Future BMWs will have improved handling and performance thanks to this clever technology.
To improve ride comfort, Mercedes-Benz has created the E-Active Body Control system that uses a camera to scan the road up to 49 feet in front of the car. The suspension is then adjusted accordingly to minimize the amount of body roll.
But because competition breeds excellence, BMW is looking to take this a step further. The German luxury automaker has teamed up with Israeli technology and data company Tactile Mobility to develop a new groundbreaking road-sensing system that can analyze the road surface under the car's tires to detect the road condition and improve the performance and handling accordingly. In other words, you'll be able to "feel" the road more accurately than ever before in upcoming BMW models like the BMW i4.
Unlike Mercedes' Magic Body Control that virtually scans the road ahead and prepares the suspension in advance, Tactile Mobility's software uses a vehicle's built-in, non-visual sensors to collect and analyze data and optimize the car's settings and performance, adjusting the suspension, powertrain, braking efficiency, and tire health in real-time.
The software creates a 'VehicleDNA' of each vehicle's systems characteristics, which is paired with a 'SurfaceDNA' that stores data such as road conditions, grip levels, and the curvature of the road. This will enable models equipped with the software to anticipate road conditions and pre-configure vehicle systems ahead of time.
"We are thrilled to partner with the BMW Group to equip their smart and future automated vehicles with the sense of 'touch' and show the commercial viability of tactile sensing technology," said Boaz Mizrachi, Tactile Mobility's Co-founder and CTO.
Tactile Mobility's advanced road-sensing technology will be embedded into BMW Group's next-generation vehicles worldwide starting from 2021, so there's a good chance that upcoming new models such as the BMW i4, BMW iNext, and the next-generation BMW 2 Series Coupe and M2 will be fitted with the technology. Other BMW Group brands such as Mini and Rolls-Royce will also utilize Tactile Mobility's software in the future.