BMW Unveils Concept for a Self-Driving, Shape-Shifting Batmobile Rip-Off

Tuesday, 08 March 2016 - 5:24PM
Robotics
Tuesday, 08 March 2016 - 5:24PM
BMW Unveils Concept for a Self-Driving, Shape-Shifting Batmobile Rip-Off
BMW is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, and in honor of that occasion, they unveiled a futuristic concept car that's basically the Batmobile, but one that can drive itself, change shape at will, and respond to your thoughts and gestures.

BMW Batmobile

BMW Batmobile

The Vision Next 100 is essentially BMW's prediction of what cars will look like when driverless cars are the norm, artificial intelligence has advanced to the point that it can predict your decisions before you make them, and passengers engage in non-verbal conversations with their vehicles. It consists of 800 shape-shifting triangles which are embedded in the side panels. These shape-shifting panels--which BMW calls "Alive Geometry"--would communicate signals to the driver, such as warning him or her of an obstruction or other hazard in the road by revealing red undersides.

Opening quote
"They [the triangles] involve the driver in a form of preconscious communication, where an intuitive signal predicts an imminent real-time event," explained BMW in a statement (via Dezeen). "Although at present it remains difficult to imagine how hundreds of tiny triangles could be coordinated to make Alive Geometry work, in the years ahead it will be possible, as today's standard vehicle manufacturing methods are replaced."
Closing quote

BMW predicts that people will still want to drive in the future, even as driverless technology becomes ubiquitous, so the car would have two modes: Boost and Ease. In "Boost" mode, the human driver is still in control, but the seat and steering wheel would move to the optimal position for seeing out of the car, and the central console would move towards the driver so it could respond via gesture control. In "Ease" mode, the car would drive itself, the steering wheel and central console would retract, and headrests would move up to the driver's head, allowing him or her to recline and rest. 

Also, the entire windshield would be an interactive display screen, which, while in Boost mode, would project directions, ideal speed, and the driving conditions to the driver. And when the car is in Ease mode, the windshield would allow the passenger to browse the internet and watch TV.

Opening quote
"Rather than making the driver drive faster, this kind of support sets out to make them drive noticeably better," said BMW. "In foggy conditions, for example, this means the driver can benefit from information such as vehicles crossing ahead, before they actually come into sight."
Closing quote


BMW Batmobile

BMW Batmobile

BMW Batmobile

Via Phys.org

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