ILENA Confirmed by BMW
ILENA is undergoing testing on a BMW 3 series to determine its self learning capabilities. The system works by establishing different profiles for each driver, as well as recording information about the driving habits and routes each have.
ILENA seems somewhat like a personal organizer that can learn through repetition. That means it can not only remember the route you take to work Monday through Friday, but also identify road gradients, curves and braking points on that particular road.
In much respects, it sounds and acts as an autopilot. Although in the beginning of the project ILENA had a 30 percent success rate, now you are 70 percent more likely to end up at your office than in a ditch.
The ultimate goal of the system is not to be your personal secretary. BMW is taking steps towards integrating the technology with its EfficientDynamics system, as well as networking the system, so that ILENA can become more effective.
From an environmentally stand point, ILENA could be a good thing. It can use its information to decelerate progressively if a speed limit approaches, to smoothly speed up to save fuel, or even to prepare the engine for gear shifting.
BMW still has a long way to go until making the project street worthy. They say their biggest setback is the large amount of space required by the system. But, like it or not, it could be that next generation BMW's will be fitted with the ILENA system. If they are, we only hope they remember to give us a "turn off" switch.
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