[from Winding Road: http://news.windingroad.com/?p=1352]
BMW drivers will soon be able to anticipate traffic jams and plan alternate routes with their navigation systems.
The automaker announced today that it will offer Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI) on select U.S. lines: 3, 5, and 6 Series models; X5; M5 and M6. Critically, BMW’s new system goes beyond the RTTI already offered by rival Acura, in that it offers “dynamic rerouting” when faced with traffic obstacles (AcuraLink requires drivers to manually input new routes).
The RTTI service will work in around 44 major metropolitan areas, and relies on Clear Channel’s Total Traffic Network for information (AcuraLink uses XM-based technology). Clear Channel’s traffic information is gathered from a comprehensive network of FM radio stations, embedded road sensors, traffic video monitors, and so on.
According to BMW, the new feature will be available at no additional cost to owners for four years.
(Official press release after the jump)
BMW ADDS REAL TIME TRAFFIC INFORMATION TO ITS NAVIGATION SYSTEM
Navigation Systems In Select 2007 BMWs Enhanced With Traffic and Rerouting Information For Major Metropolitan Areas Across The U.S.
New Benefit Added At No Additional Monthly Cost To Customer
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - September 7, 2006… Underscoring its commitment to delivering industry-leading service, technology, and innovation, BMW today announced the availability of Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI). This new premium service feature will offer timely traffic information and for the first time on any production vehicle sold in the United States, dynamic rerouting on navigation systems in select 2007 BMW models, ie. the X5, M5, M6, and the 3, 5, and 6 Series models. Set to launch this September, RTTI represents the company’s latest addition to its list of premium consumer features and benefits.
“As an independent company deeply rooted in innovation, we are extremely excited to add RTTI to our robust suite of offerings,” said Alan Harris, Vice President of Aftersales for BMW of North America. “At no recurring cost to the customer, RTTI transforms the navigation system from an option that is mainly used only when customers are lost or going to an unknown destination, to a daily benefit that helps them reach their destinations more efficiently and effortlessly than ever before. We will continue to seek groundbreaking ideas, technologies and features that give drivers peace of mind and improve the daily driving experience.”
Unlike other automobile manufacturers that charge a recurring monthly fee for RTTI, or require customers to pay for an additional satellite radio service, BMW has included RTTI as part of the cost of the navigation system for select 2007 BMW models. There are no activation fees or recurring monthly charges to BMW customers for 4 years.
BMW’s new RTTI service will be available in as many as 44 major metropolitan markets through Clear Channel’s Total Traffic Network, Clear Channel Radio’s award-winning programming and technology service that delivers Real Time Traffic Information directly to vehicles over its extensive network of FM radio stations.
With the help of Clear Channel’s broadcast network, customers no longer have to search for traffic reports on radio stations to be in-the-know about traffic situations. Up-to-date traffic information is compiled from a variety of sources including FM radio stations, highway-embedded sensors, video monitors on bridges and roadways, and local traffic monitoring centers. Traffic data is then streamed to a dedicated tuner in the car’s radio and transferred directly to the navigation system. So customers can receive traffic updates from a variety of stations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week-even when the radio is turned off or when the customer is listening to other entertainment sources such as a CD or iPod. The navigation system calculates the best route considering the traffic incidents and potential delays. In addition to alerting the driver to where the traffic is, if the delay is calculated to be more than 5 minutes then the navigation system will offer alternative routes around the congestion, either automatically or at the choice of the driver.
BMW-A Company of Ideas
BMW has a unique corporate culture which puts a premium on constant innovation and inspiration. This is reflected in projects like BMW CleanEnergy, BMW’s commitment to a sustainable future for mobility using renewable hydrogen fuel, BMW Design, which sets trends in interior and exterior styling, and the award-winning BMW FILMS. BMW believes there is nothing more rewarding than helping great ideas live on.