The BMW Group shares its vision for future digital experiences inside and outside the car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023 in Las Vegas.
The BMW i Vision Dee is a futuristic mid-size sedan with a sleek new design language. The name “D” stands for Digital Emotional Experience – and that’s exactly what it aims to do: create a stronger bond between people and their cars. Future digital functions will go beyond the level of voice control and driver assistance systems we know today.
The BMW Head-Up Display spans the full width of the windshield, providing a glimpse into the next generation of cars. From 2025, this innovation will be available in the NEUE KLASSE models. The BMW Group has also refined its use of color change technology. After unveiling the BMW iX Flow with e Ink, with the ability to switch from black to white, at the last CES, the BMW i Vision Dee can now arrange its exterior in 32 colors.
“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 digitalisation 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,”, says Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
“At the same time, the BMW i Vision Dee is another step on the way to NEUE KLASSE. With this vision, we look to the future and underline the enormous importance of digitalization for our next product generation. “With its intelligent, almost human capabilities, the BMW i Vision Dee not only accompanies drivers in real situations on the road, but also in their digital environment.
“A BMW lives on its unparalleled digital performance. The BMW i Vision Dee is about the seamless integration of virtual and physical experiences,” said Frank Weber, BMW AG Board Member responsible for development. “The person who excels at bringing the everyday digital world of the customer to the car at all levels will succeed in mastering the future of automotive manufacturing.”
BMW Mixed Reality Slider: Enter the virtual world in five steps
The BMW Mixed Reality Slider, in combination with the advanced head-up display, the digital highlight of the BMW i Vision Dee and the central operating controls. Using in-dash sensor technology, drivers can decide for themselves how much digital content they want to see on the advanced head-up display. The five-step selection ranges from analog driving-related information, communication system content, augmented reality projection to virtual world entry. In parallel, dimmable windows can be used to gradually blur reality. Mixed reality can be experienced in BMW i Vision D in an immersive way that engages different senses without the need for additional equipment, creating a new level of driving pleasure for the user.
Advanced BMW Head-Up Display: in the NEUE KLASSE from 2025
The BMW Group is known as a pioneer of head-up displays in the automotive sector and has systematically refined the technology over the past two decades. In the BMW i Vision Dee, the full-width projection of the windscreen allows information to be displayed on the largest possible surface – which is only recognizable as a display when activated. In this way, the BMW Group demonstrates the enormous potential of projection technology and the BMW i Vision D visualizes how an advanced head-up display can be used for future display and operating concepts. The standard version of the full-width BMW Head-Up Display will be used on models of the NEUE KLASSE from 2025.
Welcome scenario with voice and physical icons
The digital experience already begins outside the car, with a personalized welcome scene that combines graphics, lighting and sound effects. Natural language is the simplest and most intuitive form of interaction allowing a perfect understanding between humans and their vehicles. The headlights and the closed BMW grille form a simple physical icon (fusion of physical and digital) on a uniform surface, allowing the car to create different facial expressions. This means that the BMW i Vision Dee can speak to people and, at the same time, express moods such as joy, surprise or approval. The BMW i Vision Dee can also project an image of the driver’s avatar onto the side window to further personalize the welcome scene.
The world’s first in color e-ink technology
Following the spectacular debut of the BMW iX Flow with E Ink at CES 2022, the BMW Group is now unveiling a color version of the E Ink technology in the BMW i Vision Dee that will be used as the vehicle’s exterior skin. A world first.
The BMW i Vision Dee, instead of just switching between black and white, now features a multi-coloured, fully variable and individually configurable exterior. An epaper film from BMW Group associate partner E Ink is applied to the body to create this magical display of color. Up to 32 colors can be displayed.
Reduced design – inside and out
The design of the BMW i Vision Dee is deliberately understated to focus on the digital experience and the DNA of the BMW brand. The exterior is defined by the classic three-volume sedan design that is the heart of the BMW brand. Traditional design cues, such as the BMW grille, dual circular headlights and Hofmeister crease, are reimagined with physical icons replacing analog elements. This gives the BMW i Vision Dee its own digital, yet human character.
Inside, digitization goes hand in hand with reduced use of instruments, operating controls and displays so nothing detracts from the digital experience and new sense of heightened driving pleasure. The unconventional steering wheel design, with its central vertical radius, creates contact points that come alive when approached or touched, and the thumb can be moved. These physical touchpoints control the selection of content projected onto the windshield, including the head-up display, supporting the “hands on the wheel, eyes on the road” principle.
“With the BMW i Vision Dee, we are showing how the car can fit seamlessly into your digital life and become a trusted companion. The car itself becomes your portal to the digital world – the driver is always in control “, says BMW Group Design Head Adrian van Heedonck. “Applied in the right way, technology will create meaningful experiences, make you a better driver, and simply bring people and machines closer together.”
The body surface of the BMW i Vision Dee is divided into 240 E Ink segments, each of which is individually controlled. This makes it possible to create and vary an almost endless variety of patterns in seconds. The laser cutting process used to cut the film and the design of the electronic controls were developed in partnership with E Ink. The adaptation of this technology to curved surfaces and the programming of animations, developed by the BMW Group’s in-house engineers, allow a unique form of personalization in the global automotive sector.