A Concept Self-Driving Electric Car Unveiled By BMW

The concept for its self-driving electric crossover SUV was recently launched by BMW and according to experts, if the final product is what the auto maker gas displayed, it would be something unique in the world of electric cars.

But for not, BMW has only unveiled its Vision iNext as a concept vehicle.

However, according to executives of the company, something very simi8lar would be put on to the production line by 2021.

The concept car was unveiled within a cargo plane at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.  Some of the working parts of the car and the techno logy behind them were displayed and demonstrated by BMW’s executives. Among the unique technologies that are planned to be used are touch sensitive fabrics and interactive projections. But since this is just a concept vehicle, it cannot be said for sure which of these features would ultimately adorn the final vehicle that would roll out off the production line.

Technologies such as using the wooden surface of the dash board as a touch pad are being worked upon by engineers of BMW. According to company executives, it would be somewhat similar to the technology now being used by in BMW cars where users are able to write letters with their fingers on a large plastic control knob.  The car’s seat fabrics can also be used in a similar fashion by occupants of the iNext.

The projection technology that they intend to use in the next generation electric cars was also shown off by the BMW executives. This technology allows an occupant or the driver to use as a form of a tablet computer a light cardboard sheet placed in their lap. Projection of images from the top on the sheet would allow the user to interact with it and even move them around. The image would never slip off the sheet because the projection beam follows the pad.

The focus of the engineers developing the Vision iNext has been to keep the technology being used in the car as discrete and hidden as possible until they are called for when needed.  This approach has been termed as “Shy-tech” by BMW. This will make the cars’ inside as comfortable and relaxing as possible. The steering wheel of the concept car is drawn away from the driver when the car is switched to self-driving mode while the brake and accelerator pedal get folded inside the floor of the car. In such a mode, occupants can also better see and talk to each other because the front seat headrests would also get folded back.

The company said that it intends to design the inside technologies of the car in such a manner that customers would have a choice of while choosing between a a car with internal combustion, electric or hybrid power.

(Adapted form CNBC.com)

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