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BMW advances its driverless car ambitions


IT WAS discovered recently in a survey that consumers don’t want self-driving cars produced by tech companies like Apple or Google for example but would rather have the established automotive brands come up with a driverless solution.

BMW has a project on the go that aims to accomplish the Vision Zero - the idea of accident-free individual mobility. At the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas USA, BMW will display the Concept Car BMW i Vision Future Interaction to show what the user interface of the future might look like.

You might think that the cars looks similar to an i8 and you’d be right; they’re based on the BMW i8 Concept Spyder. In terms of the driving experience BMW is developing a vehicle that has two modes: a manual mode, where the driver can take control and an automated mode, where the driver can sit back and relax while the car drives for him/her.

The interior has been designed to be as intuitive as possible, with many touchscreen, voice and gesture controls for all of the vehicle system; the vehicle’s information can also be seen on the user’s smartphone, watch or Tablet. The interior also consists of a 21-inch panorama display screen, which reaches across the centre console to the passenger side of the vehicle. There’s also a head-up display unit as well as a 3D instrument cluster.

Another interesting feature is that when in automated mode the infotainment system could give the driver and passenger access to audio, video calls and media as well as provide the occupants with an Internet connection on-the-go. This is possible because the vehicle takes over control and accelerates independently, brakes and steers - without the driver having to intervene at all. In the near future, this could already be permitted on certain approved stretches of road, such as sections of German motorways or in Car Pool Lanes in the USA.

When in the automated mode the vehicle creates more space for interior occupants by moving the steering wheel and adjusting the seats and providing an extended headrest for a more lounge-like feel.

We like the idea of an automated car, where the petrolhead within us can still pilot the vehicle if they wish. If this is the future of driving we might not be as depressed as we were when we first encountered the technology.

Image Source: NetCarShow

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