BMW is celebrating 100 years in the car business, during which it has built some awesome cars. Now it is looking ahead to what cars might be like 100 years from now. It’s Vision Next 100 will be unveiled officially today in Munich. The good news is that BMW thinks some drivers will still want to drive their cars themselves, albeit with extensive input from digital assistants. Road & Track says BMW calls that Boost mode.
Or they can choose Ease mode, which turns the car into a fully autonomous transportation cocoon. The steering wheel parks itself in the dashboard, the windshield turns into a giant infotainment screen, and the seats turn toward each other so passengers can bask in each other’s glow.
The company describes the Vision Next 100 project this way: “BMW Group has generated a futuristic scenario with a clear vision: premium mobility by the BMW Group will be completely effortless, comprehensively available and tailored to every customer’s individual preferences. At the moment, the world is on the verge of realizing automated driving; in the not-too-distant future the majority of cars will probably be completely self-driving and travel the streets of cities inhabited by far more people than today.”
Notice the fenders that stretch over the wheels front and rear. The wheels and tires themselves are covered in aerodynamic fairings to further reduce drag. The car is said to have an ulra-low Cd of 0.18. It features what BMW calls”Alive Geometry,” which projects the best and most secure driving line onto a heads up display, thanks to input from a full suite of electronic sensors.
BMW offers no hints about what will power the Vision Next 100, probably because it has no idea. It could be all electric with a battery or hydrogen fuel cell on board. Then again, technology may have given us wondrous new means of propulsion by then. For now, there seems to be a large dollop of BMW i8 in the concept, although it seems doubtful the infernal combustion engine will still be with us 100 years from now.
After its debut today, BMW is taking the concept on a world tour entitled “Iconic Impulses.” It will include stops in China, the UK, and the US. While in London, the company will unveiled similar “Vision Vehicle” concepts for British brands MINI and Rolls Royce, according to Electrck.
What do you think of the Vision Next 100? Is it a realistic approach to transportation of the future or does it miss the mark in some way? Let us know in the comments section below.