BMW said the Vision Future Luxury concept will soon grace the concept car lawn at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance marking its North American premiere. Offering a glimpse into the long-term view of modern luxury for the BMW brand, the BMW Vision Future Luxury stands, BMW says, for a forward-looking fusion of exclusivity and innovation as well as a driving experience that is at once emotional and exclusive.
In short, this concept showcases features to be seen in future iterations of the brand’s flagship models, features that will also eventually trickle down to other models over the years.
In this concept, the driver is surrounded by a wrap-around cluster of three intermeshing displays, creating the typical BMW driver-centric cockpit. BMW stated the three-dimensional display technology means that at the visual level the instrument panel styling appears to carry over into the displays themselves. In other words, to the eye the interior space seems to continue into the solid structures of the instrument panel, generating an impression of unprecedented depth and spaciousness.
The left-hand display mainly presents vehicle-related information, while in the centre a programmable cluster displays speedometer, rev counter and other information, as well as context-adaptive supplementary data, which is displayed as and when relevant, said BMW. Meanwhile, the right-hand display – the Driver Information Display – provides additional infotainment information. The driver also has the option of controlling all these functions by voice command.
The primary driver display, however, is the “contact-analogue” BMW Vision Head Up Display, explained BMW. This display augments the driver’s view of the real world by projecting information directly in the driver’s line of sight onto the road. Buildings, traffic signs or hazards can be highlighted directly in the real-world environment, selectively directing the driver’s attention to specific information which is particularly important at any given time. This technology gives a new dimension to driver assistance functions such as Speed Limit Info, where road signs can be identified and highlighted in the driver’s field of view, or the Traffic Light Assistant, which provides real-time information about traffic light phasing.
In place of a central shared information display for driver and front passenger, the BMW Vision Future Luxury offers front passengers their own Passenger Information Display. This display, said BMW, is connected to the Driver Information Display via a touch-sensitive panel, where information can be exchanged between driver and front passenger using swiping movements. Applications like booking opera tickets online direct from the vehicle via the BMW ConnectedDrive Luxury Concierge service can be displayed in the Passenger Information Display, where they don’t risk distracting the driver. The relevant functions can be conveniently controlled by the front passenger using the iDrive Controller with touch-sensitive interface.
On the exterior, the coupé-style roofline and sloping trunk significantly reduce drag, per BMW; solutions provide optimal channeling of the airflow including the Air Breather system at the rear of the front wheel arch, a C-pillar with internal air channeling, and openings in the rear bumper which vent air from the wheel arches.
The concept is equipped with BMW Laserlight. This new technology not only paves the way for a very flat and dynamic interpretation of the typical BMW twin round headlamps, stated BMW, it also sets completely new standards in terms of brightness, range and intensity. The concentrated, parallel light beam is up to ten times more intense than that of an LED system. The reduced energy consumption and packaging requirements of laser lights make this technology a prime candidate for use in future vehicles.
For the first time on a BMW the rear lighting is provided by organic LEDs, paving the way for a completely new treatment of the typical BMW L-shaped lights, said the company. The BMW Vision Future Luxury’s L-shaped rear lights comprise a large number of small, likewise L-shaped OLEDs.
BMW explained an organic LED consists of wafer-thin organic semiconductor layers positioned between two electrodes. The light-emitting polymer layer is only approx. 400 nanometers thick, making it roughly 400 times thinner than a human hair. Organic LEDs are not only extremely thin, as well as flexible, they also produce very uniform illumination over their entire surface. Due to their very thin dimensions, and since they do not require reflectors in order to produce the desired broad light dispersion, they open up completely new ways of using light in and around the vehicle.
The BMW Vision Future Luxury (heralding the next 7 series?) can be seen on Sunday, August 17 on the concept car lawn at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.