The car itself is a variant of the BMW i8 Spyder concept which was first shown in 2012, however this time the doorless roadster isn’t so much about the car itself, but the technology contained within.
As autonomous driving technology advances, the i Vision Future Interaction is ready to roll with a three-stage drive mode selector encompassing ‘Pure Drive’ for manual vehicle control, ‘Assist’ which allows the vehicle to network with its surrounding environment, and ‘Auto Mode’ which operates without the need for driver intervention.
The dashboard has been comprehensively redesigned to suit as well, with a massive 21-inch high-resolution panorama display stretching across the instrument panel. AirTouch gesture control uses touch-free hand sensors to navigate through the simplified menu system.
A console mounted touch panel is also in place to back the AirTouch system up as well as a natural speech voice recognition system, or in Auto Mode occupants can access information using a smartphone, tablet, or smart watch, and simply transfer the information to the vehicle if required.
The driver is faced by a 3D instrument cluster nad head-up dispaly which provides the usual data about vehicle speed, consumption, and range, but can also provide early warning for approaching vehicles away from the driver’s field of vision, allowing the driver to better better prepare for upcoming traffic situations.
BMW has also demonstrated its Open Mobility Cloud information system, with expanded functions that allow the vehicle to ‘learn’ from previously collected data, activate functions without driver intervention, and operate in the car, at home, or on foot.
Another technology on show is Bumper Detect, which can sense if the car has been contacted, either by another vehicle or an unauthorised person, and activates the vehicle cameras to send images to the owner’s phone if requested.
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