An "enhanced magnetic beam" that was "developed in conjunction with NASA?" Are operators standing by?
BMW's press release below.
BMW Magnetic Tow Technology
BMW's award-winning EfficientDynamics programme has been taken to the next level with the announcement of an innovative fuel and emissions saving system called Magnetic Tow Technology (MTT). In a bid to retain its World Green Car of the Year crown, BMW will launch MTT across its range today.
The unique system, developed in conjunction with NASA, works via a discreet unit located in the front valance that projects an enhanced magnetic beam 20 metres in front of the BMW. Once a suitable target car is located and the BMW is magnetically locked on behind it, the driver is then able to take his foot off the accelerator, turn off the engine and let the car in front do all the work. The towing car will not notice any change in manoeuvrability. The BMW driver can unhook from the towing car at any time by depressing the clutch pedal to start the vehicle. This is the same method used to operate the existing Start Stop system. Drivers of automatic transmission BMWs need only move the lever into the 'D' position to continue on their way. Early research indicates that MTT could save as much as 30 per cent in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Gurus from BMW's in-house driving etiquette guide suggest flashing the car in front and giving a friendly hand gesture to thank them for the free ride.
BMW's Head of Innovation, Dr Noitt All, a specialist in Kinetic Ride And Propulsion, said: "BMW has always been a leader in the application of the very latest automotive technology. Up until now the EfficientDynamics programme has looked at ways of improving the performance of our own products, but we thought why burn your own fuel when you can burn someone else's?"
The 56-year-old boffin promised more to come from his innovation workshop but in the meantime recommended people email his colleague email@example.com to be kept abreast of further developments.