The BMW i Vision Dee is a futuristic electric sports sedan that can answer you

Everyone always has something to say about BMW.

The Bavarian automaker has always been talented in setting standards with cars like the 3 Series and X5, but as cars change over time, even discerning BMW fans don’t hold their tongues.

“the Old cars were better. “

“This new grille is too much.”

“I would never pay for car subscription features.”

Now, at CES 2023, BMW’s new concept asks: What if the car had something to say, too? And if a car could talk, how would it interact with its user?

This is the BMW i Vision Dee, which stands for Digital Emotional Experience. It’s one of BMW’s most extreme — and yet, in some ways, reasonable — cars in years. It’s a simple electric performance sedan that leans heavily on digital features like augmented reality and voice-activated virtual assistants. Think metaverse or Amazon Alexa but in sports sedan form. The concept also provides the ability to create an avatar profile for the driver, which can even be displayed on the side window.

If a car could talk, how would it interact with its user?

More than that, the i Vision Dee’s color-changing grille is like a “face” with its own expression on top of the default voice. This is a BMW that speaks for itself and probably has great merits on its own. “My father was for E30is one of the things the car said to me at a recent tech show, and early social media promotions for the concept sparked the modern car show back in the 1980s. rider knight.

The headlights and the closed BMW kidney grille also have something in common phygital (fusion of a physical and digital code) on a unified surface, allowing the vehicle to produce different facial expressions,” the automaker said in a press release. “This means that the BMW i Vision Dee can talk to people and, at the same time, express moods such as joy or visual amazement or approval.”

Like the i circular vision As of 2021, the i Vision Dee is just a concept car, meant to be a preview of upcoming designs and technologies that could eventually make their way to dealer lots. At the same time, the design itself looks like something that could preview a future electric 3-series or i4 of some sort.

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Visually, the i Vision Dee looks almost like a cross between a Tesla Model 3 and one of BMW’s classic sports sedans, like the 2002 E30. The kidney grille runs across almost the entire front of the concept and the rear light bar does the same across the trunk. The almost featureless white body contrasted with the tough designs of many current BMWs, while retaining distinctive features such as the “Hofmeister kink” for the rear windows.

While BMW wouldn’t directly confirm this design is for production, it’s safe to assume it will influence future cars. BMW concepts come to life – see the i8 supercar and i3 city car from the past decade. BMW even calls this “another milestone on the road” to the Neue Klasse, BMW’s upcoming platform for electric cars. This setup is named for the “new class” of sports sedans and coupes that defined BMW’s image in the 1960s and 1970s.

While current BMW vehicles tend to be designed to offer a mixture of internal combustion, hybrid or EV power—the electric i4 and electric-powered 4 Series Gran Coupe are essentially the same car, for example—the next round of models is designed to be off the ground. Electricity for better range and better battery packaging.

BMW says the i Vision Dee also represents a significant development of its E Ink color-changing technology that debuted at CES last year, and as a result, can transform its exterior into 32 different colors — not just one. BMW says the concept’s body is divided into 240 e-ink sections, each of which can be controlled individually. This is the first time that E Ink has been used on a car’s entire exterior, and BMW has said the technology may be close to commercialization at a consumer level.

Refreshingly, the i Vision Dee is a three-box sedan, not much else A blob-like SUV concept. This in itself is a bold move by BMW and goes against current trends; Sedan sales have been declining for years As the global market shifted towards crossovers and trucks.

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For BMW, this is proof that the sports sedan is still important to the company’s image and bottom line, BMW design chief Domagoj Dukec said at a press preview in Germany last year.

“We want to show our customers, if the world is changing, we’ll adapt, but we’ll definitely always be familiar,” Ducic said. “Everyone who works within my team, from different cultures and different generations, love the brand and know their history. They don’t want that to go away.”

Duquec added, “It’s also a BMW. When you talk about the core product… it’s the 3rd and 5th Series.”

Who needs screens when you have a windshield?

i Vision Dee has good news for drivers who hate the recent explosion of in-car touchscreens: There are no screens here.

The concept’s drab gray interior is less designer than the exterior, with a trimmed steering wheel and seats, and what BMW calls a “mixed reality slider”: a touchpad that controls how much information the driver sees on the cutting-edge Heads-Up display.

The i Vision Dee almost looks like a cross between a Tesla Model 3 and one of BMW’s classic sports sedans

There’s also bad news for screen-averse drivers: The entire windshield is now a heads-up display that combines dashboard and infotainment functions and adds augmented reality features.

Using windshields to host displays is nothing new; Many modern cars display vehicle speeds, navigation, and other data there (and they’ve had variations since the 1980s). But this concept takes that idea to a whole new level.

Images displayed on the screen include social media posts and augmented reality displays as well as vehicle diagnostics. Other windows are also dimmable if drivers and passengers want to go into full VR mode. Will this create a giant distraction? Perhaps, but BMW says it’s safer than taking your eyes completely off the road to glancing at a dash-mounted display.

“The display across the entire width of the windshield allows information to be displayed on the largest possible surface – which is only recognizable as a head-up display once activated,” BMW said in a statement. “[The car] Envision how an advanced head-up display could also be used in the future for display and playback concept. “

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A version of this system, presumably abbreviated, will debut on Neue Klasse cars starting in 2025.

“Intelligent Companion” is not just a car

But while many of the features previewed on the i Vision Dee certainly won’t be ready for prime time in 2023, it feels like a believable approach to where the increasingly digital-focused auto industry is headed.

The entire front windshield is now a head-up display

“With the BMW i Vision Dee, we are showing what is possible when hardware and software are combined. In this way, we are able to exploit the full potential of digitization to turn the car into an intelligent companion,” said Oliver Zepsey, BMW Chairman, in a statement.

This is cold comfort for the diehards who want BMW to go back to the way things were – but have chosen to realize that. Nor will it benefit critics of the technologies found in the i Vision Dee. After all, Amazon Alexa did Little more than setting billions of dollars in flames in 2022And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to turn into the metaverse was met with outright disdain. The question remains whether drivers will even want some of the features in the i Vision Dee, especially head-up displays or a talking virtual assistant.

Even while struggling with things like getting drivers Acceptance of auto subscription featuresBMW says yes. The future won’t be high-revving inline-six engines and manual transmissions, so BMW has to find a way to convince die-hard believers that “performance” can be determined by things like software speed, charging time and electric range. The cars it produces in the next few years probably won’t be quite as ambitious as the i Vision Dee, but it does show that BMW is already thinking in this direction.

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