BMW would like you to believe that with the release of the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive concept car the future has begun. While the future is yet to be determined if cars look like this in the future then I can hardly wait for us to get there.
As you can see the BMW Drive ConnectedVision has a long flowing bonnet that slides into the windscreen seamlessly. The long wheelbase allows the passenger compartment to be set well back and that enhances those flowing lines I mentioned a moment ago.
The headlights don’t just throw light on the road ahead, they also house sensors that monitor the traffic situation and the environment as well. The headlight sensors are complimented by similar sensors located in the rear lights too.
Instead of wing mirrors there are antennas to transmit information to the outside world and BMW also uses them to capture navigational data.
The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive features an enhanced heads-up display that delivers a three-dimensional display of information and icons that provide an visuall fusion of the actual view of the road ahead with virtual content.
For example, this augmented reality application projects information about the route precisely onto the location of a possible turn-off – in relation to the actual field of view. Information is displayed either in the foreground or in the background, depending upon its relevance and the current traffic situation.
BMW doesn’t see the future as a time when the cars we drive will no longer have the usual instrument cluster on the dashboard but it may be a time when the dashboard is a source of even more information than it is today. The cluster will also be updated by the heads-up display.
The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive is equipped with a freely programmable instrument cluster. The range and breadth of its functionality exceeds by far the display capabilities of classic cockpit instruments.
By means of a display, which also presents information in three dimensions, individual pieces of information can be optically emphasized to a greater or lesser degree depending upon the driving situation, in order to gain the appropriate amount of attention.
The passenger hasn’t been forgotten when it comes to visual displays of information and BMW even consider the passenger to be a co-pilot rather than just a passive lump in the extra seat. As a co-pilot he can evaluate information or address details for the navigation system received online and forward them to the driver’s instrument panel if necessary.
Just imagine that … a futuristic version of backseat driving without having to say a word.
The passengers … ah … co pilots … even has what BMW call “an Emotional Browser”. The Emotional Browser makes an even more varied and individually-tailored choice of information possible. During the journey, this system captures and filters additional information about the environment through which the vehicle is currently travelling, in terms of people, mood or location.
This personal configuration can be set at the start of the journey, but can also be adjusted on the road to be more or less detailed, to suit individual requirements.
Well I certainly do like the lines of the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive but I can sure live without some of those futuristic additions. Who needs an Emotional Browser … most guys can tell within a few seconds that the emotional temperature has turned from warm to frosty without the help of any cockpit display.