BMW Showcases Shape-Shifting Concept Car

BMW is celebrating its centenary year by unveiling a series of concept vehicles, the first of which is a shape-shifting autonomous car with artificial intelligence.

The BMW Vision Next 100 is the German automakers attempt to foresee what cars will look to a future where driverless vehicles are commonplace and on-board AI can learn and adapt to a passengers behaviour.

The concept vehicle features 800 moving triangles, which are set into the instrument panel and fitted to the side panels on the outside. These triangles feature something BMW is calling Alive Geometry which would move to allow the car to communicate with the driver.

Depending on the driving mode, the focus of the vehicle changes, concentrating on essentials for the driver

BMW thinks that along with having driverless technology, us humans will still want the option to get behind the wheel and drive which is why the Vision next supports both in two modes called Boost and Ease.

In boost mode the cars seat and steering wheel would change position while the central console would move to make it easier for various settings to be changed. The windscreen would be your heads up display and will project optimum driving lines, speed and other information.

In Ease mode the car would be in full driverless mode and the steering wheel and centre console would retract while the seats headrest would move aside to allow the driver to recline. The windscreen’s Head-Up Display would then offer the opportunity to browse the web and watch movies.

The materials used in the design of the BMW Vision Next 100 are primarily used fabrics made from recycled or renewable materials. The visible and non-visible carbon fibre composite components, such as the side panels, are made from residues from normal carbon fibre production. In the future, the choice of materials will become even more important throughout the design and production process.

With time, other new materials will also be added into the mix, allowing different vehicle shapes to emerge. To save resources and support more sustainable manufacturing, less use will be made of wood and leather while innovative materials and the consequent new possibilities in design and production gradually come to the fore. This approach is already being exemplified by the use of high-quality textiles and easily recyclable mono-materials and the elimination of leather in the interior of the BMW VISION NEXT 100.

The BMW Group will be heading off on a world tour, where the company will unveil its vision for the future of MINI, Rolls Royce and BMW Motorrad – all brands owned by the German automaker.

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