BMW Vision ConnectedDrive Concept
It’s an exercise, Concept cars are, but this one, the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive Concept, is a study in the future of mobile networking, so it’s unlike the average concept. In years past concept cars were all about structural design, exotic materials, loony bin looks and outrageous power figures. More recently, concept cars have been about lower CO2 emissions and frugality.
Future cars, according to BMW ideology, will be following along, and expanding on, our current obsession with communication. Look no further than the ConnectedDrive HUD. HUD, or heads up display, has been around for a while, but BMWs system expands the idea to display “point of interest” icons along with road information. Sounds like a virtual iPad, this one placed in the field of vision of the driver. Sounds interesting, but the first thing that comes to mind, and I’m sure you’re thinking the same, is, what about safety? While BMW doesn’t exactly explain how that works they do mention that the system is fully configurable by the pilot, er, driver.
Speaking of safety, this and comfort are the other two areas of study with this concept. According to BMW, a light display bathes the vehicle in data regarding the status of each category.While BMW noted the design idealisms behind this exercise, actual information on how it works or what powers it was not, leaving much to speculation.
If you’re just looking at the ConnectedDrive Concept you could be forgiven for missing Mr. Chris Bangles work. Unfortunately, the cool, Knight Rider-esque glowing lights that travel around the panel gaps are not enough to save the car. Maybe it’s not that bad, well no, it is. From the profile it looks like a sperm whale, the seats are impossible, and fancy BMW asymmetry is best left to their motorcycle division.
BMW has a rich history of brilliant concept and actual cars, and obviously, their road cars are some of the most sought after in existence. They are keen on keeping their moniker “Ultimate Driving Machine” relevant, and if their brilliant current line-up and up-coming cars are any indication that shouldn’t be hard. As a design exercise, the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive sounds interesting, but there doesn’t appear to be much substance, outside of a strange shell. What powers the technology, what powers the car? This is about the ConnectedDrive, but if a realistic concept and infotainment technology are the goal, the Saab PhoeniX makes more of a case for it. The ConnectedDrive is interesting but it needs more substance to make any sense. Nice wheels though.
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