The 2007 X5 will feature FlexRay-powered AdaptiveDrive that will change handling characteristics with a press of a button

BMW Group today announced the inclusion of the FlexRay communications protocol in the newly redesigned X5 Sports Activity Vehicle, which the carmaker hopes to further advance its efforts in its active suspension technologies.

Freescale Semiconductor will be producing the 32-bit FlexRay microcontrollers to help enable 10Mbit/s bandwidth for communication between systems for such automotive applications as active and passive safety, collision avoidance, powertrain management and driver assistance.

BMW’s adoption of FlexRay technology is expected to give drivers improved access to handling and stability control capabilities. With the simple press of a button, drivers of the new BMW X5 can choose a sporting or comfortable ride on the fly. BMW has named its new feature AdaptiveDrive, which is a combination of Active Roll Stabilization and Electronic Damping Control.

FlexRay technology is not exclusive to only BMW; DaimlerChrysler, General Motors and Volkswagen also belong to the FlexRay Consortium.

"The FlexRay communications standard is continuing to gain support with key OEMs in Europe, Japan and the United States and is expected to be used by vehicle makers to enable exciting new safety-critical and performance features, as well as making on-board networking of existing electronics systems more robust," said Chris Webber, vice president of the Automotive Practice at Strategy Analytics. "Bringing this technology to the market first clearly demonstrates BMW's dedication to cutting-edge technology in providing its customer with innovative product features and an enhanced driving experience."

The new BMW X5 will be launched in North America at the end of November 2006 and will be available in other markets worldwide in spring 2007.

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