From High Tech To Shy Tech.

Published: February 2019
Video/Photos: BMW Group

Highly automated, fully connected and emission-free, the BMW Vision iNEXT is a daring vision of a car that can either be driven by a person, or left to drive itself. It builds on a decade’s worth of creative ideas, which began with 2007’s Project i and continued with the BMW i3 (launched in 2013).

 

Production is due to begin in 2021. Until then, you’ll have to make do with the preview vehicle, which took centre stage on BMW’s stand at the prestigious 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

 

In the BMW Vision iNEXT you can choose either to drive yourself (in “Boost” mode) or be driven by the car (“Ease” mode). Either way, the electric drive system delivers a virtually silent driving experience with zero emissions. “Personal mobility is set to experience significant change,” says Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Development. “The possibilities opened up by autonomous driving and ever-expanding connectivity enable a whole new range of experiences and ways of shaping a journey. With this in mind, we have designed the all-electric BMW Vision iNEXT as a mobile environment that enhances quality of life, a new ‘Favourite Space’ in which we can be ourselves and relax.”

 

It achieves this by doing something that very few future-focused vehicles or concept cars ever do: it puts the emphasis on the driver and passengers – the people – rather than on the technology. In fact, apart from the steering wheel and driver’s area displays, you won’t see any other screens or controls in the BMW Vision iNEXT. The intelligent technology is kept out of sight, and only when the driver or passengers need it, does it become visible and operable.

Large surfaces and precise lines make the BMW Vision iNEXT appear as though it’s made from one piece.

The BMW Vision iNEXT took centre stage on BMW’s stand at the prestigious 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The futuristic interior is especially inviting with its interlay of fine woods and hand-woven Jacquard fabric.  

In the back of the car, the Jacquard cloth comes to life at the touch of a finger, allowing music to be controlled using various gestures.

A special highlight of the BMW Vision iNEXT is the coffee table that looks as though it’s hovering.

The paint finish of the BMW Vision iNEXT will definitely catch your eye – the Liquid Greyrose Copper exterior gradually changes in shade from warm copper to dark rose, injecting the vehicle with dynamic flair even when stationary.

Intelligent Personal Assistant 

One example of this “Shy Tech” in action is the BMW Vision iNEXT’s on-board Intelligent Personal Assistant, which switches on in response to the prompt, “Hey BMW”. That Intelligent Personal Assistant is seamlessly interlinked with the BMW Connected, your smart devices and your smart home network, allowing you to, for example, close your curtains or switch on your air-conditioner at home, from your car, on the road, via voice command.

 

Intelligent Beam

The BMW Vision iNEXT’s Intelligent Beam technology shines a light on the possibilities of interactive display, serving both as a reading light and as a projection screen. It recognises objects and follows them, even when they’re in motion, turning any surface you like into an interactive display screen.

 

Intelligent Materials

When you’re driving in “Boost” mood, you can operate the Control Display in the classic way, using touch functionality. In “Ease” mode, where the BMW Vision iNEXT is doing the driving for you, that changes. Here the wooden surface of the vehicle’s centre console’s becomes the control centre instead, responding to your arm and hand posture. Simply rest your hand on that wooden surface and, whenever any inputs are made, you’ll see points of light following your finger like a comet’s tail. In the rear, the Jacquard cloth surfaces become your control centre, following the passenger’s hand gestures to control functions like music playback.