Array of accolades endorse outstanding standards of quality, innovation, connectivity and design. BMW can look back on a highly successful 2018 yielding an impressive haul of awards and accolades. Over the course of the past year, vehicles from BMW have managed to win over not just automotive journalists and experts from around the world, but also the readers of motoring magazines, market researchers and IT insiders. What’s more, the award winners distinguished themselves in areas ranging from product quality and design to technical innovation, intelligent connectivity and sustainability. BMW picked up two of the world’s most coveted honours in the process, with the title of World Performance Car going to the BMW M5 and the International Engine of the Year award bestowed on the BMW i8 for the fourth year in succession. The string of successes racked up by the super-sporty BMW M models, which topped the podium on several occasions, provided further good news. And the premium carmaker also took home a hat-trick of wins as the most innovative brand in the premium segment.
BMW 5 Series on top once again
Following on from the triumphs of the previous 12 months, 2018 turned out to be another highly successful year for the BMW 5 Series models, both in Germany and internationally. The awards for the 5 Series included Best Car in the upper mid-size category from German motoring magazine auto motor und sport. In the Auto Trophy – World’s Best Cars awards, the 5 Series again received the most votes in the executive category from readers of Auto Zeitung magazine. In the awards presented by Auto Test magazine, it was the BMW 530d Touring that made the best impression and was ultimately declared the overall winner, while the BMW 520d Touring was judged to offer the best price-performance ratio in the upper mid-size segment. The BMW 5 Series received wide acclaim in the UK, too, where it picked up not one but two coveted UK Car of the Year awards – for Best Executive Car and Best Estate Car. The Sedan and Touring variants were also named Car of the Year by other motoring journals, including What Car?, Company Car Today and Car Express. Meanwhile, the BMW 520d xDrive Touring emerged as the overall winner in the Tow Car Awards presented jointly by What Car?, Practical Caravan and The Camping and Caravanning Club.
Podium finishes for BMW M models
In 2018, juries far and wide again considered BMW vehicles the sporting benchmark, with models from BMW M GmbH leading the way. The new BMW M5 high-performance sedan proved an instant hit at the World Car Awards, duly earning the title of World Performance Car.
The BMW M5 and other BMW M models were a dominant force on winners’ lists in Germany, too. The BMW M5 Competition was crowned Sports Car of the Year by Auto Bild Sportscars magazine in the Sedans/Station Wagons category, while the BMW M2 Competition was awarded the corresponding accolade in the Small/Compact Car category.
In the readers’ poll conducted by sport auto magazine to find the sportiest cars of the year, the Munich-based premium carmaker’s models were voted top in eight different categories.
This meant BMW collected more titles than any other manufacturer in this year’s survey.
The roll-call of winners were bookended by the BMW M140i (Compact Cars category) and high-performance BMW M5 Sedan (Sedans/Station Wagons over €100,000), with the BMW M240i Coupe (Coupes up to €50,000), BMW M550d xDrive (Diesels), BMW M3 with Competition Package (Sedans/Station Wagons up to €100,000) and BMW M4 Coupe with Competition Package (Coupes up to €100,000) in between. Alongside the M models, the BMW 230i Convertible (Convertibles/Roadsters up to €50,000) and BMW 330i (Sedans/Station Wagons up to €50,000) were also voted best in class.
Electrified BMW powertrains still buzzing
BMW’s vast well of expertise in the field of alternative drive systems once again earned it recognition, with a variety of awards for the all-electric BMW i3, the progressive BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car and the BMW 330e plug-in hybrid sedan. Readers of Auto Zeitung magazine ranked the two BMW i models among the World’s Best Cars in the categories for electric cars up to €50,000 and electric/hybrid performance cars. The BMW i8 additionally picked up an International Engine of the Year award for the fourth year in a row after again fending off its rivals in the 1.4 litre to 1.8 litre category. The electrified BMW models are proving highly popular in the UK, too, Auto Express [PR1] magazine declaring the BMW i3 Rex to be the Best Hybrid Car and the BMW i3 the Best Low Emissions Green Car. Victory for the BMW 330e in the Best Plug-in Hybrid of the Year rankings compiled by motoring journal Company Car Today rounded off a success-soaked twelve months for BMW’s alternative drive systems.
Top accolades for BMW design
Vehicles from BMW also continually set new standards for their outstanding quality of design. A string of awards presented to the Munich-based manufacturer during 2018 in recognition of its design achievements confirmed as much. No fewer than five cars from BMW received an iF Design Award 2018, one of the most prestigious seals of approval for design excellence. The list of award winners comprised the BMW M5, BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo, BMW X2, BMW X3 and BMW i3s. The readers of Auto Zeitung also delivered a resounding verdict in the Auto Trophy – World’s Best Cars awards, picking the BMW brand as their clear favourite in the category Best Design.
