This concept unveiled at the CES shows many new technologies, including one that can give it facial expressions.
The futuristic sedan features a full-range version of BMW’s colour-changing tech.
Dimmable windows and a full-width head-up display allow the driver to tune out reality and focus on a digital experience.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held every year in Las Vegas is always an opportunity for tech companies and automakers to wow the public by showcasing their latest innovations.
This year, BMW took to the stage to unveil the i Vision Dee concept, a minimalist sedan that puts the focus on a new digital experience.
DEE stands for Digital Emotional Experience and the automaker says that this name is apt because this concept aims to strengthen the bond between drivers and their cars.
To do so, the company gave the i Vision DEE a front fascia that can reproduce a few human emotions and greet the driver in a way that makes it seem alive.
BMW says the car can express feelings such as joy, visual approval, and astonishment. To make for a more personal experience, the driver’s avatar can be projected onto the side window when they approach.
Inside, the same minimalistic approach is employed since there doesn’t seem to be anything on the dashboard except for a slider in the middle that can be used to configure the balance between digital and reality that can be seen through the windscreen.
This technology uses a full-width head-up display that can project data and images into the driver and the front passenger’s fields of view.
At the first level, the head-up display is entirely off, at the second level it shows only driving-related information, and at the third level, it adds the contents of the communication system.
This is not very different from the majority of head-up displays currently available, but it changes when drivers select level 4 or 5.
At the fourth level, the head-up display starts to show an augmented-reality version of the outside world and at level 5, it makes it so the driver feels like they are moving through a videogame.
Combined with dimmable windows that can entirely block out the occupants’ view of the outside, this system makes it possible to choose exactly how much of what the driver sees is real and how much is digital.
BMW says this full-width head-up display will enter production once its first Neue Klasse models are introduced in 2025, but it didn’t specify if the virtual reality aspects will also be present.
The other main attraction of the i Vision Dee concept is its use of an updated version of the automaker’s colour-changing technology that was shown at last year’s CES.
Previously only able to switch between black and white, this feature can now display 32 different shades, and it can show patterns on the outside of the car since all 240 panels can be controlled individually.