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BMW's New Futurelight Camper Concept Represents the Future of Outdoor Adventure

BMW’s New Futurelight Camper Concept Represents the Future of Outdoor Adventure

Somebody please tell BMW to build this thing!

BMW’s Designworks division is showcasing its latest project at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. Developed together with outdoor clothing company The North Face, the concept is called the Futurelight Camper, and it’s essentially a futuristic camping tent that traces its roots to the BMW GINA Light Visionary Model Concept that the German automaker unveiled in 2008. If anything, the Futurelight Camper Concept proves that just because camping doesn’t necessarily extend to being a high-tech affair, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it in the comfort of a camping tent that comes with a geodesic-dome frame made from carbon fiber and a high-tech fabric that comes from a process called Nanospinning technology. Unfortunately, it looks like the Futurelight Camper Concept is going to remain a concept for the time being.

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If You're Going to the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, BMW Wants to Give You a Virtual Ride in the 2020 iNext

If You’re Going to the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, BMW Wants to Give You a Virtual Ride in the 2020 iNext

Is this the future of Bavarian luxury?

The rising importance of technological breakthroughs in the automotive industry is undeniable, with every one of the big makes doubling down on its tech offerings in a variety of different areas. BMW is no different, and early next year, it’ll head to CES with a simulated experience of things to come in its latest self-driving EV concept.

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Stay BMW Connected at home with BMW's New Digital Window

Stay BMW Connected at home with BMW’s New Digital Window

New Connected Window to bridge the gap between home and car

Like it or not, we live in a digital age and technology is getting insanely better by the day. At one time it was all tech companies leading the way to our digital future, but in recent years, automakers have started getting on the wagon and introducing their own new and wild technology. Most of the time this is associated with the cars they build, but at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, BMW has reminded us that it’s not always about the car. No, it’s about staying connected whether you’re in your home or in your car. And, never more was that evident than when BMW powered up and displayed its newest piece of tech: the BMW Connected Window.

BMW Connected is a suite of systems that help you organize your “mobility agenda,” plan your next trip, and update information between your personal devices and your BMW so that everything you need is always right at your fingertips. The BMW Connected Window takes that one step further with a digital wall panel that is something right out of science fiction movies. It displays a digital view of your city, provides the day’s agenda on a timeline, and shows you the best route to take from stop to stop in your daily routine, all while taking real-time traffic information and weather conditions into account. The only thing it is missing is a digital doctor that can diagnose illness before you walk out of the house, but give them a little time for that one.

The system takes all of this information and sends it to all of your personal devices, be it a smartwatch, smartphone, or even your BMW prior to your morning departure. In the future, the system will be able to take daily routines into account and help plan spaces of free time where you can fit in special appointments or other tasks outside of your usual daily routine. The system’s main input is gesture control, which gives you the ability to zoom in on the map, expand meetings to review more information about them or look at real-time traffic information in-depth before taking off for the day. There’s no word as to what the Connected Window will cost, but something tells me that you’ll eventually be able to bundle it up right along with the purchase of a new BMW.

Continue reading for the full story.

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All Eyes On Bavaria As BMW Promises iNext Autonomous Vehicle By 2021

All Eyes On Bavaria As BMW Promises iNext Autonomous Vehicle By 2021

Full electric lineup to happen a year earlier

The auto industry is just like any major business segment in that it’s made up of “followers” and “movers and shakers.” Followers are those who prefer that the industry chart a definitive course before getting on board with whatever new evolution arrives. By contrast, movers are shakers are those who define the industry moving forward. They are those who plot the course of business and are usually ahead of everybody else. BMW qualifies in the “movers and shakers” category, in large part because it has never been afraid to stake its name in the pursuit of development.

The German automaker is doing it again with the announcement that it’s iNext autonomous vehicle has been scheduled for a release in 2021. As many of you know, BMW’s iNext project has been talked about in the past, often in vague terms. Not much is known about the car at this point other than it’s going to be autonomous and that it’s going to be the first of a wave of autonomous vehicles that BMW plans to build in the future. The latest development here is the timetable, something that Bimmer has been coy about. But now it’s official out; the iNext is now scheduled for release in 2021, or one year after BMW goes full-on electric with its core lineup.

With the long-term goal now established, getting there now becomes the tricky part. BMW says that it’s well equipped to hit its target, thanks in large part to its new research and development campus in Munich that will serve as ground zero for its electric, connectivity, and autonomous projects. Once the campus is running on full volume, it will employ more than 2,000 people, a large swath of whom will join the 600 employees that BMW already has in its ranks, most of whom are already working on the company’s automated driving software.

