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Research and Development Network.
From the Original Idea to Final Innovation
in a Networked World.
Innovation is the driving force for the success of the BMW Group.
Innovation coming from a global Research and Innovation Network
where the BMW Group’s development specialists work close together
and develop solutions today for mobility challenges of tomorrow.
Visions, creativity and passion thus serve to create products offering
the customer the direct benefits and experience of the BMW Group’s
innovative power.
BMW Group
The Driving Force:
Passion for Innovation.
The image of the ingenious inventor working all
by himself in his workshop has long been a thing
of the past in the automotive industry. Today some
8,900 specialists interact with one another in the
BMW Group’s Research and Development Network.
Through efficient processes and close interaction
of the development departments, each individual
contributes directly to the creation of new products
and, as a result, to the overall success of the BMW
Group with its brands BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce.
already in place and almost 900 new or extended
patents made out in the year 2008 alone. But not
every good idea is necessarily a genuine innovation.
Only ideas offering the customers added value and
benefits they will really feel, are pursued and exam-
ined in greater detail. Quite simply because “innova-
tion” is not a purpose in itself for the BMW Group,
but rather a specific line of action oriented towards
the customer. Precisely this is why the BMW Group
concentrates on clearly defined areas of technol-
ogy from which the customer benefits directly and
promotes in particular those developments which
stand for ongoing progress in the areas of safety,
economy, and driving pleasure.
The innovative power of the BMW Group is con-
firmed by approximately 60,000 design utilities and
protective rights – thereof some 13,000 patents –
Active Innovation Management.
Keeping a close eye on customer benefits, the
BMW Group pursues a three-stage process of in-
novation. First, the development specialists, inter-
acting with partners in development from all over
the world, identify trends and technologies pointing
into the future. Taking the second step, special-
ists in innovation management assess the results
achieved for their technical and economical imple-
mentation, as well as the benefits actually offered
to the customer. Solutions developed in this way to
the appropriate standard of technical maturity are
then carried over by the BMW Group’s engineers to
the series development process and, ultimately, to
a specific product.
considering how these technologies and develop-
ments might be transferred into the automobile.
Working together in a constructive atmosphere,
BMW Group specialists then continue the develop-
ment of these ideas , upgrading them where appro-
priate in an efficient process all the way to regular
Architecture with short distances
To ensure the rapid implementation of innovations,
the BMW Group keeps communication routes as
short and efficient as possible. This also comes
out most clearly through the architecture of BMW’s
Research Centre: The Research and Innovation
Centre in Munich allowing direct and short-distance
communication of employees through its honey-
comb structure dates back to the year 1986. The
adjacent Project Building, again through its architec-
ture, follows the so-called Product Creation Process
of the BMW Group, bringing together all specialists
from Development, , Production and Purchasing
in one joint project area while working on a specific
vehicle project.
The culture of innovation
The future of the automobile is established by the
BMW Group through a deeply rooted culture of
innovation lived out every day in all areas of devel-
opment. Together with suppliers, universities and
research institutes, BMW examines and assesses
future-oriented trends and technologies also in
areas such as aerospace or the software industry,
The BMW Group’s Research and Development Network –
Eleven Centres in Five Countries.
To recognise trends in good time and offer appro-
priate, tailor-made solutions, it is essential for the
BMW Group to communicate directly with the most
important markets. Incorporating eleven locations in
five countries, the BMW Group’s Research network
spans the entire world and is always up-to-date.
Strong partnerships with, say, local universities and
research institutes also ensure that the BMW Group
Research Network is always technically up-to-date
and clearly oriented towards the customer.
The BMW Group’s Diesel Competence Centre is
BMW Motoren GmbH in Steyr, Austria. Coopera-
tion with specialists in production and with suppli-
ers starts here form the very beginning in the initial
stage of development. The same applies to the
Innovation and Technology Centre in the German
town of Landshut, where in particular specialists
on lightweight technologies examine and develop
innovative materials and appropriate production
methods. Thanks to the strategically favourable
location of the Landshut Centre between Vehicle
Development and Production, knowledge gained
here goes straight into the construction and pro-
duction of new components and vehicles.
