BMW says the accelerating digital age and autonomous driving demand a top-to bottom change in the way future car interiors will look and function, and its i Inside Future concept isn’t actually a car, it is an interior mock-up.
As you can see, apart from the digital and electronics components, the look throws the traditional automotive styling book in the trash can and starts again. Note how the four seats appear to float and the front headrests extend from the roof.
And no other cars spring to mind which include a wooden book-case inside.
Officially, BMW says the concept, presented at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and an extension of the system shown last year in an i8 Concept Spyder, provides both interior architecture and a user interface which combine to enable the occupants to seamlessly integrate their car and their digital world in order to optimize the free time soon to be afforded by driverless motoring.
This in some way explains the book-case and table-like centre console, but the big news is the technology.
At its heart is BMW HoloActive Touch an extension of the Air Touch system unveiled at CES last year where drivers and passengers can operate in-car commands without physically touching a button or screen.
A free-floating virtual display projected above the centre console is directed by finger movements and commands are confirmed by an ultrasound source there is never any direct contact with the interface.
BMW says HoloActive Touch blends the upsides of its head-up displays and gesture control with intuitive touchscreen technology.
Sound far fetched? Don’t doubt BMW. The Remote 3D View shown at CES last year and which combines the Surround View cameras with BMW Connected connectivity so you can look at your car remotely on your mobile telephone screen - for example to monitor its security when parked - will debut in the all-new BMW 5 Series sedan which launches internationally next month.