BMW Explores Digital Car’s Future at CES

BMW chose the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show to unveil its vision of the future connected car’s digital consumer experience.

Its BMW i Vision Dee concept is a futuristic mid-size sedan with a simplified design language. “Dee” stands for Digital Emotional Experience, the main aim that the automaker wants to explore in bringing its products as close as it can to the consumer’s current relationship to the smartphone. One feature BMW says will go into series production is the full dashboard width heads-up display that will be used on its Neue Klasse models produced from 2025.

Using shy-tech sensors on the instrument panel, drivers can decide how much digital content they want to see on the display. The five-step selection ranges from analogue, to driving-related information, to the contents of the communications system, to augmented-reality projection, right up to entry into virtual worlds. In parallel, dimmable windows can also be used to gradually fade out reality.

The concept also boasts the automaker’s chameleon exterior color changing paint seen on the BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink with a choice of up to 32 different colors. These come into play with its welcome scenario with voice and “phygital” icons where a personalized welcome scenario combines graphical elements, light and sound effects. Using voice command the headlights and the closed BMW kidney grille also form a common fusion of physical and digital icons on a uniform surface, allowing the vehicle to produce different facial expressions. The automaker says this means BMW i Vision Dee can talk to people and, at the same time, express moods such as joy, astonishment or approval visually. For the true narcissist, the car can also project an image of the driver’s avatar onto the side window to further personalize the welcome.

Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of management of BMW, said: “With the BMW i Vision Dee, we are showcasing what is possible when hardware and software merge. In this way, we are able to exploit the full potential of digitalization to transform the car into an intelligent companion. That is the future for automotive manufacturers – and, also, for BMW: the fusion of the virtual experience with genuine driving pleasure. At the same time, BMW i Vision Dee is another step on the road to the NEUE KLASSE. With this vision, we are looking far into the future and underlining the tremendous importance of digitalization for our upcoming product generations.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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