Flex Ray is a newly developed serial bus system that speeds up data transfer between vehicle components. It enables different systems to be safely and precisely networked. New, fast driver assistants and chassis control systems mean safer, more comfortable driving.
The complexity of electronic driver assistant systems is growing continuously. New chassis and drivetrain control systems demand extremely high data transfer speeds to function effectively.
To meet this growing demand, BMW teamed up with other companies to develop a new bus system that provides the safety, speed and robust quality demanded in automotive applications. The 2007 BMW X5 is the first standard-production vehicle in the world to use this leading-edge technology. Flex Ray controls the optical bus system of the Adaptive Drive chassis control system, and is used in controlling the stabilisers and electromagnetic valves of the dampers; this enables Adaptive Drive to eliminate the effect of body roll on the vehicle.
One key advantage of Flex Ray is its high data transfer rates: at up to 10 MBit per second, it's twenty times faster than the conventional CAN bus system. A second Flex Ray communication channel acts as a back-up, providing redundancy to ensure excellent safety at all times. If one channel fails to function correctly, the second is still available. For systems that are not safety-critical, a faster data transfer rate can be achieved through the use of a single channel.
These advantages result in significantly greater driving comfort and safety, enabling on-board systems to communicate more quickly and more safely.