BMWIn celebration of its 100th birthday, BMW has just shown a new concept car that embodies the direction it wants to take going into its next 100 years of building cars. From what we've seen so far, that future is looking pretty amazing.
This concept, the BMW Vision Next 100, can operate autonomously or it can be manually driven. For this, the car uses two different drive modes.
Boost mode is for the fun, manual driving and Ease mode is for relaxed autonomous cruising.
In Boost mode, the driver is shown things like good driving lines, speed information, and other similar performance data. All of which can help the driver be a more confident and safe driver when driving spiritedly.
In Ease mode, autonomy comes into play and the interior completely changes shape. The steering wheel is brought away from the driver and the interior molds together to create a more relaxed environment between the driver and the passengers.
On the dashboard, BMW has implemented a technology they're calling Alive Geometry. This tech uses 800 triangles that move around to interact and share vehicle information directly with the driver. It basically sounds like the dashboard will be moving around directly in front of your face. Trippy.
BMW is also using a form of augmented reality to project other vehicle information directly across the windshield. Think maybe a massive heads-up display or something like the windshield in the i8 concept car from Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
Ever get a little lonely while driving? Well, the Vision Next 100 shows that BMW has been thinking of you. BMW's Companion feature in the Vision Next 100 allows the car to be able to get to know its driver and even go as far as offering advice to its driver. Companion can also visually communicate with pedestrians if the car is driving autonomously and it wants to tell someone on the street that they can cross in front of the car.
Behind all the fancy driving modes and transforming interiors, the car's underlying structure isn't exactly ordinary either.
The Vision Next 100 was constructed using various plastics and carbon fiber materials. No heavy metal structural pieces to be found here.
Though the Vision Next 100 concept may never see production, it's a great look into some of the tech that BMW will be working hard to get into their road cars in the coming years.