BMW Vision Next 100 revealed
As we mentioned yesterday, the 7 March was the 100 year anniversary of the Bavarian Motor Works, now more commonly known as BMW. And to commemorate the day BMW decided to release a concept car that they said would point to what we can expect from motoring in the next 100 years.
With that in mind, they gave us the Vision Next 100. Part autonomous, partly recycled and with zero-emissions this is what BMW says will guide their next century of building motor vehicles.
The shape of the Vision Next 100 Concept is strangely familiar, vaguely resembling the i8 if you squint your eyes. There are obvious differences such as the four-door saloon layout and triangular printing across the whole body, but BMW seems convinced that cars will still look like cars.
Science fiction fans will automatically recognise this as a future car because it has the obligatory closed wheels detail which has been used in numerous future looking movies such as I Robot and Tron. The reason, apart from looking the part, is to reduce the drag coefficient of the Vision Next 100 to a slippery 0.18.
The process has been dubbed Alive Geometry, something that we think we will see again from BMW in the future.
The A and C pillars are present but the B-pillar has been removed to increase passenger ease of use. Both the front and rear doors open up skywards, but in opposite directions and will do so when the driver approaches with the correct smart key.
For the driver, the steering wheel and seat will also adjust to optimise easy of entry, springing back to their positions based on what smart key the driver has and what orientation that profile has stored.
Once in the driver can choose from two driving modes: Ease and Boost. In Boost, the vehicle is driven like a conventional (or in the future it might be unconventional to drive your car, we don’t know) vehicle with the steering wheel, which will be at the drivers disposal along with relevant immersive technology. These include proposing the best possible turn in position for a corner, alerting the driver of traffic jams and issuing a warning when the speed limit is breached.
In Ease mode, the car will drive itself to the occupants destination. The cabin will respond by retracting the steering wheel and repositioning the seat, as well as altering the lighting atmosphere in the cabin to be as relaxing as possible. The entire windscreen will then be used as a surface to display digital intelligence.
Other drivers are also made aware of the fact that the BMW is in autonomous driving mode through lights on the grille and rear.
BMW is also trying to migrate the Active Geometry thinking from outside to inside the cabin. Their vision is to build the dashboard out of 800 moving triangles which will allow the entire dashboard to provide feedback and direction to the driver and other occupants. BMW is the first to admit that this is ambitious for current manufacturing procedures but speculates that it could become a reality sooner than we think.
It is clear that the Vision Next 100 is not a production car, not for the immediate future at least but it does provide us with a view of what BMW is working on. No one knows what the future will hold but I tend to trust someone who has been active in the past for the last 100 years to kind of know what they are talking about when it does come to the future.