It is well known that the BMW product and design teams are efficiently working together to get to the ‘next level’ in the motoring world. In fact, they are busy moving into a reality where it isn’t just delivery vehicles that are self-driving, but also family and business cars.
Back in 20’7 they kicked off Project i – resulting in the i3 and the low riding i8 we saw in Windhoek for the first time in 2018. Next up, they are planning the Vision iNext. Production is said to only commence in 2021, but there is a preview vehicle that stole some hearts during the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in viva Las Vegas.
From the photos of the event we have concluded that the exterior is something completely out of this era. With extremely smooth lines, and a simplistic appearance, it still emphasizes the BMW style.
The vehicle’s interior seems to have a similarity to a small living room, with large comfortable seats. The one thing we notice immediately – where’s the tech? The millions of buttons? A self-driving car should have buttons right? BMW has designed the vehicle so that the emphasis is on the passengers, and hid their intelligent technology when it is not needed.
BMW also took something from the recent iOS and Android presentations and releases, with the new model featuring an on board Intelligent Personal Assistant. This tech is integrated with your smart devices, BMW Connected and your smart home network – you can basically have your car switch on your air-conditioner at home. This massive intertwined application activates with a simple ‘Hey BMW’. You might have to have a talk with Siri or Alexa, about the new voice on the block.
You would think they would stop there, right? The Intelligent Beam technology makes the touch screens seem outdated. The Beam can serve as both a reading light and as a projection screen. It recognizes objects and follows them, even when they are in motion, turning any surface you like into an interactive display screen.
Oh, by the way, those comfy seats in the car are also full of technology and will act as a control center for various functions, such as music playback.
Will this model ever reach Namibian borders? Considering that it is an all-electric vehicle, and the on-board computer is not linked to any African systems, that’ll be a definite no. But you never know, miracles might happen.