In celebration of its 100th birthday, German automakers BMW have shown a new concept car that shows us the direction the company wants to take going into its next 100 years of building cars. From the looks of things, the future looks bright. The concept car was revealed in Munich on Monday.
The BMW Vision Next 100 is an attempt by the manufacturer to predict what cars will look like in the not-so-distant future when driverless vehicles are common and artificial intelligence can learn and predict a passenger’s behavior.
“If, as a designer, you are able to imagine something, there’s a good chance it could one day become reality,” said BMW’s design chief Adrian van Hooydonk. “So our objective with the BMW Vision Next 100 was to develop a future scenario that people would engage with.” The Vision Next 100 concept car is a luxurious, self-driving, emissions free, sports car with an overall futuristic finish and wheels that look like speakers.
The Vision Next 100 has two driving modes, boost mode and ease mode, along with gadgets that would make even James Bond jealous. Boost mode allows the driver to have control of the vehicle, but assists with a digital “companion” equipped with 360 degree radar and a full display windshield that warns of obstacles. 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.
The concept vehicles feature 800 moving triangles, which are set into the instrument panel and fitted to the side panels and outside. The shape shifting triangles called “Alive Geometry” by BMW would move to allow the car to communicate with the rider. The windscreen’s Head-Up Display would then offer passengers the opportunity to browse the internet, watch movies or post to their social media channels while driving in the ease mode.
As far as design is concerned, the Vision Next 100 also has ‘flexible’ bodywork that moves with the wheels as the car turns. The car was constructed using various plastics and carbon fiber materials. Sensors detect the owner’s approach and automatically open the wing doors.
BMW will also be revealing other concept cars later this year under subsidiary Mini and Rolls Royce brands. The German manufacturer also unveiled its concept vehicle equipped with an augmented reality display. Though the Vision Next 100 may never see production, it’s a great look into some of the technology that BMW will be working hard to get into their road cars in the coming years.