Not much is known about the iNext project, but it has been reported that a lot of BMW’s future technologies could be used by the car, including the HoloActive Touch system that the German automaker is introducing at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show. Cross your fingers then that the technology’s debut goes on as planned.

In the meantime, we can at least expect BMW to create a new work structure among its employees with the goal of combining specific expertise in certain areas of development, which in turn could create a more efficient response and collaboration among these teams.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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BMW Steps Into New Frontier With HoloActive Touch System

BMW Steps Into New Frontier With HoloActive Touch System

New technology will be unveiled at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show

If by some way we end up with car featuring Tony Stark-levels of technology, we could point back to the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show as the tipping point that allowed us to push beyond imagination and into actual reality. It’s still a big leap from that day, but BMW has arrived at the stage wherein the possibilities are now upon us. The German automaker is scheduled to introduce the HoloActive Touch system, a concept interior that removes all sorts of traditional interior features and replaces them with a floating protection that interacts with a touchscreen pad. If you can’t picture it, think Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The basic gist of the HoloActive Touch system is actually pretty straight-forward. It bears some similarities to the current head-up display tech that makes use of reflections to project an image and make it appear as if it’s floating in mid-air. The projection is synced into a physical touchscreen found on the center console of the car, which itself can be configured by the driver to perform a myriad of different functions, as if your fingers are controlling the images that you see in the projection. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the HoloActive Touch tech also has some of BMW’s own Gesture Control features attached to it, which when combined together, creates a pretty immersive visual interaction with the car itself.

The whole tech is admittedly next-level science fiction variety. We’ve seen different variations of it from Hollywood, but nowhere have we seen it adapted into the real world in the magnitude of what BMW claims it has right now. It’s pretty exciting to see what the future possibilities of the HoloActive Touch system are. Just don’t expect to see it in production form in the near future. Between head-up displays and gesture controls, it does feel like car interior technology is moving at a rapid pace, or at least faster than the time it takes for us to keep up with them.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 BMW i8 Mirrorless Concept

2016 BMW i8 Mirrorless Concept

As the BMW i8 continues to make its mark as a high-tech, cutting edge green supercar, the brand is on the lookout for ways to ensure that it remains at the absolute peak of the “hey, that’s cool” technology wave. To that end, BMW showed the i8 Mirrorless Concept at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. While identical to the production i8 at a casual glance, it’s quickly obvious where this concept’s name is derived from.

This i8 has done away with low-tech slabs of silvered glass entirely, replacing the mirrors with an array of three rear-facing cameras. In addition to eliminating blind spots, the camera display can flash warning messages if the driver is about to merge in front of a faster-moving vehicle or perform a similarly hazardous maneuver. Additionally, the display is larger than a traditional mirror would be, and mounted on the dash to reduce driver eye motions. The display can also adjust itself in response to the steering wheel being turned, angling in the direction of travel when the car is backing up.

Concepts with cameras replacing the mirrors are nothing new. BMW hasn’t made any noises about whether this concept will go into production or not, but considering the technological resources it has already on hand, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to call this one plausible.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i8 Mirrorless Concept.

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2016 BMW i Vision Future Interaction

2016 BMW i Vision Future Interaction

There’s a problem with the world’s most advanced, tech-heavy luxury cars – too much stuff. Any high-end passenger vehicle worth its leather upholstery is expected to come bearing a feature list longer than a Tolstoy novel, which usually means too much stuff to even keep track of, let alone control. The solution? More gadgets! To streamline the user experience, BMW envisions the implementation of gesture tracking, voice recognition, and fully autonomous driving modes, all of which are on display with the i Vision Future Interaction concept recently unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016.

At first glance, this thing looks like a door-free take on the i8 Concept Spyder we saw back in 2012 in Beijing. That particular vehicle came with unique exterior styling, a slightly truncated wheelbase, and an 8.8-inch display screen mounted in the cabin, plus a variety of bells and whistles carried forward to the “normal” i8 road car (prodigious use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum, for example). The Vision Future adds to this with a “networked cockpit” that supposedly represents the “user interface of the future,” as well as that all-important fully autonomous driving mode option.

Where is BMW heading when it comes to design and technology? Read on to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i Vision Future Interaction.

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BMW Teases Its Concept Car For CES 2016

BMW Teases Its Concept Car For CES 2016

In all reality, it’s looking like our concept of future cars is getting close to becoming the current offering from some auto manufacturers. Huge steps in the evolution of technology over the last five years has literally changed the game when it comes to driving cars. We don’t really have the flying cars yet, but we’re about a hop, skip, and jump away from having fully autonomous cars. That has been a major topic recently – autonomous cars or cars with autonomous capabilities. In the shadow of all these strides in autonomous technology is the technology we use every day inside our cars, and if BMW’s vision of the future is any indication, that is about to get less “hands-on” too.

