Source: BMW

BMW's Vision Next 100 Concept Will Learn to Drive Just Like You

A bold concept car from the far-flung future indicates what BMW thinks will be the way we drive in years to come.

Talk about shape-shifting.

If you know anything about BMW, you know the little company that uses the state colors of Bavaria for its logo has reinvented itself multiple times over its 100-year history. (Exhibit A: Airplanes. Exhibit B: Motorcycles. Exhibit C: Isetta and MINI. I won't go on.) 

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The future of BMW still apparently includes those famous kidney grilles. 

Photographer: Fabian Kirchbauer/BMW

So it's no surprise that BMW is pushing its latest creation as the incarnation of the future of mobility itself. This week in Munich it unveiled the BMW Vision Next 100 Concept, a gull-wing-door coupe gilded in gold paint and triangle crosshatching. It is flanked by wide, saucer-covered wheels and boasts a "windshield" that is actually an augmented reality display. 

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When the car goes into self-drive mode, the seats adjust so passengers can better interact with each other. 

Source: BMW

Executives at the launch said they built the car, which comes with self-driving and automatic-drive modes, because in the not-too-distant future the majority of cars "will probably be completely self-driving."

BMW's self-driving car looks similar to the "Luxury in Motion" concept Mercedes debuted last year.

BMW's self-driving car looks similar to the "Luxury in Motion" concept Mercedes introduced last year.

Photographer: Fabian Kirchbauer

"Future mobility will connect every area of people’s lives," said Harald Krüger, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG. "That’s where we see new opportunities for premium mobility."

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BMW says the car includes 800 triangles embedded in the dashboard system, which BMW calls Alive Geometry.

Source: BMW

He means that cars in the future will be totally connected to your phone, home computer-, tech and entertainment systems, and connected to each other—and that there should be a luxury ("premium") option for just such those type of cars. Of course. 

The car seats four adults.

The car has seats for four adults.

Photographer: Fabian Kirchbauer

Most of what we know about the Vision Next 100 Concept is 100 percent hypothetical. But dreaming is crucial in this business, and the car is a signal that BMW is doing all it can to stay ahead of everyone else when it comes to what the world will look like for personal transportation 10, 20, and 30 years from now. (A year ago, Mercedes introduced a self-driving concept vehicle called the F 015 that reenvisioned the car as a mobile living space, where riders would be chauffeured with many of the conveniences of a home or office.)  

BMW's Vision Next 100 Concept comes with a "Boost" mode that enhances regular driving by doing such things as projecting optimal drive lines on the windshield. An "Ease" mode retracts the steering wheel, adjusts the seats, and clouds the windshield to use for entertainment. An intelligent "Companion" component studies the driving style and preferences of the primary driver of the car so that it can eventually perform some daily tasks and offer advice about how best to complete others. It will also be able to communicate with humans outside the car—for example, signaling pedestrians when it is safe to cross in front of the car while it is in self-driving mode.

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The BMW Vision Next 100 Concept will travel on a media tour through China, the U.K., and the U.S.

Source: BMW

In the meantime, the BMW Vision Next 100 will travel from Germany to be displayed in Beijing, London, and Los Angeles over the course of the year.

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The car is nowhere near production-ready, but it does show where the company is headed. 

Source: BMW

 

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