BMW Connected and co. ensure optimal connectivity both now and in future
BMW is forging ahead with the development of digitalised services, the seamless integration of smartphones and the new digital control/operating concept for its vehicles. The manufacturer’s outstanding performance in the Car Connectivity Award – where the readers of auto motor und sport are asked to vote for the best connectivity technologies – provides compelling evidence of its expertise in this area. BMW took the cherished top spot in a total of three categories. The magazine’s readership judged BMW Connected to be the best smartphone app, while the brand’s seamless Apple CarPlay preparation was voted the best phone integration concept. BMW Operating System 7.0 also left the motoring journal’s readers thoroughly impressed, resulting in a further accolade in the control/operating concept category. The new display and operating system made its debut in the new BMW X5 and is geared more precisely than ever to the driver’s needs. Content is personalised and can be adapted by the user according to need. It is designed to provide the driver with the right information in any situation and further improve interaction between driver and vehicle.
Finally, the BMW brand’s capacity for innovation enjoyed multiple endorsements from independent experts. The Center of Automotive Management (CAM) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) bestowed the title of Most Innovative Premium Brand on BMW, making it the overall winner of the Automotive Innovations Award. The brand picked up further prizes in the Vehicle Concepts/Body and Interface/Connectivity categories in recognition of its innovative talents.
ROAD SAFETY ARTICLE
Still on Tame Traffic Demons
On 24 November 2018, he added a year to his age. Unlike his other birthdays, this year’s birthday was solemnly marked for reasons even his parents could not fathom. But because it was his wish, his parents obliged despite their curiosity and concern for such an odd wish from a boy of his age. Junior was just 10 years old. He was witty, highly active, intelligent, and a master in scripture rendition. He was adored by his parents and was fondly called adorable by his mother. Besides his activeness in school and neighborhood, he was also a parent’s delight because of his involvement in church activities. In fact, he was the darling of the teachers in the children church because of his mastery of scripture recitation during church activities. These attributes made Junior the love of the church as parents longed to see their children grow in the footsteps of a young boy who despite his age was always referred to by many, including his peers and adults as junior Pastor.
Exactly one month after his solemn birthday, tragedy struck this child of destiny. On the fateful day, Junior had accompanied his mother to a church service held in the morning of 24 December 2018. For reasons none was able to explain, Junior suddenly left the church premises with another boy about his age. It was while trying to cross the busy road in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, that a vehicle driven by a female driver knocked and killed him on the spot leaving wailings and tears in their home and the home of the female driver. His death left church members and family speechless. Even eye witnessed struggled to reconstruct the circumstances of the road traffic crash. I wish I can attempt raising some salient issues but this will not bring back this promising boy whose dreams and aspirations have been cut short.
It is just a couple of hours to 2019. Yet between the 22 December and today the 29 December 2018, barely seven days after the opening part of this piece on how to tame demons was published, there have been deaths and injuries in senseless and avoidable road traffic crashes. These deaths include that of Junior. As I ponder on the scanty information I received, too many questions keep popping up: Why did he leave the church premises? Where was he heading to? Who was responsible for watching over him and other children in the church? What speed was the female driver on when it happened? Was she really observant while driving?
Last week, I concluded the first part of this piece by telling you that there is nothing like a demon although I also acknowledged that there are forces of hell on the highways and everywhere. I also told you that there are responsibilities that we must brace up to as drivers, commuters and even as pedestrians. A review of driving habits reveals the following as responsible for road crashes and not demons. My focus would, however, be on few of these starting with tyre blowout which is a major causative factor behind road crashes that have claimed the lives of some prominent Nigerians. Incidentally, motorists exhibit a high level of ignorance which explains why you will see people travelling with their families with fairly used tyres or tyres not properly cared for. What really causes tyre blowout? The major cause of tyre blowout is incorrect tyre inflation especially under-inflation. Tyres are the most vital part of the car. It determines stability. That is why tyre manufacturers specify the correct tyre gauge and the expiry date which is usually stamped on the side of the tyre. It is very easy to find out the expiry date. Just check the side and you will find a 4-digit number stamped on it. This number indicates the week and year of manufacture and the expiry date will be four years after.
Manufacturers also indicate the maximum allowable inflating pressure for specific tyres. Different tyres are designed for different pressures. Unfortunately, most of us are careless about this vital information and have become victims of quacks marauding as vulcanisers. Under-inflation causes two things that ultimately lead to blowouts. First, it causes undue flexing of the tyres as the vehicle speeds along the undulating surface of the road. This causes a separation between the internal materials used in making the tyres and the rubber flesh that holds the materials. This separation weakens the tyre. Secondly, it causes an increase in what is known as rolling resistance as the vehicle moves. The increased rolling resistance generates a tremendous amount of heat which together with the separation of the internal materials leads to an explosion.