In anticipation of the Consumer Electronics Show on January 6th, BMW has released an announcement and teaser image of its newest Vision car that showcases what the interior of a car and the interface with the driver might look like. Some of the details will seem familiar, as BMW already has gesture control in the BMW 7-Series, but the next level of interaction technology is about to unfold before our eyes. BMW calls it AirTouch, and sensors located on the dashboard of the Vision Car will provide the ability of 3D control.

So what does 3D control really mean? That’s a good question. Basically, drivers will be able to interact with the touch screen displays inside the vehicle without actually touching them. It works by recording and recognizing movements made with a flat hand between the center console and rear view mirror. According to BMW’s press release, we will be able to control navigation, communication and entertainment functions by simply moving our hands. In addition to that, the driver also has two dedicated buttons that allow menus and options to be selected without taking eyes off the road. Unfortunately, we can’t see much from the teaser image, outside of two display screens and a partial steering wheel, but if AirTouch works as good as the interior looks, we’re going to see some pretty cool demonstrations at CES.

Continue reading for the full story.

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BMW Launches Touch Command and iDrive Controller at CES

BMW Launches Touch Command and iDrive Controller at CES

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) saw a hefty amount of automakers showcasing their latest car-related technologies, with BMW providing quite a lot of eye candy to those attending the event. From the M4 Concept Iconic Lights fitted with the company’s Laserlight technology and Selective Beam function to the gesture-control feature of the all-new iDrive Controller, BMW showed off near-future technologies that will be available on its cars in the next few years.

The Bavarians joined German fellows from Volkswagen in demonstrating in-car gesture control, a technology that will soon replace nearly all mechanical buttons and knobs. BMW also introduced the Touch Command device, a Samsung tablet that enhances connectivity and entertainment options for passengers traveling in the rear seats. Currently the first regular tablet to become part of a production vehicle, Touch Command is also set to become the norm in future BMWs. Read all about it below.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW’s Touch Command and iDrive Controller systems.

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2015 BMW M4 Concept Iconic Lights

2015 BMW M4 Concept Iconic Lights

With the 2015 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in full swing, quite a hefty amount of car manufacturers decided that it would be a good idea to offer some eye candy to all the techno geeks at the event, and BMW’s lineup at the show will be spearheaded by the so-called "M4 Concept Iconic Lights." Based on a "regular" 2015 M4, BMW’s concept car for CES is quite literally a shining example of what the Bavarian carmaker can do in terms of automotive lighting technology.

The car comes equipped with the latest version of BMW’s Laserlight technology, which now is combined with the Selective Beam function that ,in theory, is just a fancy way of saying that oncoming drivers will not get blinded by your lasers anymore. Apart from also looking a little swankier, Laserlight can now work together with the sat-nav system in order to illuminate upcoming corners while the so-called Dynamic Light Spot feature can provide the driver with an early warning of people or animals passing in front of the vehicle at night.

The headlights of the M4 Concept Iconic Lights aren’t the only new feature on the CES-revealed car, as the rear light clusters also feature some eye-candy in the form of OLEDs (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes) for both the taillights and the turn signals. As some of you know, BMW and Audi have been engaged in a rather silly war regarding both laser headlights and now also OLED taillights, so it would be interesting to see how this creamy-white M4 Concept will be received by all the Audi fans present at the show.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M4 Concept Iconic Lights.

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BMW Unveils "i Home Charging Services" at CES

BMW Unveils "i Home Charging Services" at CES

BMW is intent on showing the world its green-technology chops with a variety of new tech. The company is reportedly making new investments into hydrogen power for the future, and presently, we have the i3 electric and i8 hybrid already patrolling the roadways. But these cars take a regular fill-up at the outlet to run, which can get expensive. If you’re sucking juice off the grid during peak hours, all that money you save at the pump can appear with a vengeance on your utilities bill.

BMW wants to fix that. With a debut at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, the Bavarians plan to reveal i Home Charging Services, which combines “vehicle charging with the household electrical system and online-based data systems” to selectively choose the cheapest electricity available, cutting back on power costs. The automated system uses home-generated solar when available, or off-peak rates from the grid if solar isn’t an option. BMW claims the system could potentially save up to $800 a year for customers in the US.

BMW will also be at CES to uncover a concept product wherein batteries from its i vehicles are repurposed for at-home energy storage, which should help increase efficiency even further. Think of it as hybridizing your house.

