BMW is proud to have been chosen as the Official Automotive Partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. BMW vehicles will help athletes and officials make their mark in history.
As the Official Automotive Partner to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, BMW is doing a lot to promote itself, including running TV commercials that tout the sponsorship, setting up an impressive pavilion at Olympic Park to showcase vehicles, and lending more than 4,000 diesel, hybrid and electric vehicles to support the games. But it is also doing something unexpected and intriguing. As part of its sponsorship, BMW tasked engineers in its technology office in Mountain View, Calif., with helping U.S. athletes improve their training and performance.
One way BMW has done that is by developing a camera system to capture a long jumper in motion and calculate velocity and other key measurements immediately—providing coaches with valuable information to use in training. The German automaker has been testing a similar camera system in its research vehicles, to allow them to detect obstacles, and the engineers recognized that it could be adapted for use by the Olympic athletes. “Being able to track the motion of an athlete is very similar to how we’re going to track pedestrians and other objects,” says Cris Pavloff, an advanced technology engineer at BMW.
The technology took nearly a year to develop, and in April became a permanent fixture in the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., where the USA Track & Field team has used it in the lead up to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
For more photos of BMW at the 2012 Olympics Games, check out our Photo Gallery.