BMW 7 series tops iSuppli’s Automotive Technology Scorecard

BMW 7 series tops iSuppli’s Automotive Technology Scorecard

BMW's 7 Series has been named the world's most technologically advanced new vehicle in 2009 according to iSuppli's Technology Availability Scorecard.

"The updated version of the BMW 7 Series includes 30 of the 35 total features defined in iSuppli's Technology Ranking – the highest score ever recorded for an individual model in the four years this ranking has been conducted," said Phil Magney, iSuppli's vice president of automotive research.

The 7 Series technology includes a new 80Gb HDD multimedia navigation system, an updated iDrive interface, a second-generation Night Vision system, a traffic sign recognition system and blind-spot detection, as well as a variety of built-in wireless features, such as an industry-first Internet browser, premium traffic, HD and satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system.

BMW's 5 series took the No.2 spot, close behind the 7 series with a score of 28, and the 6 series scored 27.

The new Hyundai Equus, just released in Korea, scored 26 points.

The BMW X5, Lexus LS – the overall leader in 2006 – and the Hyundai Genesis scored 25 points, and the BMW 3 Series, X6, and Toyota Crown scored 24.

Collectively, BMW has a larger number of technology features deployed across more of its models than any other OEM, thus putting it in the top position for the fourth straight year.

Hyundai is the only manufacturer besides BMW and Toyota/Lexus to be ranked among the Top 10 most technologically advanced models, reflecting Hyundai's increasing emphasis on getting cutting-edge technology into its newer cars.

The Genesis features monitored telematics, a 30Gb HDD multimedia navigation system with real-time traffic, adaptive cruise control, rear-view camera, Bluetooth and a 17-speaker Lexicon branded premium sound system from Harman International.

The Equus beats the Genesis with more Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) such as Lane Departure Warning.

During the past year, iSuppli has observed a significant growth in ADAS shipments and has added driver monitoring to its key technologies tracked by the index.

Furthermore, the importance of Internet-based route planning has lead iSuppli to add destination download as a key feature to the Technology Availability Index.

Of all technologies available on 2009 production vehicles, the most predominant is navigation. Historically limited to luxury vehicles, 66% of all models (globally) now offer a standard or optional solution.

With the introduction of new HDD-based multimedia systems, OEMs have increased the availability of HDD systems from 14% for the 2008 model year to 25% in 2009. Touch-screen technology has also risen from 26% last year to 34% in 2009.

USB ports jumped from 12% of all vehicles in 2008 to 25% this year. The iPod, the most popular connectivity interface, is available on 33% of 2009 models.

Meanwhile, traditional telematics solutions that provide emergency call and automotive collision notification, while prevalent on BMW, GM and Lexus vehicles, are available on only 18% of new vehicles in the 2009 model year.

News, weather and sports updates are available on 15% of all vehicles, while traffic and POIs can be found on 40%.

Finally, remote diagnostics is only available on 8%, although it is expected to spread to more vehicles in the near future.

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