New BMW i Vision Dee revealed

New BMW i Vision Dee previews the future of the BMW 3 Series saloon, along with a futuristic head-up display that could appear from 2025...

BMW i Vision Dee front

Perhaps Knight Rider wasn’t such a far-fetched TV show after all; the BMW i Vision Dee is a high-tech, talking car similar to the tech-heavy character of Kitt featured in that series. The concept car showcases an artificial intelligence (AI), called Dee, as well as an advanced head-up display which will make its way into the brand’s next generation of cars. 

Most notable among those will be the next-generation BMW 3 Series, due in around 2027 – the saloon's shape was used as inspiration for the i Vision Dee’s design, and in turn the concept shows us what the executive car's future holds, as well as the technology buyers will be able to experience when they drive it.

BMW i Vision Dee side

Its head-up display is one of the earliest features that will make it to production, with a version of it (that extends across the full width of the windscreen) to be implemented in new BMWs from as early as 2025. In the concept, though, it works alongside mixed reality technology that can add digital elements to your physical surroundings.

With five stages to choose from, drivers can decide how much digital content they want to see on the display, ranging from vehicle information to complete virtual environments. The latter would mean your surroundings appear entirely digital, so you could choose to see a paradise full of palm trees and sun when, in reality, you might be stuck in urban traffic. A version of this mixed reality technology has already been developed using the new BMW M2 performance car. 

BMW i Vision Dee E Ink

Another feature is the concept’s E Ink, which you might already be using in your electronic reader, and can change a surface’s colour. E Ink was first shown off on a car with the BMW iX Flow concept in 2021, completely turning the car’s exterior from black to white (or vice-versa). On the i Vision Dee, up to 32 colours can be displayed using the 240 E Ink segments spread across the entire vehicle. The technology allows for patterns to be generated and varied within seconds; it’s been developed to add a new layer of customisation for future cars. 

What’s more, by implementing E Ink into its front grille, the Dee AI can express emotion through different facial expressions. Dee hasn’t been designed purely as a tool, but rather as a “companion” with humanesque emotion. The i Vision Dee can also project an image of the driver’s avatar onto any side window to welcome you to your vehicle. This animated version of yourself can be created by a scan of your face, although you can alter it to suit your preferences, including different clothing options. 

BMW i Vision Dee interior

Much like its exterior, the concept takes a minimalistic approach inside. It features lots of recycled fabric and does without any physical screens or conventional buttons. A multifunction steering wheel and the mixed reality slider are your main touchpoints, with all of the car’s information integrated into the head-up display. It's highly likely, however, that any version of this technology that makes its way into road cars, would act as an add-on to existing hardware, enhancing the functionality of a head-up display while retaining the instruments and infotainment screens that drivers are used to.

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