Although it’s a near certainty that fully autonomous vehicles will start taking over the roads throughout the next decade, there are still plenty of people who will want to keep the thrill of driving in their lives. BMW, which has positioned itself as the maker of “the ultimate driving machines,” may be one of the few companies that will service this want, as evidenced by their latest concept vehicle, the BMW Vision Next 100.
To celebrate its 100th anniversary, BMW is rolling out concept vehicles for its four brands—BMW, Mini, Rolls Royce, and BMW motorcycles—the first of which is the wildly styled and possibly super innovative vehicle shown in the above video and image gallery below. The qualifier “possibly” is used here because the Vision Next 100 is only a concept car, and much of its technologies won’t necessarily make it into road-going vehicles any time soon. If they do however, BMW has a chance of impressing even Elon Mu–err Iron Man.
The Vision Next 100’s central goal is to give people the best of both the fully autonomous and driver-centric worlds. The vehicle is supposed to achieve this goal by offering a “Boost Mode,” and an “Ease Mode.” BMW describes this aim succinctly in a snippet from their website below:
In Boost Mode, the driver becomes one with the vehicle and will be able to experience even more intense driving pleasure in the future. In fully-automated Ease Mode, on the other hand, the Companion takes over all driving tasks and the interior is transformed into an individual comfort zone.
This means that Ease Mode will offer fully autonomous driving—something that will be expected from all automakers in the near future—while Boost Mode will give drivers an “enhanced” driving experience with tech like augmented reality, which will show drivers the ideal speeds and racing lines they should use for the twisty bits of road ahead of them.
Also on display in the Vision Next 100 Concept are the “Digital Companion” and “Alive Geometry” systems. The Digital Companion will “[provide] the driver with subtle, intuitive assistance in every situation… both during driving and outside the vehicle,” (J.A.R.V.I.S. much?), while the Alive Geometry—the scales and stretching sheetmetal seen in the video—will adjust in real-time to allow for maximum aerodynamic efficiency, as well as to warn the driver of “incidents and objects ahead.”
While all this tech sounds like some real stellar stuff, all we can do is wait and see how much of it will actually appear in production vehicles. Plans may change once Tony St–err Elon Musk unveils his Tesla Model 3 later this month…
What do you think about the BMW Vision Next 100? Is it totally far out, or a little bit nearsighted? Let us know in the comments section below!