2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 official debut 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts 2014 BMW i3 debuts
Super CruiseOur friends at Popular Mechanics have announced the winners of their 2013 Breakthrough Awards, which honor innovations and new technologies in a variety of fields, ranging from medicine to electronics to space travel. Among the winners were a pair of automakers.

The BMW i3 was named one of PM's product breakthroughs, and while the diminutive city car has a range comparable to other electrics, Popular Mechanics was impressed the i3's use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, which allows the i3 to tip the scales at just 2,800 pounds. But the i3's space-age materials wouldn't have been such a smash if it were priced beyond what the general public could afford. BMW's ability to offer a vehicle with such an advanced construction for around $42,000 (nearly half the price of the Cadillac ELR and only about $7,000 more than a Chevrolet Volt or Ford Focus Electric) is wildly impressive and speaks volumes about the future of ultra-light composites in the auto industry.

The other big winner comes from General Motors, which was named an Innovator this year for its semi-autonomous Super Cruise technology that's currently being tested on a Cadillac SRX. The technology, which we've reported on before, combines adaptive cruise control and lane centering into a super system that will allow hands-free driving under certain conditions.

For more on BMW and GM's awards, along with the entire list of winners, hop over to Popular Mechanics.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hands free driving means that many drivers will feel completely free to be completely disconnected. Do some texting. Do your makeup. Read the paper. Have a bowl of cereal. Take a nap. Semi-autonomy is fine when it's warning systems that help the person drive. When it allows the person to take hands off the steering wheel, it needs to be fully autonomous, fully able to drive completely and evade road hazards. Otherwise, we're courting disaster.
        sp33dklz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BipDBo
        Dont' worry, the first autonomy related vehicle accident will cause more distress than a battery related fire.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's quite exciting to see yet another EV getting accolades. It's important for BMW's EV program to prove it can enhance the prestige of the BMW marque.
      Luis
      • 1 Year Ago
      So Popular Mechanics decided to give BMW an award for creating a tiny car that weighs 2,800 pounds by extensive use of carbon fiber? Wait until they hear what the boys at Subaru and Toyota did with the BRZ twins. Don't they weigh less than that WITHOUT using ANY carbon fiber...
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Luis
        OK what other manufacture has learned to economically mass produce carbon fiber bodies that weight a fraction of the current steel units?????
      mikeemike1958
      • 1 Year Ago
      ONLY someone that was in love with BMW would buy this ugly thing even with all that tech stuff.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mikeemike1958
        Many will see it as different or futuristic. I think it is currently the BEST EV you can buy for under $50K... The Tesla is no doubt better, but is it $30K better?
      Kuro Houou
      • 1 Year Ago
      To bad the i3 looks like a piece of crap!! Why couldn't they design it to look attractive like a real car?? Instead it looks like a fisher price box on wheels
        Lachmund
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        it simply IS no ordinary car so it shouldn't look like one.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        Some of it's looks are due to function over form. It is different, but not necessary ugly.... 8000 pre order might disagree with your assessment...
      Eta Carinae
      • 1 Year Ago
      What is so "breakthrough" about the bmw i3.......it is basically a volt with the option to buy the engine ( which you can't run too much)........
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Eta Carinae
        The mass produced carbon fiber cell is the breakthrough.
      sp33dklz
      • 1 Year Ago
      For the life of me I can't understand why someone (other than blind people), would want to pilot a vehicle with their hands in their laps. If you're poor, ride a bus, if you're rich get a chaufer. If you're right in the middle, put the damn cell-phone down and learn to drive like any normal human.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        Driving is a new learned human behavior only over the last 100 years. Staying focused on a single task like the road ahead of you, is an unnatural physiological function. I will be happy when humans no longer need to do it.
        OffRoaderWrangler
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        We look away from the vehicle for a bunch of reasons....the ability for the car to steer itself back in the lane isn't a bad thing. It's when people take advantage of this to text while driving is what I don't like.....but even if they do....you're still safer for it.
        Txdesign
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        How about someone with a long bumper to bumper commute?
      William
      • 1 Year Ago
      How has the drivetrain-to-overall vehicle weight ratio changed with this vehicle? Lots of batteries and other electrical motors, etc? Imagine a small, lightweight diesel engine in this vehicle.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @William
        2700lb is VERY light in a modern car. It is about 1000lb lighter than a Leaf. The driving dynamics look like they will be great because of the very low center of gravity due to the battery pack in the floor (Tesla style). You simply could not get that with a Diesel engine. I personally cannot stand the way diesel engines sound. I would chose the EV for the noise reason alone... I also not not like the smell of a diesel. I know the new designs are better on exhaust fumes, but the EV has NO bad smell. I also like NOT having to ever go to a gas station. I plug in when I get home and it is full the next day... And finally, I use fuel made right here in the US and do not send any of my $$$ to people who hate us and want us dead...
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @William
        It would cost a lot cheaper, but the EV technology is BMW's first step into where cars are going.
          William
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          Maybe if batteries improve drastically. Bill Gates, a major battery investor, says unfortunately no real break throughs seem to be coming. China doesn't seem to think so either as they, a few years ago, backed off their EV mandates. Consider, too, lithium-ion batteries lose about 10-15% of their charge per day if not used. (Or something approaching that.)
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      "BMW's ability to offer a vehicle with such an advanced construction for around $42,000 (nearly half the price of the Cadillac ELR) is wildly impressive" Just like Honda's ability to offer Civic for half the price of 3 Series is impressive? If you are going to compare, compare apples to apples. i3 is much more closer to Volt than it is to ELR.
      Trobbins88
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't know how I would handle hands free driving. I would be too nervous that the computer system would fail and the car would crash. I know that a human could also fail behind the wheel by falling asleep or having a medical condition, but I need to feel like I am in control of the vehicle.
        SteveG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Trobbins88
        The odds are simply more likely that a human will fail than a machine. I work with machines all day and they are the reliable ones.
          jeff
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SteveG
          I design high end control system for automation machinery. I am just noy sure I would hand the wheel over toe a computer just yet... I would need to se the mean time between failure numbers, type of redundancy used (would need to be triple redundant to make me somewhat comfortable) and how it will react when it detects an internal problem..
      eric.sales
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've said this before "Why would any American go to or trust GM for new tech such as EV?" Tesla is doing a way better job. Now BMW with a better car for less money than the ELR which is just a Volt with leather seats and a ground efx kit. Only the Chevy Spark gives GM some cred, imagine that a car they never really promoted. A simple drive train and it works! and it's cheap.
      • 1 Year Ago
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