Peter Anderson | Oct 23, 2012

The BMW Group has presented a raft of new safety and traffic technologies at the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in Vienna.

The company's display focuses on a range of systems described as Urban Mobility concepts, designed to integrate new software and hardware applications with its ConnectedDrive systems.

The DriveNow package, available in a few major German cities, uses an app to direct a user to its car-sharing initiative featuring MINI and BMW cars.

Car sharing is a swipe-in/swipe-out system similar to Australia's Flexicar or GoGet, but with the added advantage of leaving the car at your destination rather than returning it to the pick-up point.

Urban Navigation involves a suite of applications to help keep you moving through traffic, drawing on both local traffic information and locally collected data for more efficient routing.

Complementing the traffic information is a research project aiming to help the driver manage their driving depending on the next traffic light state.

The system is intended to tell the driver or rider whether they'll make it through without breaking the law, or whether to apply the brakes smoothly.

BMW i Ventures featured two new, urban-focussed parking systems.

The first, ParkatmyHouse, directs the driver to a vacant parking space. It operates as a sort of social network for parking space owners looking to rent their spot to drivers.

Operating in the UK, 150,000 drivers have signed up and have access to more than 20,000 locations.

San Francisco's ParkNow allows a driver to set preferences such as location and price for a parking space and book a parking space before leaving home.

The AMULETT project is a pedestrian and cyclist protection system where the car communicates with a transponder worn by the walker or rider.

AMULETT receives a 'ping' from the transponder with information about the type of road user within 20 metres in the city and up 100 metres in open country.

The car can then tell the driver who is around and what they're doing to try and help avoid pedestrian and cyclist impacts.

Some BMW cars are already equipped with BMW Assist, but the company has some more features in the works. In the event of an accident, the car itself can summon help to the scene using a phone unit embedded in the car.

If the driver is able to talk to the operator, information about the accident can be collected to better inform emergency services.

BMW wants to be able to use the system to warn approaching traffic by being able to signal other cars and traffic management to reduce the speed limit.

BMW also demonstrated the functions and potential of BMW ConnectedRide for motorcycles and scooters.

bmw intelligent traffic safety system 08

The first Urban Safety Concept was a BMW C 650 GT scooter, which ran daytime lights, eCall, left turn assistant, traffic light assistant and lane change warning.

It was also fitted with a heads-up display which fed the rider data from the various Assistant packages as well as current speed and collision warning information.

BMW says it plans to add more real-time information, such as local weather warnings or road hazards and connect the rider to other cars or motorbikes fitted with the same system.

The ITW World Congress is being held in Vienna and runs until October 26.

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