More than 90 percent of auto-related crashes are due to human error: a distraction, a mistake.
With its new “Active Assist” technology, BMW is trying to do everything it can to take those errors out of the equation.
Using laser sensors, the system effectively keeps a 360-degree vigil and will automatically and gently brake before a vehicle hits any stationary object.
If you drive full throttle at a wall, Active Assist will stop mere inches away, without the driver touching the brakes.
While collision-avoidance systems are not new—many cruise-controls automatically slow down when you close too fast on the car in front—BMW’s sensors keep track of walls, columns, and other stationary objects, constantly redrawing a map of the surrounding area.
The next step for BMW now is moving objects, which would involve developing algorithms to show not only where a cyclist or car is, but where they will be.
Bloomberg’s profile of BMW’s Active Assist is the latest installment of The Spark, which looks at innovators finding solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.