The all-new BMW i8 plug-in Hybrid vehicle has arrived in the Middle East with cars being delivered to customers this month.
Marking its arrival, rescue training sessions are being implemented aimed at training the emergency response teams from the Civil Defence and Police departments on the revolutionary new vehicle's design and technology.
Conducted first at AGMC, the BMW Group importer for Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, the training sessions cover key areas to provide a thorough understanding of the vehicle concept – from design, production and technology, as well as an introduction to the LifeDrive architecture which comprising two separate units: the upper Life module that consists mainly of a high-strength and extremely lightweight passenger cell made from Carbon Fibre and the lower drive module which consists of a 100% aluminium construction that integrates the battery, electric motor and suspension system.
The 170 participants were also provided information on the deactivation of the High Voltage Battery system in case of any incident, in addition to being taken through a demonstration of the various points from where the vehicle can be opened should a rescue need to be carried out.
Commenting on the training, Rudolf Spann, Director of After Sales at BMW Group Middle East said, "BMW takes the safety of its customers and emergency services related to accidents very seriously. With the BMW i8 being a completely new vehicle concept in terms of design and technology - it utilises a High Voltage battery, Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic Bodyshell as well as crash and structural functions integrated in to the aluminium drive module, therefore, it is important for emergency response units to be familiar with the car so that they are well equipped and know how best to carry out a rescue should an accident occur."
The Rescue Training was conducted first in Dubai with plans to roll out to Abu Dhabi and other GCC countries. Yet another first for the BMW brand in the region, the training makes it the first automotive manufacturer to approach emergency services with Rescue Training for Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicles.
Safety has always been of the utmost importance for BMW Group as well as its importer partners. AGMC is currently the only car company in the UAE to offer BMW Assist, a safety feature which gives customers access to a dedicated 24-hour National Response Centre. In the case of an unforeseen event, a direct voice link to the Response Centre is established by using the integrated SOS button or Emergency Service feature.
The 'Emergency Call' facility is also automatically activated in crash situations via the airbag sensor, alerting the Response Centre immediately to ensure quick action – even if the driver is unable to make a voice connection.
The vehicle's data and position are forwarded to the Response Centre and then on to the ambulance, police or fire brigade so they can locate the vehicle easily.