Carmaker BMW presents its new technology flagship with the iX electric SAV. Continental supplies key components for this vehicle, thereby helping to shape the mobility of tomorrow.
Understated appearance, exceptional technology
The iX’s focus lies more than ever on user experience: The car adapts intelligently to the needs of the driver, while the highly complex technology – concealed under high-quality Acella leatherette – works its magic in the background. This is made possible by Continental’s first mass-produced Cockpit High-Performance computer (HPC). It opens the door for various software providers and coordinates the data exchange in the vehicle to enable new functions as well as essential updates. In addition, the HPC not only controls all input and output devices in the driver’s compartment, but also merges functions from the infotainment and control elements. These can be freely configured and allow for the greatest possible personalization for both drivers and passengers, creating a whole new user experience that transcends screen boundaries. To enhance this experience even further, an optimized mounting of the electric motor ensures the best possible isolation of noise so that it remains inaudible to the vehicle’s occupants.
Nikolai Setzer, chairman of Continental’s Executive Board, also emphasizes how important the experience factor is as far as the mobility of the future is concerned: “The user experience is becoming an increasingly important decision criterion for vehicle buyers. With our building blocks for intuitive, safe, but above all attractive interaction between the driver and the vehicle in the BMW iX, as well as our expertise in software development and system integration, we are also helping to promote sustainable mobility.” By connecting the vehicle and mobile device in the integrated smartphone terminal, for example, the iX automatically suggests the shortest route to the destination – and even finds free parking spaces nearby. Using the head-up display, the route is projected onto the windshield directly into the driver’s field of vision, along with other important information such as speed and warning messages.
Less distraction, greater safety
Positive side effect: The driver’s focus is on the road, distractions are minimized, and safety is increased. This is also supported by the driver monitoring camera which analyzes the driver’s head position, line of vision, or eye opening, and warning them as soon as it detects signs of a lack of attention or fatigue. Both the head-up display and the camera work inconspicuously in the background: They are invisibly integrated into the high-resolution, curved display landscape in the iX’s cockpit, which extends across large parts of the dashboard and combines all displays such as the speedometer or navigation display. Other active and passive electronic safety components from Continental, such as control units for brakes, chassis, airbags and sensors, as well as the vacuumless MK C1 one-box brake system, contribute to driving safety and thus ensure a holistic positive user experience. In addition, the ARS540 4D imaging radar, which is being integrated in the vehicle for the first time, offers direct and independent measurement of four dimensions (range, Doppler, azimuth, elevation), resulting in unique environment sensor performance and thus greater safety and comfort. Also the radar serves as a fusion and function host in combination with other ADAS sensors, for example to realize emergency brake assistant functionalities.
As for the exterior of the vehicle, Continental is also improving the driving experience: An ultra-wideband transceiver makes it possible to open and start the iX via smartphone – making the classic car key superfluous. At tire dealers, Continental also offers various summer and winter tires for the BMW iX which feature short braking distances and very good handling characteristics on both dry and wet roads.
The systemic partnership with BMW proves once again that, following the ID.3 and ID.4 from VW, Continental also plays a decisive role in shaping electric mobility with the new iX.
Download infographic BMW iX as PDF
Rows of houses grow out of the display. A red stop sign hovers ten centimeters in front of the screen. In addition, numbers seem to magically hang in the air, indicateing the distance to the destination and the required travel time. And then this: Suddenly, on a smooth surface in wood, carbon or leather optics in the cockpit, the cover image of the driver’s favorite artist and virtual menu buttons for operating a music playlist appear. With such visual effects and an exciting design reduced to the essentials, Continental is revolutionizing the display and control surfaces in vehicles. The technology company is taking the discipline “User Experience”, which is becoming increasingly important in automotive engineering, to a new level.