Navigation systems have made everyday life much easier for many people and, above all, help frequent travelers to save valuable time looking for the right route. Unfortunately, the capabilities of all navigation systems that are permanently connected to a car end at the latest in the parking lot — which, depending on the destination, can be relatively far away.
BMW has been working on a system called Pfandfinder for years, which combines the capabilities of a permanently integrated navigation system in the vehicle with the advantages of a portable navigation system on a smartphone. As early as June 2010, we reported on the technology that is being developed by Forschungs und Technik GmbH under the catchphrase microNavigation and which should make it considerably easier to reach unknown destinations in the foreseeable future.
The BMW Group’s navigation systems are already telling the driver which lane they should be in, but so far it has not been checked that the relevant advice is being followed. With the help of the camera, which is already often mounted on the interior mirror, it will in future be possible to monitor the choice of the right lane and, if necessary, to give the right information.
Navigation inside buildings is particularly interesting when it comes to microNavigation, because naturally there is no GPS signal here. With the help of the vehicle sensors, the navigation system still knows where the vehicle is and can guide the driver accordingly. This data can then also be used by the smartphone and lead the user to his goal even within a building — if the building has been entered into the system beforehand and its “inner workings” have been mapped accordingly.
Carsten Isert (Project manager microNavigation): "The realistic illustration of a complex multi-storey car park using a microNavigation map in the central information display of the research prototype gives the user a clear navigation and information advantage that goes far beyond the usual offer of a street navigation solution."
Robert Hein (Head of Navigation and Data Services of the Future): “With microNavigation, it is possible to provide the driver with tailored support in his driving task, but also at the destination, and thus significantly increase the level of confidence and comfort."