BMW shares some ideas about the cars of the future. The BMW I Vision Dee is a futuristic medium-sized sedan with a toned-down design language and a focus on the digital BMW experience of the future, both inside and outside the car.
Last fall, BMW showed off the BMW I Vision Circular, a concept car showing how the German company could imagine a small, electric BMW of the future made from recycled and renewable materials. When BMW takes the stage in Las Vegas this year, it will show off another step toward the Neue Klasse, which will come out in 2025.
Neue Klasse is the name for a brand-new line of electric BMW models with a new IT and software architecture and a new generation of high-performance electric powertrains and batteries. These are just some new ideas that have given the car company a fresh start.
The BMW I Vision Circular shows how to think circularly, while the BMW I Vision Dee shows how the future will be digital.
"Dee" stands for "Digital Emotional Experience," and it is the next step in how "man and machine" interact with each other. In the next generations of products, digital functions will be a lot better than they are now.
BMW in the auto industry popularized head-up displays, and this technology was already in mass-produced cars by 2004. Since then, BMW has worked to improve its technical solutions and functions.
In the BMW I Vision Dee, BMW shows how an advanced head-up display could be used in the future when information is projected across the whole width of the windshield.
The standard version of this new generation of BMW Head-up-Display will be used in the Neue Klasse models that come out after 2025.
The BMW Mixed Reality Slider, along with the advanced head-up display, is the digital highlight and main control for the BMW I Vision Dee. The driver can decide how much digital information to show on the advanced head-up display by using the touch panel built into the instrument panel.
In five stages, you can choose from a classic analog display, information about driving, the content of the infotainment system, the projection of extended functions, and even entry into virtual worlds.
After the BMW iX E Ink made a big splash at CES 2022, BMW is now showing off the BMW I Vision Dee, which has a full-color E Ink screen.
Instead of just having black and white stripes, the BMW I Vision Dee now has a fully customizable, multicolored exterior that can be set up in any way the owner wants. The BMW I Vision Dee's body is made up of 240 E Ink fields, and each one can be controlled separately. With only 32 colors, almost any pattern can be made and changed in seconds.
Most people are familiar with this staining from the screens used in reading boards. This technology was first used by the BMW Group, the first company in the auto industry to use it. In short, the surface coating is made up of millions of tiny capsules about the width of human hair. Each of these small capsules has positively and negatively charged pigments. Electrically stimulating the different fields causes the pigments you want to collect on the surface of the microcapsule. This gives the car the color pattern you want.
The vision car also has a few bits of technology. A personalized welcome scene with graphics, lights, and sounds will play out when the owner walks up to the car. The headlights and the closed BMW kidney grille also make up a "phygital" (physical and digital) surface that can show several different faces and icons and give the car a new look.
The BMW I Vision Dee can also project a picture of the driver's avatar onto the side window to make the welcome scenario even more personal.
The BMW I Vision Dee is made to look simple on purpose so that people can focus on digital experiences. So, the exterior design is only based on new versions of three standard BMW features: the kidney grille, the Hofmeisterer kink on the rear side window, and the twin headlights, which have been redesigned with "phygital" icons instead of the traditional lights. The rest of the vision car's outside is only a frame.
Inside, digitization and more straightforward use of materials go hand in hand. There are only a few buttons and screens to use. The car's functions are controlled by the touch points on the steering wheel, which light up when you move your thumb close to or touch them. Using the steering wheel, you can easily change what is shown on the windshield.
So, the idea of "hands on the wheel, eyes on the road" guides BMW's plans for the near future.
By the decade's end, more than half of all BMW cars sold will likely be Neue Klasse models. BMW has already said that the first models in the Neue Klasse will be a 3 Series sedan and a sporty SUV. In 2023, there will also be several visions that will be used to create the models that will be on the road in a few years.