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2016 Mini Vision Next 100

2016 Mini Vision Next 100

Mini’s vision of the future is shockingly refreshing

Remember the 2016 BMW Vision Next 100 Concept that Bimmer designed to help celebrate its 100th anniversary and show what BMWs will look like in the next 100 years? Well, Mini has jumped on the “Vision Next 100” wagon and announced a futuristic and wild looking concept that shares its vision for the future with things like an overly simple cabin, digital intelligence, and an odd-looking design that, while looking futuristic, also still has some styling cues of the traditional Mini. Furthermore, the concept encompasses something Mini calls “experience sharing,” where you won’t necessarily have to own a Mini to enjoy one.

According to Mini, the core philosophy behind this concept is “the thoughtful use of the planet’s resources in providing personal mobility.” Apparently, Mini believes that – in the future – anybody will be able to call on a Mini that is tailored to their personal style. The Mini of the future will be fully autonomous, available 24/7, and the built-in digital intelligence will allow the car to adapt itself to the “driver’s” personal interests and preferences. Adrian van Hooydonk, the Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design, said, “Mini looks to offer smart and bespoke mobility in cities that engages all the senses. And in the future, you might not actually have to own a vehicle to enjoy the benefits.”

So in the future, you’ll be able to command you household computer to order you the nearest Mini and, while it is on its way, it will adapt itself to any theme of your choosing – maybe the same theme used by a famous actor or writer, or one derived from your best friend’s Facebook news feed. It’s an interesting idea, so let’s take a few minutes to check out Mini’s new concept in detail.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Vision Next 100.

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Mini Reveals Augmented Vision

Mini Reveals Augmented Vision

When it comes to innovation in the auto industry, there are quite a few technologies out there that show huge potential. One of those is augmented reality, whereby digital forms overlay the real world to create an enhanced perspective to serve a specific purpose. One new player in this space is Mini, which will bring its “Augmented Vision” concept to the Auto Shanghai show later this month, offering a new high-tech way to navigate, communicate, park, and stay safe. 

“Mini Augmented Vision gives an insight into how intelligent connectivity between a Mini car and eyewear into which relevant content is projected might work in the future,” says Dr. Jörg Preißinger, project-manager at BMW Group research and technology, in a press release. “Working with several Qualcomm companies, we have created an interlinked system and augmented reality eyewear with a characteristic Mini design that revolutionize the experience both in and outside the vehicle.”

Both customizable and interactive, the AR eyewear projects images and information into the driver’s view while keeping other cars and road elements visible. Features include directions when looking for your car in a crowded parking lot, navigation arrows “on” the road leading to your intended destination, highlighted points of interest (such as open parking spaces), vehicle speed and posted speed limits, audible text messaging, “transparent” body panels that eliminate blind spots, and parking cameras. 

With this new concept, Mini joins the ranks of several other companies in exploring the possibilities of augmented reality for automotive purposes. JLR, for example, has proposed the idea of transparent body panels before, while Pioneer proposed AR navigation concepts as early as 2011. 

Continue reading to learn more about Mini’s augmented vision eyewear.

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Video: KITT of Knight Rider fame used as the voice for MINI's new "Mission Control" feature

Video: KITT of Knight Rider fame used as the voice for MINI’s new "Mission Control" feature

We’ll admit it; we made fun of MINI’s new ’Mission Control’ feature, saying that it has the feel of Sesame Street. And no, we’re not taking it back. There’s a fine line between fun novelty and just plain annoying and MINI’s ’Mission Control’ feature is teetering close to the latter.

That being said, Automobile Magazine associate editor Eric Tingwall proposes a slightly different voice to accompany us inside the 2010 Mini Cooper Camden: none other than KITT from the Knight Rider fame. Now, we admit, we were big fans of the original show with the Hoff himself playing the role of Michael so this hearing KITT’s voice isn’t as annoying as those three voices who always seem to be in quite a "jolly" mood.

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Video: Mini's Mission Control System has the feel of Sesame Street

Video: Mini’s Mission Control System has the feel of Sesame Street

MINI’s capacity to be quirky and off-beat has struck again, only this time, we’re not quite sure why they resorted to putting one of those child instructional videos on their car.

We’re talking about MINI’s new Mission Control System, which, for all intents and purposes, are computer voices that "evaluate a vast range of vehicle, driving situation and vehicle environment-related signals and supplies the driver with relevant information and instructions in customary MINI style." It doesn’t sound remotely annoying based on the description, but we invite you to wath this video made by Car and Driver when they drove a Mini 50 Camden Editions to try out the the MCS.

We honestly didn’t know if we were listening at the MCS or an audio-recorded tape of Sesame Street because, quite frankly, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

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BMW to launch BMW and MINI Bluetooth headsets in December

BMW to launch BMW and MINI Bluetooth headsets in December

You can’t fault BMW – and by extension, MINI – for coming up with unique ways to promote their brand.

The two car brands are scheduled to release a host of BMW and MINI accessories just in time for the holiday season. Two products that are poised to hit the shelves are a pair of BMW and MINI licensed Bluetooth headsets.

Both headsets, which feature the two companies’ logos on the rhomboid-shaped ear element fitting, are compatible with any kind of mobile phone and we’ll venture to make a guess that having one clipped on your ear will surely spike up your class points.

According to BMW, the Bluetooth headsets are light as a feather, weighing it at only eight grams. They also come with a pair of rechargeable batteries encased on the headsets and when the time comes that it needs recharging, a special adapter that’s connected to your car’s power socket makes recharging these headsets easy and accessible to do.

Each headset also allows for a up to five hours of continuous use and idle time can hold for as long as a whole week. BMW has yet to release the prices for their Blueetooth headsets and will only do so when it nears the launch date sometime in December.

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Mini offers Clear Channel Radio's Total Traffic Network

Mini offers Clear Channel Radio’s Total Traffic Network

2007 MINI Hardtops With Optional Navigation System Come Standard with Clear Channel Traffic Data
MINI USA announces that it is offering Clear Channel Radio’s Total Traffic Network traffic data on navigation-equipped 2007 MINI Cooper and Cooper S hardtops beginning March production. The service, which is integrated into the vehicle’s optional navigation system, will come standard and free-of-charge for Clear Channel Radio’s traffic service, which is now available in 44 markets across the U.S. (...)

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BMW and PSA in colaboration for new engines

BMW and PSA in colaboration for new engines

BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën have agreed to extend their successful cooperation in the field of petrol four-cylinder engines.

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