News Jan 07, 2016 06:50 PM EST

The BMW i Vision Future Interaction: BMW's Vision for an Autonomous Driving Future

By Staff Writer

The BMW i Vision Future Interaction, despite the name, is BMW's concept car focused on presenting the company's ideas on autonomous driving. The car, based on the BMW i8 Concept Spyder, was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.

The door-less and window-less car represents BMW's idea of the future, which they call Vision Zero, as reported by BMWBlog. Vision Zero is the idea that accidents will be a thing of the past by allowing the car to take control of driving and allowing the passengers to take over when needed.

The passengers interact with the car through touch-sensitive surfaces, using gestures and voice control. Called the "AirTouch" system, the car uses sensors to let the driver interact and control the display screens, reported Automobile Magazine. When the driver isn't in control of the car, he or she can also use the Heads-Up Display, located behind the steering wheel, to look through data on the car, navigation information, and status of the road.

The system will alert the driver the need for manual assistance with an alert. And because the technology is working predictively the driver will have at least five to seven seconds to react.

Also by the steering wheel is the drive mode selector switch, which allows the driver to choose between three drive modes when active at the steering wheel. "Pure Drive" mode allows the driver minimal assistance from the car. "Assist" mode allows a balance between car assistance and independent driver decisions while the "Auto Mode" will let the car take over completely.

The connection between driver and car begins even before the driver sits inside. With their smartphone or smart watch, the driver can see how much battery life is left in the car or what the best route to take would be. When the driver finally sits in the driver's seat, the information from their mobile device becomes seamlessly transferred to the central panorama display.

The central panorama display is BMW i Vision Future Interaction's centerpiece of the car. The screen extends to about the entire width of the passenger side. It is 11 centimeters tall and 40 centimeters wide with a screen diagonal of 21 inches.

CarScoops reported that BMW also revealed their BMW i8 Mirrorless and i3 Extender Rearview Mirror. These conceptual designs show how cameras could be used to replace the standard door and rear-view mirrors.

BMW's vision for the future of autonomous driving includes gesture control, large displays, and constant connection to the car through mobile devices. The "AirTouch" system will allow a connection with the car without the need to look for a button while driving. These various abilities show how much BMW believes that the future of driving isn't necessarily with the car itself, but how the user interacts with it. 

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