More details are trickling out about the next-generation MINI hatchback, and this time we have information on the driver assist systems that BMW will be building into the car.
Head up display arrives in a MINI for the first time, but it isn’t implemented the same way it is in a BMW. Instead of projecting the heads up display image on the windscreen, it is projected on a small folding display, similiar to Peugeot’s implementation in cars like the 508. The display is full colour.
There’s also a new collision warning system, which uses a multifunctional camera mounted on the windscreen behind the rear view mirror. Activated from speeds of 15 km/h onwards, it enables the car in front to be electronically monitored, while also detecting pedestrians crossing the road in front of the car. At speeds of up to 60 km/h, the system automatically initiates braking in potentially dangerous situations, while also issuing visual and acoustic warnings.
As soon as the system has registered the danger of a collision by means of the camera images, the driver receives a two-stage alarm. The first warning stage (pre-warning) displays a warning symbol in the instrument cluster and also, when vehicles are appropriately equipped, in the head-up display. In the second warning stage (acoustic warning), the symbol flashes and, in addition an acoustic signal is emitted, prompting the driver to take action.
An automatic braking process is triggered when there is a risk of hitting a pedestrian or when there is a danger of a collision in city traffic. The sensitivity of the collision warning system can be individually configured in the menu of the MINI warning system by choosing one of the warning time levels “early”, “medium” or “late”, or can be disabled.
The same camera is used for active speed and distance regulation, which improves the operation of cruise control. A front camera detects the traffic situation and adapts driving speeds. It can recognise vehicles at a distance of up to 120 metres, and detection required for distance regulation by the system takes place at a distance of up to 90 metres. According to BMW, this video camera-based system has an advantage over radar-based systems because it can also detect stationary vehicles and vehicles that are swinging from side to side.
MINI will also get a new park assist function, which uses ultrasound sensors to detect parking spaces at speeds of under 35 km/h. As soon as a sufficiently large parking space is found – vehicle length plus one metre manoeuvring space – and the system is active, the space will be displayed in the central info display. The automatic parking sequence can then be started at the press of a button, the system will calculate the parking line and the car will park itself. The driver does not need to touch the steering wheel, and only needs to operate the accelerator and brake pedal.
There’s also automatic headlight assist, which registers the headlights of oncoming traffic at a distance of about 1,000 metres and the tail lights of preceding vehicles from a distance of around 500 metres. As soon as other road users can no longer be dazzled, the digital headlight assist system switches from dimmed headlights to the high beam for better visibility.
Check out undisguised photos of the next generation F56 MINI hatchback. Also, click here to read about the next MINI’s new engines and tech.