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BMW Group has made its trend research available to all. Trend Radar (a trend research website) collects important findings from the global BMW Technology Offices in the USA, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and China in order to collate trend research in the technology sector.

Research on global trends enables the business to predict upcoming technology advancements. As part of the open access strategy, these results will be processed right away in the Trend Radar and made publicly accessible, making them accessible to scientific institutions, start-ups, and possible business partners. BMW aims to start a conversation with them using a strategy that has never been used in the auto business before, in order to stimulate cooperation and open discussion of technological trends across industries.

The initiative is described by Frank Weber, a member of the BMW AG Board of Management for Development:

“For me, one thing is clear: innovation is created in the spaces in between, i.e., through interaction. By openly publishing our Tech Radar, we want to start a dialogue with potential partners. Research and development do not work without an outside-in perspective.”

Scouts from the Technology Offices analyze innovations using three criteria to determine which manufacturing and scientific technological advancements are the most intriguing:

1. How does the technology relate to mobility?

2. How swiftly is it maturing in development?

3. What information is required by the BMW Group to successfully implement the technology? As a result, a trend portfolio is suggested for careful study (Watch), early projects (Prepare), or practical, agile application (Act).

Trend analysis and technology scouting are more than just creative pursuits within the BMW Group. More than half of the 400 initiatives the Technology Offices have started since 2019 in response to trends they have noticed have been transferred internally to a department with specialized knowledge. Ten percent of them made it into actual products and applications, which is five times greater than is typical when inventions are put into use. Drive panel from the BMW iX is one illustration. The control panel’s wood has been perforated by a special laser technique so that the digital displays underneath can shine through and be operated as needed. This application dates back to technology that the Korea and Japanese Technology Offices discovered.

The Trend Radar of BMW Group is now accessible to the public. You may access the Tech Radar on the website and by contacting the project team through email at trendradar-technology@bmw.de will put you in touch with the institutions and businesses that are interested in working together.

The Tech Radar currently displays a list of 24 trends. These include tools like Acoustic Analytics, which the BMW Group uses for fault detection while building cars. Other examples include virtual worlds, for which the BMW Group uses NVIDIA Omniverse among other things, and quantum computing, a hot IT topic. Since 2017, the BMW Group IT has monitored and processed the development in this area. The outcomes were used, among other things, in the Quantum Technology & Application Consortia (QUTAC) effort. The overriding objective is to mature the market for industry-relevant applications for the BMW Group.

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