There might be no other platform better than safety to showcase one’s technological advancement. And while the industry runs in a rat race to be the best among all, BMW has proven to be no less.
The Bavarian manufacturer’s ambitious SUV, the X5, is putting up a tough competition against major automakers in terms of safety and technology. Along with the mechanical upgrades, X5 also scores plenty of points in being ‘new-age’.
BMW has tackled head-on with the challenge of keeping the driver’s attention on the road during semi-autonomous mode with the help of a camera in the cockpit. In the first of its kind, the camera complements the level 2 semi-autonomous system that requires the driver to take control of the car in case of an emergency.
The X5 sits is one of the crowned models of BMW with a sales figure of more than 2.2 million models sold worldwide. The 2019 model of the SUV comes with two new petrol engines. However, a plug-in hybrid can also be expected for the 2021 model year.
The new X5 also features an off-road package, a first in the X model by BMW. This includes a two-axle air suspension and an electronically controlled rear differential lock. Additionally, the car performs well on an uneven surface with a better balance due to air-controlled suspension for individual wheels. Apart from that, during sports mode, above 138 kmph, the car is automatically lowered by 0.8 inches. Additionally, it can also be raised by 1.6 inches from normal.
Helping the 2019 X5 with its semi-autonomous driving is a plethora of ultrasonic sensors, cameras and radars. The optics placed on the dashboard checks if the driver is facing the road. However, it does not record in-cabin activities.
The camera-based approach provides direct feedback on whether the driver’s attention is on the road, said Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst with Navigant Research.