• Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
With all the recent news about automated vehicle technology (from Ford, Nissan and Toyota, among others), Mini is bringing some not-so-groundbreaking tech into its products to better keep the driver connected to the car. Other than stating that these new technologies will roll out in future models, there is no telling when we could see them starting to show up, although our best guess is the 2015 Mini Cooper.

Two of the more notable technologies that Mini will introduce include a head-up display system (shown above) and the "city braking" system to work in conjunction with collision warning and passenger detection. The automated braking system is made possible with the forward-mounted camera, which is also used for adaptive cruise control, auto-dimming headlights and a street sign detection system (to relay speed limit and traffic sign info to the driver). A new parking assist feature helps drivers find a properly sized parking spot, and then drivers can take advantage of the backup camera.

Mini obviously isn't the first to introduce these technologies, but it might be among the first to bring such a large number of advanced safety features into a car priced under $30,000 – though there is no telling how much these options will cost. The automaker has issued a brief press release for its upcoming driver assist systems, which is posted below.
Show full PR text
The new MINI driver assist systems.

Intelligent networking between the MINI, the driver and the outside world create new ways to enhance driving pleasure, extend the range of comfort functions and provide the latest services in the area of in-car infotainment. Since its launch, MINI Connected has been marketing leading in the area of in-car technology, pioneering access to apps and services to both assist and entertain driver and passengers.

In future models MINI will roll out a number of innovative driver assist systems that also use intelligent networking for the exchange of information between driver and vehicle. The new functions transform the MINI more than ever into its driver's assistant and offer innovative comfort and safety technology.

When it comes to the development and configuration of new driver assist systems, MINI exploits the BMW Groups' worldwide leadership in innovation in this area. Networking technology has been used for the targeted exchange of information between driver, vehicle and the outside world for more than 40 years. Innovations like the radar-based distance warning device (1972), the world's first on-board computer with exterior temperature display (1980), the first navigation system fully integrated in the vehicle from a European manufacturer (1994) and first Emergency Call system, still unique to this day, first introduced in 1997, are among the milestones set by the company in this area. As early as 2007, interface technology for integrating the Apple iPhone in the MINI operating system was introduced. Since 2011, additional online-based functions can be integrated in the MINI Connected package with the help of apps.

The MINI head-up display helps the driver concentrate on what is happening on the road by displaying relevant information right in the driver's line of vision. This can be seen quickly and conveniently without having to take your eyes off the road. The collision warning and pedestrian warning systems, including city braking function make it easier to avoid dangerous situations, particularly in city traffic. The MINI parking assist feature offers maximum comfort in searching for and using parking spaces, while the reversing camera gives drivers a better view when manoeuvring.

Other innovations in the driver assist systems for MINI include the video-based speed and distance control which automatically keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front, and the speed limit information system, which detects and displays speed limits as they apply to the current section of road. This system is supplemented by the no passing display and traffic sign memory functions. The digital headlight assist function contributes to optimum visual conditions when driving at night. This system helps the driver use the full range of headlight functions. Oncoming traffic and preceding vehicles are registered by a camera, while automatic switching to dimmed headlights avoids causing a nuisance for other drivers.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      flatdarkmars
      • 1 Year Ago
      "it might be among the first to bring such a large number of advanced safety features into a car priced under $30,000" The 2014 Mazda3 is already available with almost almost all of those features.
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      Heads up display? Looks like an inferior version of GM's 1997 implementation that was height adjustable right on your windshield... *rolleyes* Never understood why that never really caught on, as its excellent and hard to live without once you're used to it.
        bK
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        I remember I had a really nice JDM aftermarket HUD from ebay back in the days, don't know why its only catching on now....
      Richard Reed
      • 1 Year Ago
      A headups display projects the information on your windshield. This is not a headups display and it looks cheap.
        11fiveoh
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Richard Reed
        These are fairly cheap cars.
        drew
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Richard Reed
        A heads-up displays simply projects the information into your field of view. See: HUDs in jet fighters.
        MacProMan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Richard Reed
        why don\'t you knock it after you try it bro, I have tried this same thing in the all new Mazda 3 and it is more than acceptable
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      ckm
      • 1 Year Ago
      European Ford Focuses have had most of this for a while - the one I rented last year had collision detection, auto-cruise, auto-dimming headlights & sign detection w/speed alerts (vibrating steering wheel). You could also set it to auto-detect speed signs and set the speed limiter automatically.... The car I had did not have automated parking, but I think it's available in other models. Great car, too bad Ford doesn't offer either the diesel engine or any of the tech in the US. Oh, and you can't even get the fantastic high-end Aeron-chair like fabric either.... Seriously, so much for the 'global car'...
        John
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ckm
        They do offer some of the tech in the US. Such as the collision detection, auto cruise, auto headlights, auto wipers, lane departure w/ steering assist, auto parking, blind spot and cross path detection and I'm sure I'm missing some stuff.
      artandcolour2010
      • 1 Year Ago
      What we're really seeing is the changing of the entire concept of the car from a transportation device to a smart object, taking the place of several other devices. It's the same change that happened to the phone in the past 10 years. No longer just a speaking/hearing device, smart phones have taken the place of many objects now. The smart car has arrived.
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @artandcolour2010
        Aside from 'car', what other devices are these 'smart cars' replacing? The only thing I can think of is aftermarket back-up cameras -- but not many people have those anyway. I think there is still a long way to go before the car really becomes 'smart'.
      jebibudala
      • 1 Year Ago
      What the F is all that garbage? Are manufacturer and government regulations trying to compete to see who can take the "drivers" eyes off the road the most? As if reading the average 83.4 road signs per mile isn't enough.
      IceDree
      • 1 Year Ago
      Since we are talking about "automated vehicles" , why not mention companies that already have "Automated mode" on sale like Mercedes Benz or BMW ?
      John
      • 1 Year Ago
      that looks great, the mini is starting to look like more of a premium city vehicle with that new tech. but if someone is wearing google glass it'd be better to see directions through that,
        John
        • 1 Year Ago
        @John
        oops, i meant it would be better to see the directions through google glass
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