From High Tech To Shy Tech.

With its out-of-sight technology, the BMW Vision iNEXT reveals the future of driving technology by hiding it away.

Published: April 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.”

 

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

A daring vision: the BMW Vision iNEXT builds on a decade's worth of creative ideas and features technology so advanced, it's invisible.

The BMW Vision iNEXT puts the emphasis on the driver and passengers – people – rather than on technology.

Jacquard cloth surfaces act as a control centre, following hand gestures to control functions like music playback.

 Drive the BMW Vision iNEXT yourself (in “Boost” mode) or be driven by the car (“Ease” mode).

The goal of BMW Vision iNEXT is to create a mobile environment that enhances quality of life.

 
BMW Vision iNEXT puts the emphasis on the driver and passengers – the people – rather than on the technology

 

New levels of discretion

 

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.

 

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 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” mode, 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 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.