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The
Simple
Stuff
MGCCWDCC Logo by Bob Vitrikas

Electronic Aids
Simple? Not!

Today’s cars are simply really, really complicated! A 2016 article in USA Today, reported that cars of that day had over 150 computer subsystems and high end cars needed over 100 million lines of code to run them. That’s about 14 times as much computer code as a Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet or 690 times the lines of code in the Apollo 11 mission to the moon! And that USA Today article was written two years ago, which is an age in terms of car electronics development. Where will it all end? Will it end?

All these electronic wonders enable our modern rides to do amazing things, some good like lane departure control, backup cameras and anti-lock brake systems. Others leave me scratching my head. I recently checked out the equipment list on a 2018 BMW Seven Series and found 94 electronic aids before I stopped counting. With apologies to my BMW owning friends and my wife Chris, I just can’t resist highlighting a few:

  • Active Kidney Grille:  Males over the age of 60 know this as over-active bladder, usually associated with drinking beer, which makes sense to have this on a car made in Bavaria.
  • Start-off Assistant:  Related to Active Kidney Grille, for those “slow-starters” among us.
  • Brake Drying and Brake Stand-by features:  Just in case you need to relieve yourself on the side of the road.
  • Power windows with anti-trapping feature:  Developed in cooperation with the SPCA.
  • Voice command system with Natural Language Understanding:  I have one of these on every one of my cars. Her name is Chris.
  • Parking assistant:  Who wouldn’t like one of these. Mine is named Chris.
  • BMW Active Protection System detects imminent accidents, then prepares by automatically pretensioning safety belts, closing windows and moonroof, and activating post crash braking; includes Attention Assistant feature:  Better late than never I guess. My Attention Assistant is called Chris.
  • Daytime Pedestrian Protection:  See Voice Command, Parking Assistant and Attention Assistant above.
  • My personal favorite, Gesture Control:  Usually activated after Voice Command, Parking Assistant, Pedestrian Protection, or Attention Assistant have been enabled. Need I say more? I’ve probably already said too much...

But seriously...

BMW 7 Series Electronic Aids

  • Auto Stop-Start
  • Electronically controlled engine cooling (map cooling)
  • Brake Energy Regeneration
  • Electronic throttle control
  • Air curtains and air breather system
  • Active kidney grille
  • Driving Dynamics Control wiht ECO PRO, Adaptive , comfort, comfort_ Sport + modes
  • ABS
  • Dynamic Brake Control (DBC)
  • Cornering Brake Control (CBC)
  • Dynamic Damper Control
  • Servotronic power steering assist
  • 2-axle self-leveling air suspension
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Brake Fade Compensation, Start-off Assistant, Brake Drying and Brake Stand-by features; with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC)
  • Integral Active Steering with variable steering ratio
  • Electromechanical parking brake
  • Hill Descent Control (HDC)
  • Automatic high beams
  • Icon Adaptive LED headlights
  • 20-way power multi-contour front seats, including articulated upper backrest, 4-way lumbar support, driver and passenger-seat memory, and adjustable side and thigh support
  • Anti-theft AM/FM in-dash stereo CD/MP3 player with Radio Data System (RDS)
  • HD radio with multicast FM station reception
  • Sirius XM Satellite Radio
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Rear-view camera
  • iDrive 6.0 with touchscreen, touchpad controller and 7 programmable memory buttons
  • Gesture Control
  • Dynamic Cruise Control
  • Condition-Based Service display with additional functions accessible through iDrive System
  • ConnectedDrive Services
  • Advanced Real Time Traffic information
  • Enhance smartphone connectivity with additional microphone, USB connections, and ability for simultaneous device pairing
  • Black Panel Display with LCD main and trip odometer displays and warning indicators in dial faces
  • Side- and Top-view cameras include
  • BMW navigation system with 3-D maps; 200 GB hard drive with 20 GB storage for audio files; Voice command system with Natural Language Understanding; and Over-the-Air (OTA) updates for map data up to 4 times annually
  • Full-color head-up display
  • Expanded Check Control Vehicle monitor system
  • BMW TeleService
  • Tire Pressure monitor
  • Comfort access keyless entry with multi-function remote control and hands-free trunk-lid opening/closing
  • Soft close automatic door operation
  • Automatic 4-zone climate control
  • Panoramic moonroof with fully automatic, 2-piece glass panel, power slide and lift control, wind deflector, and power interior sunshade
  • Automatic-dimming interior rear-view mirror and driver’s side exterior mirror
  • Power tilt/telescopic steering wheel with automatic tilt-up for easy entry and exit
  • Park distance Control, front and rear
  • Advanced vehicle and Key Memory includes most recently used climate control temperature and air-distribution setting; exterior mirror and power seat settings, audio tone settings and radio presets; central locking preferences, and lighting preferences
  • Power trunk lid opening and closing
  • Power rear window and rear side window sunshades
  • Automatic tilt down of passengers side view mirror when car is shifted into reverse gear
  • Power windows with key off and one touch up and down operation both front and rear, anti-trapping feature, opening from remote and closing from exterior lock
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers with adjustable speed and automatic headlight control
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Parking assistant
  • Ground illuminating lights in exterior door handles
  • Interior courtesy lights with automatic dimming function
  • Front map lights and rear reading lights with separate controls for the left and right
  • Dual illuminated vanity mirrors integrated into rear cabin headline
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Universal garage door opener
  • Ventilated front and rear seats
  • WiFi Hotspot including 3 GB/3-month trial
  • 2x USB ports with 2.1A charging
  • Adaptive brake lights
  • Front and rear Head Protection System (HPS)
  • Drivers and passengers front airbag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with dual-threshold, dual-stage deployment and front passenger seat sensors designed to prevent unnecessary airbag deployment.
  • Front safety belts with automatic pre-tensioners
  • Automatic locking retractor (ALR) on all passenger seat safety belts
  • Anti-theft alarm system
  • Programmable LED Daytime Running Lights
  • Pathway lighting feature, programmable via Advanced Vehicle and Key Memory
  • BMW Remote Services includes stolen vehicle recovery, remote door unlock and BMW connected app
  • BMW’s Active Protection System detects imminent accidents, then prepares by automatically pretensioning safety belts, closing windows and moonroof, and activating post crash braking; includes Attention Assistant feature
  • Active Front headrests
  • Acoustic safety belt warning
  • Impact sensor that activated Battery Safety Terminal disconnect of alternator, fuel pump and starter from batter; automatically unlocks doors and turns on hazard and interior lights.
  • Active Driving Assistant include Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation, Speed Limit Info, Lane Departure warning, Active Blind Spot Detection,and rear Cross Traffic Alert.
  • Coded Driveway Protection
  • BMW Assist eCall include Emergency Request (SOS button) and Enhanced Automatic Collision Notification.

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