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BMW Night Vision available in the 5 and 6 Series as of March - Far Infra-Red technology

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BMW Night Vision available in the 5 and 6 Series as of March
Far Infra-Red technology
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BMW opts for Far Infra-Red technology (FIR). Thermal imaging camera for enhanced detection of human beings and animals.
Conducting comparative studies and carefully observing independent scientific examinations, BMW's engineers have opted in favour of innovative far infra-red technology (FIR), most efficient in detecting persons, animals and objects at night. FIR offers the following benefits:

- Reduction to the essential:
Far infra-red technology uses a thermal imaging camera highlighting in particular persons, animals and objects irradiating higher temperatures. FIR intentionally does not present a detailed image of the respective traffic situation, which would only delay the recognition of a human being within the overall image. In other words, insig¬nificant details are cancelled out and do not distract the driver.

- FIR enables the driver "to look further":
Covering a range of approximately 300 metres or almost 1,000 feet, FIR "looks" about twice as far as other systems. Hence, the driver is informed earlier on possible hazards - indeed, up to 5 seconds earlier at a speed of 100 km/h.

- FIR cannot be "dazzled":
FIR cannot be dazzled by the headlights of oncoming traffic, by traffic lights, road lights and highly reflective surfaces such as traffic signs. And vehicles with FIR technology do not dazzle each other.

Over and above the advantages offered by the FIR principle from the start, BMW has enhanced this technology by adding further functions: The image presented follows the road in a panning process and distant objects can be shown larger as a function of speed (zooming).


Convenient use of BMW Night Vision like looking in the interior mirror.
BMW Night Vision presents a high-contrast black-and-white night image to the driver on the Control Display in the middle of the instrument panel. Benefiting from FIR technology, the driver only has to briefly check out the Display in order to recognise a hazard. So using BMW Night Vision is comparable to looking into the interior mirror in the car.

Examining the new system, BMW also considered the option to present the image in the driver's primary field of vision, for example in the Head-Up Display or in the instrument cluster, but this option was rejected for ergonomic reasons. Tests have shown that the combination of real-life and virtual images irritates the driver and is not the best solution.


Last Updated on Saturday, 21 January 2006 07:02  

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