BMW is growing a full-screen head-up show for 2025’s Neue Klasse

A BMW i Vision Circular and a BMW I Vision Dee
Enlarge / On the left, BMW’s 2021 i Imaginative and prescient Round idea; on the precise, this yr’s i Imaginative and prescient Dee.


I am nearly unhappy to not be in Las Vegas for the annual Shopper Electronics Present, and for the second yr working, that concern of lacking out is because of a brand new augmented actuality show for automobiles. Final yr, it was a brand new in-plane holographic optical factor show from Texas Devices that initiatives a picture onto the floor of the windshield, in contrast to a standard head-up show, which throws a smaller picture out into area forward of the driving force.

This yr, it is a new BMW idea automotive that previews a few of the tech we’ll see within the firm’s Neue Klasse EVs, which can function full-windshield augmented actuality once they go into manufacturing in 2025.

The idea is known as the BMW i Imaginative and prescient Dee, with the “Dee” standing for “digital emotional expertise” somewhat than suggesting that BMW designers are followers of It is At all times Sunny in Philadelphia.

This rendering gives you an idea of what the augmented reality windshield would look like. You can also see the driver using the mixed reality slider, which is "shy tech" that's hidden behind the trim on the dashboard and invisible when not in use.
Enlarge / This rendering offers you an thought of what the augmented actuality windshield would appear to be. You may also see the driving force utilizing the combined actuality slider, which is “shy tech” that is hidden behind the trim on the dashboard and invisible when not in use.


It is a companion piece to the BMW i Imaginative and prescient Round we noticed in 2021. That idea explored extra sustainable manufacturing; this one tries out new human-machine interface concepts, together with a mixed-reality slider that lets drivers determine how a lot digital content material they need the automotive to point out them, with all the things from fundamental driving info to digital worlds being projected onto the home windows—in fact, that mode is just meant to be used with autonomous driving.

“With the BMW i Imaginative and prescient Dee, we’re showcasing what is feasible when {hardware} and software program merge. On this method, we’re in a position to exploit the total potential of digitalization to remodel the automotive into an clever companion,” mentioned BMW Chairman Oliver Zipse. “That’s the future for automotive producers—and, additionally, for BMW: the fusion of the digital expertise with real driving pleasure. On the identical time, BMW i Imaginative and prescient Dee is one other step on the highway to the Neue Klasse. With this imaginative and prescient, we’re wanting far into the longer term and underlining the large significance of digitalization for our upcoming product generations.”

I am undecided how a lot the form of the i Imaginative and prescient Dee will translate to a manufacturing Neue Klasse sedan—BMW is planning a number of fashions and variations of the brand new EV platform, very similar to it did with the unique Neue Klasse sedans and coupes within the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies. However I hope the minimalist strategy to styling survives, as I discover the outside form somewhat fetching.

Inside renderings present a heavy use of “shy tech,” one thing we first noticed from BMW with the Imaginative and prescient iNext, an idea that grew to become the manufacturing iX. BMW calls this “reductive design”; it hides contact controls behind trim and usually makes them disappear from sight when not in use.

I am much less sure we’ll see a few of the Dee’s different concepts in manufacturing. Whereas full-windshield augmented actuality shows are within the works, till the arrival of precise autonomous driving programs offered in shopper automobiles (versus robotaxis like Waymo), I am undecided there can be demand for home windows that may dim to dam the surface world, though if the automotive can drive itself, turning that area into shows for the occupants may are available fairly useful should you get caught in heavy visitors.

Another look at the i Vision Dee's interior.
Enlarge / One other have a look at the i Imaginative and prescient Dee’s inside.


Nonetheless, the implementation within the Dee appears fairly intelligent, with a slider that the driving force can use to maneuver by way of 5 levels of knowledge show. Essentially the most fundamental of those reveals the knowledge you’d want whereas driving—pace, instructions, and so forth. Extra information-dense levels add in infotainment and communications, then augmented actuality, and eventually, that totally digital world that blocks out the true one (no less than quickly).

The Dee additionally options some exterior show tech, too. BMW is maintaining its conventional kidney grille because the face of its automobiles, however right here, it is within the type of an lively grille that closes off the nostril when cooling shouldn’t be wanted. The surfaces of the grille covers are e-ink shows that, along with the headlights, can create completely different “facial” expressions for the automotive.

It isn’t the primary time we have seen an thought for automobiles utilizing visible cues to speak with different highway customers and pedestrians, and it is unlikely to be the final. In truth, the complete automotive is roofed in e-ink panels—240 individually managed segments, every of which might show as much as 32 colours.

This video demonstrates the i Imaginative and prescient Dee’s e-ink physique panels.

“With BMW i Imaginative and prescient Dee, we’re exhibiting how the automotive could be seamlessly built-in into your digital life and grow to be a trusty companion. The car itself turns into your portal to the digital world—with the driving force all the time in management,” mentioned Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design. “Carried out the precise method, know-how will create worthwhile experiences, make you a greater driver, and easily convey people and machines nearer collectively.”