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7 Series - F01/F02 (2008 - ...) - Occupant Protection

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Exemplary protection of the occupants on all seats.
High-load support structures, large and exactly defined deforma-tion zones and highly efficient restraint systems coordinated by high-performance electronic control set the foundation for a high standard of passive safety in the new BMW 7 Series. The car is designed and built consistently to score the best grades in all crash tests applied the world over.
Forces acting on the body in the event of a head-on collision are fed along several load paths into the floorpan, the side frame, the bulkhead and the roof, being absorbed in the deformation zones and therefore kept away from the passenger cell. The load-bearing structures forming these load paths are made largely of multi-phase steel as well as a new generation of heat-moulded steel. The use of these materials at all appropriate points makes an additional contribution in optimising the weight of the car.
Inside, the new BMW 7 Series features not only frontal and hip/thorax airbags, but also curtain head airbags at the side – naturally all fitted as standard.
Three-point inertia-reel seat belts are likewise standard on all seats, and the restraint systems come with belt force limiters as well as a belt tightening function on the front seats. To prevent cervical spine injury in the event of an impact from behind, the front seats come as standard with crash-activated headrests, and ISOFIX child seat fastenings are featured as standard on the rear seats. All restraint systems are controlled and masterminded by a central electronic safety unit monitoring the type and severity of a collision and activating the most effective safety and protection units in each case. To avoid collisions from behind, the new BMW 7 Series is also equipped with a warning system for motorists following the car.
This is an upgraded, enhanced version of the Adaptive Brake Lights introduced by BMW as the first car maker in the world: Whenever the driver applies the brakes particularly hard and whenever the ABS function is activated, drivers following from behind are warned by a higher level of brake light intensity on the new BMW 7 Series, prompting them to brake hard too.
With other manufacturers following BMW’s example in the meantime and introducing comparable systems, legislation has now been passed for the design and operation of such Adaptive Brake Lights. Taking this legislation into account, the extra-intense brake signal on the new BMW 7 Series is supplemented by a brake light flashing function. Yet a further point is that the hazard warning flashers are automatically switched on after applying the brakes particularly hard as soon as the car comes to a standstill.

Optimum visibility: bi- xenon headlights featured as standard, Adaptive Headlights and variable light distribution as an option.
Featured as standard on the new BMW 7 Series, bi-xenon dual headlights ensure not only optimum illumination of the road in the dark, but also, through their corona rings, offer an attractive and highly effective daytime lights function making the car much easier to recognise also from a distance.
The new BMW 7 Series comes as standard with a light sensor automatically activating the low-beam headlights as a function of ambient light. Yet another feature fitted as standard is the rain sensor registering the intensity of precipitation and automatically adjusting the operation of the windscreen wipers. The optional Headlight Assistant ensures additional comfort when driving at night. Depending on the distance from approaching vehicles and vehicles driving ahead of the car, as well as ambient brightness, the Headlight Assistant automatically switches the high-beam headlights on and off.
The Adaptive Headlights likewise available as an option ensure appropriate illumination of the road ahead in bends and on winding roads, the swivelling motion of the headlights following the steering angle, the yaw rate, and the speed of the car.
The Bending Light function integrated in the headlights switches on an additional light beam whenever the driver bends into another road, illuminating the area ahead in the new direction. Adaptive Headlight Range Control featured for the first time in the new BMW 7 Series also takes the vertical contours of the road into account, lowering and, respectively, raising the light beam when driving over crests, through tunnels or on steep ramps in order to illuminate the road ahead with optimum intensity but without dazzling oncoming traffic.
Variable light distribution is a yet further function of the Adaptive Headlights providing optimum illumination of the road ahead also on a straight stretch. Geared to the speed of the car, this innovative control system automatically increases the area of visibility by enlarging the light beam, making it easier, say, to recognise objects on the left-hand side of the road in the City Light mode at speeds below 50 km/h by broadening the distribution of light. In the Motorway Light mode, on the other hand, the driver’s area of visibility is enlarged by increasing the headlight range and intensifying the degree of illumination on the left-hand side. Whenever the driver switches on the foglamps, variable light distribution broadens the light footprint once again and brightens up the nearby area in front of the car at speeds up to 70 km/h. And at higher speeds this broader light pattern is further enhanced by an increase in headlight range.

World debut: BMW Night Vision with detection of individual persons.
BMW is the world’s first car maker to offer a Night Vision system even able to detect and warn individual persons in the new BMW 7 Series. Indeed, this new generation of BMW Night Vision sets standards in avoiding accidents when driving at night.
The primary unit featured by the system is a thermal imaging camera transmitting a moving video picture enabling the driver to recognise people, animals and other objects also outside of the headlight footprint in a high-resolution image presented on the Control Display. And now this system is being supplemented for the first time by the detection and recognition of individual persons and their behaviour. This is done by a control unit analysing video data and using intelligent algorithms to look spe cifically for pedestrians shown in yellow in the video.
Should the system detect any danger to individual persons, the driver receives an additional warning.
To minimise the number of warnings and to restrict the system to pedestrians genuinely at risk, the control unit conducts a complex situation analysis, restricting the warning function to pedestrians in a warning corridor determined as a function of speed, steering angle and yaw rate. Whenever, for example, the system detects a person at the edge of the road, moving towards the road or already on the road, the driver is warned in good time by an appropriate symbol in the Control Display.
And if the car is equipped with a Head-Up Display, the warning is also projected on to the windscreen right in front of the driver’s eyes. A number of other driver assistance systems likewise enhance both motoring comfort and active safety in the new BMW 7 Series. These systems support the driver in uncomfortable situations – for example traffic jams or when approaching unclear road signs – help him assess traffic conditions, and promote his awareness in demanding driving manoeuvres. As a result, the driver enjoys an even higher standard of Sheer Driving Pleasure in his new BMW 7 Series, without giving up control and responsibility for his car.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 April 2010 14:36  

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