Incorrect tyre inflation could also cause a crash in other ways- When a tyre is incorrectly inflated, it makes partial contact with the road surface and so does not have a firm grip on the surface. With over inflation, the edges of the contact patch (the part of the tyre that should be in contact with the road surface) does not touch the ground In the case of under inflation, the crown (the middle portion of the tyre) of the contact patch does not touch the ground. Either way, you have an impartial contact of the tyre on the road surface and so less grip. The impartial contact could cause crash thus; since the tyres don’t have a firm grip on the road surface, it prolongs the stopping distance when the brakes are applied in an emergency and this could make the vehicle crash into the object it wants to avoid. It could also lead to loss of control of the vehicle when speeding. This is more with over-inflated tyres. High vehicles like trailers could lose their balance when they hit a bump, pothole or while descending a sharp bend. The situation can be likened to someone with one leg shorter than the other.
Shockingly, the tyre problem is compounded by the grim picture painted by vulcaniser as they use the worst type of gauge-the pencil gauge that malfunctions easily when subjects to heavy usage. Besides using the pencil type of gauge they use one gauge for all tyre pressures and this is a big blunder. This is why we advise we own personal gauge and get conversant with the right pressure for our tyres.
Reflect on these prevalent behavioural pattern in
previous years: Excessive speed, driving and phoning, non-use of the seat belt, overloading, lapped children, squeezed, some standing, dangerous overtaking, indulgence in night
travels, use of worn out tyres, over/under inflated tyres,
mechanical deficient vehicles, underaged driving,
arrogance/impatience, fatigue, driving under the influence of alcohol and impaired driving. The following are some vital safety hints as you prepare for another round of travelling. Speed-speed is at the core of the traffic injury problem. It is the major determinant of the extent of the injury. It influences both crash risk and crash consequences. The
physical layout of the road and its surrounding can both
encourage and discourage speed. However, crash risk
increases as speed increases especially at junctions
and while overtaking. The effect of impact speed on the
risk of death for pedestrians is colossal, but for vehicle
occupants also, injury severity increases with impact speed. The higher the speed of a vehicle, the shorter time the
driver has to stop and avoid a crash. This is why the
possibility of fatal injury increases from close to zero to almost
100 per cent as the change in impact speed increases from 20km/h to 100km/h. A car travelling at 50km/h will typically
require 1.3metres to stop while a car travelling at 40km/h
will stop in less than 8.5metres. Average increase speed of
1km/h is associated with a three per cent higher risk of a crash
involving an injury. Travelling at 5km/h above a road
speed limit of 65km/h results in an increase in the
relative risk of being involved in a casualty crash that is
comparable with having a blood alcohol concentration
of 0.05g/dl. For car occupants in a crash with an impact
speed of 80km/h, the likelihood of deaths is 20 times what
it would have been at an impact speed of 30km/h. It is
because of the grave risk involved that a maximum speed limit
of 100km/h for private cars and 90km/h for taxis and
buses is set on the expressway while at built-up areas such as commercial and residential areas; 50km/h is the speed
However, drivers are counselled to adhere to common
sense speed limit by adjusting speed to suit the environment,
his mental state and experience.
Seat belt, one of the most effective means of reducing
deaths and injury for vehicle occupants is the use of
seat-belt by all occupants in the front and rear seats as
contained in section 58(3) and (4)of the National Road
Traffic Regulations, 2004. Seat belt use saves. They don’t
prevent crashes but play a crucial role in reducing the
severity of injury to vehicle occupants. Vehicle safety features
are distinguished by “.primary safety and secondary
Primary safety features aim to prevent an accident
taking place, e.g. Good brakes and tyres. Secondary safety
features aim to prevent or minimize injury to a vehicle
occupant once the accident has occurred. Seat belts are a secondary safety device with a number of objectives which includes; preventing ejection from the vehicle in an impact,
reducing the risk of contact with the interior of the vehicle
or reducing the speed of such impacts, providing a
distributed force to the wearer to give the
necessary support in an accident and restraining the
vehicle occupant before guiding them back into their
Child Restraint- Remember that the safest way to carry a child and to protect that child is to use a child seat that is suitable for the weight and size of that child. Do you now that even at a minor crash; an unrestrained child would be thrown about inside the vehicle, injuring themselves and others? They could also be thrown from the car through one of the windows. Do you also know that in a crash at just30km/h, an unrestrained child would be thrown forward with a force, 30 to 60 times their body weight? They would be thrown about inside the vehicle, injuring themselves and quite seriously injuring or even killing other people inside the vehicle. Do you know that it is not safe to hold a child on your laps? In a crash, the child could be crushed
between our body and part of the car’s interior? That even if you were using a seat belt, the child would be torn from your arms and you would not be able to hold onto to them, no matter how hard you try. Do you also know that it is also dangerous to put a seat belt around yourself and a child or around two children; or to carry that child or children in the front passengers’ seat or on your tummy? That the safest way to travel with that child no matter the distance is a child seat or restraints.