Interaction of Development Centres
The technical heart of the BMW Group beats in
the BMW Group Research and Innovation Centre
or the “FIZ”, as it is called for short. One of the most
advanced development centres in the global auto-
motive industry, this unique facility serves as the
central interface for all technical and design-related
activities in BMW research and development. All
of the BMW Group’s other Innovation Centres are
directly connected to the FIZ, acting as both a
service provider and driving force in the develop-
ment process.
BMW Group Research and Development is repre-
sented in the United States by no less than four
institutions. The California Innovation Triangle com-
prises not only the BMW Group Technology Office
in Palo Alto, but also the Engineering and Emission
Test Center in Oxnard as well as BMW Designworks
USA in Newbury Park. The US Development Office,
in turn, is located on the East Coast in Woodcliff
The two subsidiaries BMW Forschung und Technik
GmbH and BMW Car IT GmbH are both based in
Munich, working on new technologies for use in the
automobile. At the same time the BMW Group’s
Research and Technology Division interacts closely
with its own global network of partners in research
and development.
The BMW Group has additional Development
Offices in Beijing (China) and Tokyo (Japan).
Research and development network
Research and development expense
in Euro million
Research and development ratio in %
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Efficient Dynamics –
Even Better Performanceon Even Less Fuel.
The BMW Group initiated the Efficient Dynamics
development strategy quite some time ago in the
year 2000 – and ever since this strategy has served
to consistently innovate products in reducing both
fuel consumption and CO 2 emissions while offering
an even higher standard of performance and driving
dynamics. A further important point is that the tech-
nologies introduced in this context are not limited to
specific models, but rather develop their full impact
as a firm and regular feature of the BMW Group’s
entire car fleet. As a result, BMW Group average fleet
consumption has dropped faster and more consist-
ently than that of any other car maker in recent years.
The BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car
demonstrates the options possible in the context
of Efficient Dynamics, clearly bearing out the ob-
jectives and potential of this development strategy
in concentrated form: a combustion engine with
supreme efficiency, intelligent energy management,
BMW ActiveHybrid technology with innovative
storage of electric power, intelligent lightweight con-
struction and aerodynamics consistently optimised
to the highest standard.
The ambitious aims of the BMW Group in pursuing
Efficient Dynamics are also borne out by the estab-
lishment of the Aerodynamic Test Centre in 2009
and the Energy and Environmental Test Centre in
2010. The new wind tunnels and climate chambers
created here open up new, realistic development
options in areas such as aerodynamics and energy
management highly relevant to the reduction of fuel
Efficient Dynamics consistently queries existing
solutions throughout the entire car, searching stead-
ily for new options in making mobility increasingly
efficient in future and reducing the use of resources
in the process. Apart from the ongoing enhancement
of conventional drive systems and hybrid solutions
in their efficiency, the Efficient Dynamics strategy
includes alternative drive concepts such as electro-
mobility or – in the long term – hydrogen gained in
a regenerative process.
Introducing the MINI E, the BMW Group already
enables the motorist to drive with zero emissions
today through an alternative powertrain. In a test
fleet of no less than 600 cars, the MINI E, with its
150 kW/204 hp electric motor, provides a convinc-
ing example of sustainable mobility without forego-
ing the usual standard of driving pleasure. Hence,
the MINI E, as MINI’s first zero-emission car, already
meets the most demanding challenges for mobility
of the future.
