The future has already begun. At the 2011 International Motor Show in Geneva the concept vehicle BMW Vision ConnectedDrive will make its world debut from March 3 to 13, 2011. The leading position in the automobile world occupied by BMW in the development of innovative driver assistance systems and mobility services will be further strengthened by this extraordinary concept vehicle. The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive study demonstrates current and future methods of mobile networking in a particularly focused way. The design and technology of this spectacular roadster are aimed at making the vehicle an integral part of a networked world. Comfort, safety and the infotainment experience in the vehicle can be precisely optimised by the innovative functionality, individually tailored to suit the requirements of both the driver and passenger. New technologies and design concepts are employed to add even more facets to the unmistakable BMW driving pleasure.
BMW Vision ConnectedDrive makes its case in a most persuasive way, presenting immediately-mesmerising, intelligent solutions. The character of this concept study, presented as a two-seater roadster, is one of a mobile component in a networked world, both in design as well as by virtue of extensive technological innovations. BMW demonstrates with this vehicle the unique potential that can be realised by both the current and future developments in BMW ConnectedDrive, optimising comfort, safety and the enjoyment of infotainment in the vehicle.
The boundless opportunities to attain even more driving pleasure by means of intelligent networks is demonstrated most impressively at the Geneva Motor Show by the world premiere of BMW Vision ConnectedDrive, by the design of the bodywork and interior of the concept vehicle, an inspiring light installation, a new display and operating concept and a multimedia presentation at the show. The design embodies the bond between the driver and the vehicle and the dialogue between the driver and the passenger as well as the interaction of the occupants of the car with the environment. The functional areas of BMW ConnectedDrive are symbolised on three levels - comfort, safety and infotainment. The elementary exchange of data and information for all three functional areas is visualised by an intricately complex light installation and presentation at the exhibition.
In addition to the dynamic charisma generated in typical BMW style by a long bonnet blending seamlessly with the windscreen, the long wheelbase and the seating positions set well back, the design of the concept vehicle visualises the fusion of exterior, interior and environment, made possible only by BMW ConnectedDrive. Surfaces, strongly expressive and powerfully taut, are enhanced by distinctive flowing lines. The layering principle, which requires that individual components take on a number of tasks, has been implemented both in the interior and the exterior. Sensors integrated into the headlights and the rear lights assist in monitoring the traffic situation and the environment. Antennas instead of wing mirrors transmit information to the outside world and capture navigation data.
An enhanced Head-Up Display is one of the innovations in the field of display and operating concepts of the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive family. It delivers a three-dimensional display of information and icons which provide an optical fusion of the actual view of the road ahead with virtual content. For example, this augmented reality application projects information about the route precisely onto the location of a possible turn-off - in relation to the actual field of view. Information is displayed either in the foreground or in the background, depending upon its relevance and the current traffic situation. In addition, the concept vehicle is equipped with a freely programmable instrument cluster; its display complements the projections generated by the Head-Up Display. The range and breadth of its functionality exceeds by far the display capabilities of classic cockpit instruments. By means of a display, which also presents information in three dimensions, individual pieces of information can be optically emphasized to a greater or lesser degree depending upon the driving situation, in order to gain the appropriate amount of attention.
Via the Passenger Information Display, the passenger in a BMW Vision ConnectedDrive vehicle can also take advantage of additional functionalities provided by intelligent networking. As a co-pilot he can evaluate information or address details for the navigation system received online and forward them to the driver's instrument panel if necessary. Thus the interaction between the driver and the passenger and networking with the environment reach new levels. The Emotional Browser makes an even more varied and individually-tailored choice of information possible. During the journey, this system captures and filters additional information about the environment through which the vehicle is currently travelling, in terms of people, mood or location. This personal configuration can be set at the start of the journey, but can also be adjusted on the road to be more or less detailed, to suit individual requirements.
BMW Vision ConnectedDrive - The Future of Intelligent Networking
At the beginning of the 1970s BMW began work on networking the vehicle with the outside world and networking the vehicle's own systems with each other in order to realise innovative information, communication and assistance systems. Since those early days, enormous progress in networking has been made - progress that was primarily driven forward by the creative, innovative strength of the BMW Development Engineers. Many of these innovations such as the Park Distance Control or the Integrated Navigation System have set standards for the entire automotive industry.
