Car manufacturers all over the world are focused on creating cars that will be able to drive themselves. However, BMW has taken a turn away from such a future with its Vision M Next concept and explores the kind of car where the driver will be able to use the steering wheel. The technologies that will be a part of the Vision M Next will exist to connect the driver to the car better instead of allowing the car to take over the driving.
According to the future painted by BMW, every driver will be faced with a question; to drive or to be driven. The last year’s concept by BMW, Vision iNext, considered the possibility of allowing the technology to drive the driver. However, this year’s Vision M Next takes a look at how technology can be used for improving the driving experience.
BMW uses hybrid technology to create a driver-focused environment while offering a cleaner ride. The featured powertrain offers 591-hp and allows the driver to choose between turbocharged four-cylinder and electric all-wheel drive. The car will be able to go from 0 to 100 km/h in only three seconds thanks to the all-wheel torque of the e-drive. According to BMW, the Vision M Next will be able to drive through the city for up to 62 zero-emissions electric miles before opening things up to a top speed of 300 km/h on the highway.
Since BMW didn’t need to focus all of the next-gen technology on analyzing the surrounding environment of its car, it made use of it to assist the driver and to enhance the overall experience of driving. The Vision M Next will feature facial recognition that will identify the user and unlock the doors. With only a tap of a touch, the butterfly wings will wing open while revealing a minimalist interior that is focused on seat number 1. The seats feature memory foam and will offer a tailored suit-like fit.
The steering wheel is wide and race-inspired while the augmented reality HUD will offer information other than the one being displayed on gauges. BMW refers to the digital informational layout as a Boost Pod that conveys information and control in three ways; the HUD, the curved glass instrument panel, and the steering wheel-integrated displays and controls.
Domagoj Dukec, BMW design VP, said, ‘Intelligent technologies help the driver and deliver the right content at the right time. Operation is clear and intuitive, with all information presented in the driver’s direct field of view. This is a deliberate counterpoint to the BMW Vision iNEXT, which focused on the multimodal operation from every seat.’ BMW showed off the Vision M Next on #NEXTGen event but didn’t confirm any plans of bringing the car to life. It did, however, outlined quick plans of bringing 25 electrified vehicles to the market by 2023.