for rider safety, only information that is helpful and relevant to the current situation should be displayed to the rider at any given moment. Available data include tyre pressure, oil and fuel levels, speed and gear indicators, speed limit and road sign recognition, as well as warnings.
BMW intends to develop this further whereby in the near future, the HUD system will offer increased information such as real-time navigation and routes, followed by the addition of V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication and group ride data visualisations, not forgetting a secondary rear-view camera tasked at providing a ‘digital rear-view mirror’ function plus a forward-facing built-in action camera functions as well.
The helmet, which is also primed with an integrated mini-computer and loudspeakers, is controlled from the left-hand handlebar fittings using the BMW Motorrad multicontroller. As well as operating the camera, this allows the rider to comfortably select the required information. The entire system is battery-operated via two replaceable batteries able to last for approximately five hours.
According to BMW, the firm is able to adapt this helmet-integrated intelligent HUD system into its existing helmets, and it plans to develop this tech for series production use within the next few years.
Source: BMW Group Press
Images: BMW Group Pess