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BMW's hands-free driving technology - BMW AirTouch

BMW recently unveiled their i Vision Future Interaction Concept Car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. They showcased some of the future teach that we hope to see sometime in the near future.

The Vision Car is based on the BMW i8, and it includes a first in hands-free driving technology which they call the BMW AirTouch. It allows you to control the entire in-car display with a range of intuitive commands that use your whole hand, without having to touch the screen itself. Sensors record the hand movements in the area between the central console and the interior mirror, enabling the driver or passengers to change the content displayed on the large panorama display. Simple confirmation selects the relevant menu item or activates an icon.

 AirTouch has another option to confirm actions - a concealed AirTouch button on the rim of the steering wheel. Within easy reach of the driver's left thumb, it lights up when a menu or icon can be activated. One tap is sufficient to activate the desired program or change a setting. A similar button is positioned in the side sill door area for passenger use, enabling them to use one hand to navigate through the menu, and the other hand to confirm inputs.

The intelligent AirTouch menu control system reduces the number of steps needed to make a selection. For example, when activating the phone pad, the system automatically brings up contacts or call lists to the top select level, so that a call can be made with just one further action. AirTouch recognises which selection and control steps are required next and displays them in advance. This allows the driver to concentrate on the road ahead, and offers additional convenient control options when the vehicle is travelling in highly automated mode.

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