Published: March 08, 2016
BMW unveiled their first concept car of the year – BMW VISION NEXT 100. The new futuristic concept was designed to anticipate and respond to people’s future mobility needs. Over the coming years, mobility will become increasingly diverse. In the not-too-distant future, most vehicles will probably be completely self-driving – people will get around in robots on wheels.
Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design: “If, as a designer, you are able to imagine something, there’s a good chance it could one day become reality. So our objective with the BMW VISION NEXT 100 was to develop a future scenario that people would engage with. Technology is going to make significant advances, opening up fantastic new possibilities that will allow us to offer the driver even more assistance for an even more intense driving experience.
“My personal view is that technology should be as intuitive as possible to operate and experience so that future interactions between human, machine and surroundings become seamless. The BMW VISION NEXT 100 shows how we intend to shape this future.”
Companion: The intelligent digital partner connects driver and car.
The Companion is symbolized by a small sculptural element which represents the driver-vehicle connection. Shaped like a large, cut gemstone, it is positioned in the center of the dashboard, just beneath the windscreen, where it symbolizes the intelligence, connectivity and availability of the BMW VISION NEXT 100. It also represents the constant exchange of data. At some stage it knows the driver well enough to automatically perform routine tasks for them and offer suitable advice when needed.
The Companion also plays an important role in driver-vehicle communications when the car transitions from Boost to Ease mode. While the driver concentrates on the road in Boost mode, the Companion remains flat in the dashboard. But when the BMW VISION NEXT 100 takes control in Ease, it rises up to create an interface with the windscreen. A signal light tells the driver that the car is ready for fully autonomous driving. For other road users, the Companion has a similar function, signalling through its own light as well as that of the vehicle that the car is operating in automated mode. In certain traffic situations, the Companion is in visual contact with other road users, helping pedestrians to cross the road by means of the green light gradient on the front of the vehicle.
Boost and Ease driving modes for driver- or vehicle-controlled operations.
In Boost, when the driver is concentrating fully on the road, Alive Geometry highlights the ideal driving line or possible turning point and warns of oncoming vehicles. Rather than making the driver drive faster, this kind of support sets out to make them drive noticeably better. In Ease mode, Alive Geometry is more discreet in its movements, informing occupants about the road ahead and any acceleration and braking manoeuvres that are about to happen.
In Boost mode, the entire vehicle focuses on the driver, offering intelligent support to maximize the driving experience. The seat and steering wheel change position, and the center console moves to become more strongly oriented toward the driver. As the journey proceeds, the driver can interact with the vehicle via gesture control.
The contact analogue BMW Head-Up Display of the future uses the entire windscreen to communicate with the driver. In Boost mode, it focuses exclusively on what really matters to the driver: information such as the ideal line, turning point and speed. In addition, full connectivity, intelligent sensors and permanent data exchange allow the Head-Up Display to generate a digital image of the vehicle’s surroundings.