Achievements so far
Reduction of CO 2 emissions by BMW Group cars
the EU from 1995 – 2008 by almost
27 %
CO 2 emissions by BMW Group
189 g/km
cars in Europe (EU15)
154 g/km
Everyday use of hydrogen
proved in BMW Hydrogen 7
over an overall distance of more than
4 mill km
Another fleet of BMW electric cars will be making
its appearance on the road in 2011, both test fleets
offering important findings for the series produc-
tion of electrically driven cars before the end of this
The future – BMW Vision EfficientDynamics
Overall output
262 kW/356 hp
Performance estimate
0 – 100 km/ h in 4.8 sec
Fuel consumption in the EU test cycle
3.76 ltr/ 100 km (equal to 75.12 mpg imp)
CO 2 emissions
99 g/km
Drag coefficient (c x )
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Connected Drive –
the Car Communicating with its Surroundings.
A further highlight in the process of development is
networking the car with its surroundings and traffic
conditions. An ongoing process of innovation dating
back to the early 1970s has culminated in the intro-
duction of BMW ConnectedDrive for greater com-
fort, enhanced infotainment, and superior safety in
the car. Connected Drive ensures active exchange
of information between the driver, the car and its sur-
roundings, leaving lots of space for further, trendset-
ting innovations still to come.
Enhanced Emergency Call
The most important requirement in an accident
is to provide help quickly and fully in line with the
requirements encountered. Precisely this is why the
BMW Group has offered an emergency call function
ever since 1997, the car itself alarming the BMW Call
Center in the event of an accident and at the same
time transmitting data crucial to the survival of the
individuals involved. Apart from its exact location, the
car also transmits data from numerous built-in sen-
sors, giving rescuers, before they even arrive at the
scene of the accident, detailed information on the
type of collision as well as the number of occupants
and their risk of injury. This life-preserving service
is the product of close cooperation between BMW
Group accident researchers and safety experts, on
the one hand, and accident physicians at the William
Lehman Injury Research Center in Miami, USA, on
the other.
Highlights of Connected Drive the way it is estab-
lished today include BMW NightVision even able
to detect individual persons, a telephone enquiry
service transferring data straight to the navigation
system, the option to download routes into the navi-
gation system through mobile connections or USB,
as well as an Enhanced Emergency Call function.
A further essential point is that Connected Drive
makes the BMW Group the world‘s first car manu-
facturer to allow unrestricted use of the internet in
the car.
MINI Connected
Connected Drive has been developed to a very spe-
cial standard in MINI: MINI Connected. This particular
system integrates an internet-based consumer elec-
tronics device such as a Smartphone into the MINI:
With the Smartphone being able to access the in-
ternet, MINI Connected establishes a direct link with
the world outside the car, the internet or social com-
munities. This will enable the MINI to twitter in future,
using vehicle data to send out a message such as
“Driving in the direction of Palo Alto at a current
speed of 56 mph”.
Safety also after an accident has occurred.
Faster rescue increases chances of survival.
Average rescue time for accidents outside of town (in Germany).
Time until
the accident
is noticed
of report
Time required
for planning
and departure
Time for reporting the accident
1 1 9.2
Driving and search time
1.5 1 1 8.2
Rescue time shortened
by an automatic emergency call
The AMULETT Research Project shows how pe-
destrian safety may be further improved in future by
Connected Drive: AMULETT focuses on accidents
which happen whenever the driver fails to see a pe-
destrian or sees him too late. To perform this function
the vehicle communicates with a radio transponder
on the pedestrian’s body. Receiving an enquiry from
the car, the transponder sends out a signal pinpoint-
ing the location of the pedestrian and identifying
him as a road user at the risk of injury. This warns
the driver and allows him to respond appropriately.
Research is even being conducted on the option to
apply the brakes automatically in an emergency.
Road traffic statistics in Germany
1970 20.8 mill motor vehicles registered
2008 51.3 mill motor vehicles registered
1970 201 bill kilometres (125 bill miles) covered
2008 690 bill kilometres (429 bill miles) covered
2009 (Forecast: approx 687 bill km/427 bill m)
1970 21,332 traffic fatalities
2008 4,477 traffic fatalities
2009 (Forecast: approx 4,100 traffic fatalities)
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