Today, BMW ConnectedDrive is the epitome of intelligent networking of driver, vehicle and the environment. In the meantime, the BMW ConnectedDrive product portfolio includes numerous innovative features which considerably raise the level of comfort during the journey, allow Infotainment to be experienced in a whole new dimension and which significantly increase the level of safety for people both inside BMW automobiles and for those in the vicinity.
The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive concept study extrapolates the principle of intelligent networking of driver, vehicle and the outside world into the future. The vehicle is transformed perfectly naturally into a fully integrated part of the networked world and sets new standards in future comfort, infotainment and safety features. The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive shows most impressively the potential that BMW ConnectedDrive technologies hold for the future. The concept study should be viewed as a sculpture, as a vision, giving these innovative technologies and forward-looking ideas physical form, portraying them and breathing life into them.
From the Inside to the Outside - the Vehicle Concept
The human being stands firmly in the focus of BMW Vision ConnectedDrive, more so than with any other vehicle. The vehicle and its functions have been designed to cater to the needs of the driver and the passenger - they are the starting point and the end of each and every interaction. This orientation towards the passengers is most obvious in the interior. Clear, enclosing symbolism divides the interior into three levels that could also be described as layers or shells. Each level expresses one of the three themes of BMW ConnectedDrive - comfort, Infotainment and safety - and integrates the appropriate functionality, operating panels and displays. By creating the three layers in the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive's interior, the layering principle, something also well known from BMW Vision EfficientDynamics, has been consistently further developed. The term "layering" describes a new approach to the BMW Group's concept of design and its design language, redefining the way surfaces, interfaces and materials have been treated in the past. By working with different layers, organic radii and surfaces, the layering concept breaks up large volumes like the instrument panel, thus creating free space for features such as ventilation, operating elements or trays. The result is a modern, organically aesthetic, light and emotional design.
Fibre optics in various colours define the three levels and formally underscore the differentiation between each distinct area. All three areas have a dedicated, individual light installation, each discerned by colour, but also by rhythm, motion and texture. When a feature is activated, the path taken by the information through the vehicle is illustrated by means of transparent surfaces and fibre optic lighting, quite literally highlighting the interaction between the environment, the vehicle and the driver in the context of BMW ConnectedDrive.
The Exterior Design - a True BMW
As a two-seater roadster charged with emotion, the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive is a particularly dynamic, purist interpretation of the characteristic BMW language of form: the long bonnet, the long wheelbase and the passenger compartment set well back seem to accelerate the vehicle even at a standstill. The bonnet and the windscreen flow into one another to form a homogenous surface and endow the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive with an extraordinarily flat, sporting silhouette. Within these tight roadster proportions, distinctive, concise lines flow over the taut surfaces of the vehicle's bodywork. The resulting play of light and shadow imparts a fascinating and emotional character to this concept study. The expressive 20-inch wheels, fashioned in three dimensions, underscore the sporting, dynamic character of the vehicle.
The front of the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive manifests the typical characteristics of BMW design, with a strong horizontal orientation, stressing width. The kidney grilles and dual, round headlights have been designed in a particularly flat fashion and lend the front a dynamic, modern expression.
Below these, two large air vents emphasise the width of the vehicle, giving it a decidedly sporty look.
The door concept is a particularly distinctive feature of the exterior of the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive. Developed with the innovative, electro- mechanical retracting door mechanism of the BMW Z1 in mind, which can be legally driven with its doors open, the idea has been extended and now finds application in the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive. Two sliding door elements - one inside, one outside - disappear into the bodywork of the vehicle when the door is opened, enabling entry. While the outer shell slides forward, the inner shell disappears into the rear area of the vehicle with a movement in the opposite direction. The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive can also be driven with the outer doors open, a central aspect of the vehicle.
The expressive, modern surface work evident at the front and on the sides of the vehicle is continued at the rear. Two large air outlets make the formal connection to the front and underline the sportiness of the vehicle at the rear. The rear lights, placed at the extreme outside of the back of the vehicle, feature the distinct BMW L-design and have a strong sculptural character. Just as at the front of the vehicle, the rear sensor technology is also integrated into the lights. The concept of layering used in the interior, in which a component takes on a number of tasks, is thus carried over to the exterior.
The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive concept car was consciously designed as a roadster, as the vehicle is able to show its overall creative concept best by way of the open roadster design. Seen from above, the interior design, light concept and exterior design fuse into a very clear, unmistakable statement: BMW ConnectedDrive.