BMW First In The UK To Offer Full Colour Screen Satellite Navigation With Dynamic Traffic Information

BMW Great Britain is now able to provide drivers of the new 7 Series with a fully integrated traffic navigation system. This new system not only gives visual and verbal warnings of impending traffic problems but can also re-route the driver to avoid the delay. It will be offered as standard to all 7 Series customers with immediate effect and as an option on all other BMW models later in the year.

Integrated with the satellite navigation system, warning symbols are displayed on a full colour screen map enabling the driver to see where traffic problems are located. By selecting the traffic information screen the driver can then access a detailed list of messages showing information on the exact location of the delay, the length of the tail back and the cause of the problem. For example a detailed message might read as follows:
  • M5: Birmingham (West) & Quinton to Frankley Services
  • Accident. Carriageway reduced to one lane
  • Length 1.5 miles

If a final destination has been entered and a route selected, the system will offer to re-route the driver. The driver will be alerted via voice and screen messages in red on the navigation map. If the driver feels that the cause of the delay will make re-routing unnecessary, he can continue on the original course.

If a final destination has not been entered into the navigation, the system will give advance visual warnings to the driver of any delay along the route. Dynamic Traffic Information has the capacity to pick up accurate warning messages within a two hundred mile radius of the location of the car.

How the system works?

The system used is called TMC (Traffic Message Channel) and is operated in the UK by ITIS. This organisation collates traffic information from regional traffic control centres throughout the UK as well as using an advanced traffic collection system known as Floating Vehicle Data or FVD.

This system collects speed and congestion information from thousands of vehicles travelling on the road network. The traffic data is then broadcast on FM radio (Classic FM) as a "silent" sub channel. Once received and decoded the messages are integrated into the navigation system to provide the driver with verbal and visual warnings. The result is a system that provides accurate, detailed and timely traffic alerts ensuring the driver is aware of problems well in advance of reaching them.

Published 18 March 2002 Melanie Carter

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