The Future of BMW
BMW has a history of exciting and innovative design, with their first ‘i’ vehicle, the i8, showcasing the future of automotive production. Project i begun in 2012, when BMW created a program to develop lightweight eco-friendly urban electric cars, which has directly led to both the i8 and i3 models, and a brand-new innovation: Showcased at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, the 2020 iNext is BMW’s vision of the future for electric, self-driving vehicles.
The BMW iNext is a showcase of futuristic technology by BMW, with a unique design developed not to exhibit the typical traits of an automobile, but rather, encapsulate passengers as if in their own home. The whole of the interior is designed to feel more modernistic, and less like the conventional vehicles of today; the center console is slimmer and more decorative, the front seats are built more comfortably, and the rear seats as if a couch, with soft materials spread throughout the vehicle. The driver has an even more futuristically styled setup, with pedals that can embed themselves into the vehicle when not in use, a futuristic steering wheel with a rounded rectangular shape, and dual mounted digital dash; the smaller screen to display all digital gauges with other utility access, and a larger display for everything from movies to navigation.
Meanwhile, the exterior design creates a symbol for a new age; the age of autonomous vehicles. Modern elegance is expressed with confidence through clearly sculpted forms and surfaces. These striking lines create a unique identity to the vehicle not seen in today’s stoic designs that continue to see only subtle renovations. Yet, as a BMW vehicle, the signature kidney grille still defines the vehicle as inherent of the BMW heritage.
But the most exciting innovations to be included on the iNext is the autonomous capabilities of the vehicle which sparked the design, and the new interface system designated ‘Shy Tech.’ The iNext autonomous driving capabilities are what inspired the vehicle’s design, allowing driver’s the option to either drive the fully electric vehicle to their own comfort, or sit back and allow the iNext to take over. While the vehicle is in autonomous mode, the ability to host video conference calls, complete paperwork, order groceries, and more become available through the vehicle’s interfaces. One of these interfaces, and the most innovative, is the inclusion of Shy Tech. Part of the design aspect of the iNext was removing the majority of visible control interfaces from the vehicle, leaving only the screens and steering wheel. Yet, built throughout the surfaces of the vehicle is technology that can read design input from swipes throughout the interior of the vehicle. Controlling music, air conditioning, phone calls, and more are as simple as swiping on the center console or many of other locations in the vehicle with built in fabric.
Although definitely not ready for production yet, with many of the technology interfaces still in first design, the fully realized concept of the iNext shows an astounding future for commuters. Being able to get work done comfortably in traffic while your vehicle safely transports you from A to B will improve the daily lives of many people. Let us know your thoughts on this impressive BMW concept vehicle below!