The new system aims “to optimize charging costs and – if customers have a home solar generating system – to make possible use of home-generated solar power,” BMW states in a press release. “The fact that the system is integrated with home energy management systems also makes it possible to achieve the best possible balance between household electricity consumption and power used for charging the electric vehicle, thereby helping customers to achieve further cost savings and to make even more efficient use of solar energy.”

BMW hopes to make the new system available to customers as early as next year.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new "i Home Charging Services."

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BMW Will Display Intelligent Laser Lights and OLED Technology at CES

BMW Will Display Intelligent Laser Lights and OLED Technology at CES

What does BMW have to do with TVs, Cell Phones and Wireless Weight Scales? They are all going to be trying to wow the thousands of people gathered in Las Vegas next week for CES. CES is the Consumer Electronics Show, and it is a yearly convention where companies from all over the world gather to show off their latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos. Over the last few years more and more automakers have used the show to demonstrate new and interesting technology that was going to make its way to customer cars in a few years. This year BMW is charging into CES with a new concept car that is focused on demonstrating new and exciting lighting technology that uses lasers and OLEDs.

BMW’s first production laser headlight system called Laserlight debuted on the futuristic i8 hybrid sports car. At CES, BMW will demonstrate the newest iteration of Laserlight that uses various sensors, cameras and driver assistance systems to create a headlight that has twice the range of conventional headlights — up to 600 meters (1,968.5 feet). To put that distance into a more recognizable form, that is a distance of more than one-third of a mile.

BMW is also looking into incorporating OLED technology. OLED is an acronym for organic light emitting diode, and it is similar to LED technology, but it has some distinct advantages in terms of brightness, color clarity, heat production, energy usage and size. The 2014 BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept used this technology in the tail lights. While LEDs are a “point” light source, meaning the all the light comes from a single point, OLEDs emanate a uniform light across the entirety of their surface. The elements themselves are extremely thin at just 1.4 mm thick. OLED technology has been in use in several cellphone displays for a few years now, but BMW wants to use this new and exciting technology in cars.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s intelligent laser lights.

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BMW Outlines its ConnectedDrive Prototypes at CES

BMW Outlines its ConnectedDrive Prototypes at CES

BMW came to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas with two prototypes — 2 Series and 6 Series — equipped with all kinds of automated driving technology. Offered with the ConnectedDrive nomenclature, these two cars are the company’s attempt to develop autonomous-driving prototypes.

The two prototypes are equipped with BMW ActiveAssist, which "will make a significant contribution to bringing the vision of safe and accident-free mobility another step closer to reality."

BMW has been working on this ActiveAssist system for long time now, and in 2009, it unveiled its first Track Trainer research project that it successfully tested around the Nürburgring race track. Then, in 2011, BMW developed a new test vehicle capable of traveling 40 miles of accelerating, braking and overtaking other cars without any driver intervention at speeds of up to 81 mph.

Updated 1/7/2014 @ 3:30 p.m.: BMW just released a video showing the s Series ConnectedDrive getting its track shakedown on. Needless to say, watching this Bimmer drift itself is freaking awesome!

Now BMW announced that it is working on its first fleet trial of highly automated models and hope to have it ready for 2015. Also, starting in 2020, BMW hopes to offer highly automated driving in series-produced vehicles.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new ConnectedDrive technology.

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BMW to Outline its Highly Automated Driving Plans and Offering i3 Test Drives at CES

BMW to Outline its Highly Automated Driving Plans and Offering i3 Test Drives at CES

Everybody has gotten to see the 2015 BMW i3 in all of its glory either in person or here at TopSpeed, but few have actually gotten behind the wheel of this peppy little electric hatchback. That’ll all come to an end when the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off, as BMW will offer test drives of its electric hatchback at CES, starting Tuesday, January 7th at 10:00 a.m. at Silver Lot 3.

In addition to giving prospective buyers the chance to get behind the wheel of the i3, BMW will also reveal official details on its highly automated driving project. Very few details are currently available, but we suspect this will be linked in with the i3 in some manner, maybe a partially automated version of the new model to show off what BMW has in place so far.

Automated driving is the next big step in the automotive world, as Google and GM are already each in the thick of testing their respective automated driving systems. To date, the closest you can come to automated driving is the lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control found on higher end cars. Future driving automation will likely eliminate all human input, with exception to emergency situations where a human has to override a faulty system.

We’ll keep a close eye on what Bimmer is rolling out at CES, and we’ll update you as soon as the details are available.

Click past the jump to see a video of a legally blind man "driving" Google’s automated Prius and to see the full test drive schedule for the i3

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