BMW Group displays mobility solutions
At CES 2020, the BMW Group presented its approach to creating the mobility experience of the future. At its heart is the company’s conviction that a change in perspective is essential in order to not only understand the requirements of future mobility but also address them.
One of the highlights include the BMW i Interaction EASE. The concept car features an abstract exterior appearance in order to focus attention purely on the interior. The headline feature here is the gaze detection system in which the vehicle’s artificial intelligence detects when a passenger fixes his or her gaze on an object outside the car and offers relevant information the object or other ways to interact with it.
A second highlight includes the three BMW X7 models that have been fitted with the ZeroG Lounger, which will be ready for series production vehicles in a few years in a similar form. The ZeroG Lounger lets occupants tilt the seat back by up to 60°, reportedly without any compromises in terms of safety or protection in an accident.
The third highlight displayed at the show is the BMW i3 Urban Suite. The BMW Group has brought the BMW i3 Urban Suite to this year’s CES to showcase a mobility experience tailored entirely to the passenger’s individual needs. To achieve this, a standard BMW i3 underwent a complete transformation with the aim to create an inviting space with a high feel-good factor in which to spend time. This has been achieved by including a large, comfortable seat with footrest, a screen that flips down from the headliner, and a personal Sound Zone.
According to the company, the BMW i3 Urban Suite also represents BMW Group’s commitment to sustainable mobility, with the approach of making responsible use of resources, encompassing the powertrain with zero local emissions, the selection of materials, and the production processes involved. Recycled materials have therefore been used in the fabrics, together with certified wood, olive-tanned leather, and floor mats made from recyclable materials that can be fed back into the materials cycle, as per circular economy principles.
The future of connectivity, today
According to the BMW Group, seamless connectivity between passengers, the vehicle and the outside world also plays a key role for the BMW Group when it comes to future mobility. To summon one of the electric cars, all that is required is an app that makes it easy for the passenger to enter the pick-up point and their destination. Once inside their requested vehicle, the passenger can connect his or her iPhone to the car wirelessly, and enjoy a mirroring function that allows them to beam the mobile device’s content to the flip-down overhead screen and work on the screen.
The BMW i Interaction EASE
The BMW Group partnered Designworks t to create the BMW i Interaction EASE, which features an abstract appearance on the exterior, contrasted with a "rich, immersive" interior to create a "luxurious mobility experience."
“The BMW i Interaction EASE demonstrates what mobility might feel like in the future once autonomous driving becomes commonplace: luxurious, human, and intuitive,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design.
The BMW Group says that it is taking the interaction between human and machine to the next level with the BMW i Interaction EASE; using a genuinely multimodal concept to successfully create an interactive experience designed to be as simple and natural as possible, and seem almost human in nature. Alongside verbal engagement with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and a new type of gesture control, the gaze detection system has taken a leading role in enabling new ways of responding to the passenger’s needs. Rather than users needing to first learn specific commands in different modes, the vehicle’s AI processes the acoustic and visual information received from a variety of sensors and interprets it according to the driving situation, time, location, and vehicle signals.
The AI uses gaze sensing for browsing the space around the user and vehicle, while pointing can be used to register a selection for more information. This form of interaction draws on the way people talk to one another; i.e. each person’s gaze identifies who or what is the subject of the conversation or makes the meaning of what is being said clear. A spoken or gesture command can then be given to initiate interaction with the target object. In this way, it is possible to obtain information on the context within the passengers’ frame of view as their gaze falls on e.g. a restaurant or cinema.
The interior user experience for BMW i Interaction EASE starts on the way to the vehicle. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant recognizes passengers as they approach, greeting them with a welcome illumination and directing them to the two seats inside with the use of lighting. The cabin is bordered at the sides by glass surfaces whose smart-glass functionality allows them to either be transparent or conceal the seating area from the outside world.
The focal point of the BMW i Interaction EASE interior is the large panorama head-up display positioned directly in front of the seating area. There is a choice of three experience modes—Explore, Entertain, and Ease—which alter the interior, integrate information on the vehicle’s surroundings, and provide in-car entertainment, privacy, or relaxation.
The BMW X7 ZeroG Lounger
With the BMW i Interaction EASE, the BMW Group is offering a fully personalized recline and relax experience in a BMW model. The seat can be tilted back by 40 or 60° into a comfortable reclined position. The seat belt forms an integral part of the seat and adjusts to suit the reclined position to ensure safety even while on the move. The BMW X7 ZeroG Lounger reportedly already meets all the requisite safety standards. Besides the integration of the belt into the seat, this also includes a cocoon airbag providing wraparound protection for the occupant in the event of an accident and efficient dissipation of impact energy via the seat rail.
For more information, visit www.bmwgroup.com.