BMW Group Research and Technology is working on a project that would give directions to drivers once they're inside large, complex structures. This system will be used alongside satellite navigation systems, permitting drivers to easily navigate factories, fairgrounds, and other similar facilities.
The project, dubbed as Pathfinder from BMW, will provide micro-navigation both inside and outside the vehicle.
In a press release, BMW Project Manager Carsten Isert said that the "realistic visualization of a building" similar to a complex multi-storey car park by means of a micro-Navigation card in the Central Information Display of the research prototype provides the user "a clear navigation and information advantage" that goes further than the conventional range of a road navigation solution.
Owners can download maps and details about different locations, similar to navigation units that are already available. As soon as the information arrives on the handheld device, it is displayed through the car's larger screen.
People with disabilities will find the device useful as it will help them locate a wheelchair-accessible parking spot. It can also be used to guide the disabled person to a spot near a specific elevator. The device can also be used to direct the passengers to any specific point inside the site, such as an office or a desk.
Researchers at BMW are employing the 3 Series to serve as prototype as they embark on finding new navigation possibilities in their microNavigation research project. While road maps in current navigation systems do not display or cover complex enclosed destination areas, these can be visualized through a detailed large-scale map display.
Likewise, conventional navigation systems do not provide support while drivers are outside of their vehicles. In case of microNavigation, it offers an extended solution. Through a mobile unit, drivers can be guided to where they want to go and back to their vehicles.
The system allows drivers to download information about their destination in advance, using their computers at home. If the destination area has a microMap, the system will offer it to the driver automatically. Drivers can then choose their destination within the microMap.
The destination and the map data will be then automatically transferred to the vehicle, thereby augmenting the available navigation within the car. Researchers are expecting the possibility of downloading microMaps while the vehicle is travelling on the road.
On the other hand, researchers have developed lane-specific positioning for the vehicle by linking camera information, map data and GPS coordinates. Then, the system will guide the driver to the destination on a lane-specific route. Drivers would find detailed maps – along with precise car-park positioning – to be useful in maneuvering through car parks and during a trip.
Once the driver has parked the vehicle, he or she could transfer the data to his or her mobile device, which could help provide continuous navigation while they are on foot in complex and uncovered destination areas.
According to Carsten Isert, Project Manager for microNavigation at BMW Group Research and Technology, the realistic visualization of a building -- like a complex multi-storey car park – through a micro-Navigation card in the Central Information Display of the prototype could give a clear navigation and information advantage that conventional systems could not provide.
Robert Hein, Head of Navigation and Data Services of the Future at BMW Research and Technology, remarked that microNavigation allows personalized navigation during the trip as well as at the destination.