BMW's new Digital Emotional Experience concept sets the tone at CES
By Matt Bird / Thursday, 5 January 2023 / Loading comments
Those of you who also spend too much time on social media might have noticed something bizarre happen with BMW’s accounts at the end of 2022. Now the ‘hack’ by something identified only as ‘Dee’ now makes a lot more sense, as it was getting people familiar with the name ahead of this concept reveal. It’s the BMW i Vision Dee, where Dee stands for ‘Digital Emotional Experience’. This is the BMW show car that not only gives a look into the future of the Neue Klasse EVs, but also aims to create ‘an even stronger beyond between people and their cars going forward’. Chairman Oliver Zipse has gone as far to say that, with the Dee, BMW has been “able to exploit the full potential of digitalisation to transform the car into an intelligent companion.” Yikes.
BMW says the new concept has a deliberately reductive design to draw attention to the digital bits. Pleasingly, there are some traditional cues to appreciate if you can look past the odd stuff; this is a three-box BMW saloon still with a Hofmeister kink, still with kidney grilles (that actually look good), and still with a pair of twin headlights up front, albeit much slimmer than is typically seen. The i Vision Dee is just about recognisably a BMW, with some old-school features that’ll no doubt be referenced more when the production Neue Klasse is here. BMW’s head of Group design, Adrian van Hooydonk, can hardly wait: “With BMW i Vision Dee, we are showing how the car can be seamlessly integrated into your digital life and become a trusty companion. The vehicle itself becomes your portal to the digital world – with the driver always in control. Implemented the right way, technology will create worthwhile experiences, make you a better driver and simply bring humans and machines closer together.”
Expect to hear more about more the ‘phygital’ – combining physical and digital – style features as well, but having written it once this time we’re refusing to acknowledge it any further this time. The interior really is something altogether different, though. BMW talks of a Mixed Reality Slider, which uses shy tech sensors so that the driver can decide what they want to see in the head-up display without additional buttons. The HUD range from traditional driving info all the way to virtual reality; the windows can even be dimmed to ‘gradually fade out reality’, which sounds like a lovely thing to be able to do in January. Or when waiting for charge, perhaps.
BMW says that mixed reality ‘can be experienced in BMW i Vision Dee in an immersive way that engages different senses without requiring any additional tools, creating a new dimension of driving pleasure for the user.’ Expect the Advanced Head Up Display, projecting info across the entire windscreen, in the production Neue Klasse from 2025. We might be a few more years from BMW kidney grilles that can produce facial expressions and windows that can project an image of the driver’s avatar on entry, however.
Seemingly incredible colour is the theme of CES concepts for 2023, BMW following VW’s ID 7 in offering a colour that isn’t quite what it seems. Shame all the production cars will be grey with black wheels. For the i Vision Dee, BMW has further evolved the E Ink tech, meaning that the exterior is multi-coloured, fully variable and individually configurable. There are 240 E Ink segments in total, covered in ePaper, and each of those can show a different colour in seconds. Makes you wonder how BMW will charge for all that optional paint in one car, but it’s definitely a cool feature for a show vehicle.
This really is a preview of what’s coming, too, and not merely a pet project. Zipse described Dee as “another step on the road to Neue Klasse”, suggesting it represents nothing less than the future for BMW: “the fusion of the virtual experience with genuine driving pleasure.” Which doesn’t sound like a terrible idea for the future, it should be said. And it’s nice to see a BMW saloon continue. We’re told to expect more hinting at what’s coming for the Neue Klasse during 2023 ahead of its arrival in the middle of the decade. Even if the wacky paint doesn’t make production, it promises to be a very different kind of BMW for the electric age.
- 2022 BMW M240i xDrive | PH Review
- 2022 BMW iX M60 | PH Review
Latest Electric Vehicles articles
BMW i Vision Dee previews Neue Klasse EV
DK Engineering announces partnership with McMurtry
VW previews new ID 7 electric saloon
Zeekr claims 1000km EV range ahead of debut
2023 Audi SQ8 E-tron | PH Review
Source: Read Full Article