Revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, the BMW iVision Future Interaction Car represents an important milestone on the road to Vision Zero; the idea of accident-free, autonomous individual mobility.
New technology called AirTouch that lets the driver control the car's navigation, entertainment, and connectivity functions with simple gestures. AirTouch uses sensors installed in the dashboard to activate the motion recognition software on a large, 21-inch panoramic screen. Once it's on, the front passengers can navigate the system without having to make contact with the screen. The user can validate an action by tapping one of the two AirTouch buttons in the cabin. One is on the left side of the steering wheel, and the other is integrated into the passenger-side door panel. The setup lets the front passenger navigate the system without having to awkwardly bend over the centre console.
The iVision Future offers three driving modes, called Pure Drive, Assist, and Auto. In Pure Drive, the driver has full control of the car, and key information is shown on a heads-up display. In Assist mode, the car is driven manually but the driving aids automatically kick in if they sense that a collision with another car or with an object in the road is imminent and unavoidable. Finally, in Auto mode, the iVision Future drives itself without any human input. The steering wheel turns blue and retracts by a few inches. The seats become less supportive in order to give the driver more freedom to move and enjoy the view.
The self-driving technology built into the iVision Future concept and the gesture-controlled infotainment system will become available on regular-production BMWs in the coming years.