In the pursuit of improved safety, a number of carmakers are developing face recognition systems that scan a driver’s face and determine whether he or she is about to fall asleep behind the wheel. BMW is also looking at the technology but sees face recognition as a way to identify the person behind the wheel and automatically adjust a car’s settings to match the driver's personal preferences.

As soon as BMW's new system recognizes the driver it can automatically adjust the mirrors, seat and steering wheel, as well as turn on a favourite radio station. If successful, the system could also be used to modify performance settings such as throttle response, gear shift patterns and suspension stiffness.

The other benefit, according to The Agency, is that multiple drivers would also be able to store their own settings. One feature we'd recommend is using it as an anti-theft device, only allowing a mechanic or valet to drive the car after entering a unique code.

Other technologies BMW is developing include a new remote maintenance feature that allows you to start the car, lock the doors or close the windows via a mobile phone, as well as the previously reported ConnectedDrive internet feature.