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Wheels of the Week: BMW i Vision Dee

It may well be the future of BMW’s i series, but the new concept vehicle is certainly the future of vehicle-human interaction.

Her name is Dee and she is the perfect digital car of the future.

That, at least, is the view of BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipser, unveiling his company’s new concept vehicle at the CES tech expo in Las Vegas last week.

In an entertaining opening keynote address at CES, he introduced Dee as “the future of mobility”.

“Meet Dee but please don’t call her just a car,” he said. “You will hurt her feelings. She likes to think yourself as a promise, a commitment or even better a companion. Basically she says she’s the best thing since the wheel was invented. Well she definitely doesn’t lack self confidence.

“Dee stands for Digital emotional experience. It is our vision of pushing the boundaries between physical and digital perception. Dee embodies the next level of human machine interaction, a concept that cannot be simply dismissed as science fiction.”

Dee allows occupants to choose one of five stages of how real they would like to perceive their environment – from a clear outside view, to step-by-step adding more virtual information, until exterior windows are dark and the windshield is a virtual display. In effect, the traditional heads-upo display has now expanded across the entire windshield, and can replace the outside view.

Zipser called it “the perfect blend of the real and virtual worlds”.

“Remember 20 years ago we brought this technology from airplanes into the car, hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, data right where you need it. And look at what Dee has made out of this today by merging it with augmented reality functions.

“We can get even more creative with windshields. A newly designed advanced Head Up Display is just the beginning of what we believe is possible. And it is more than a vision. We will bring this technology into …  serious production and you will be able to experience this in 2025. This is just two years away.”

Zipser also expanded on BMW’s “circular” production strategy.

“The future of mobility is as you know, electric, circular and digital… But what exactly do these three characteristics mean for the car of the future? W e are drawing a picture of it piece by piece.

“The first part is electric. More and more customers worldwide are enjoying that amazing, electrifying feeling every day electro mobility unleashed within the ultimate driving machine.

“The second part is the BMW i Vision circular. Our vision of 100% circularity means all raw materials a car is made of can and will be used again. That’s the future of sustainable premium mobility.

“Today we’re adding the final piece of the puzzle: digital. This may be the most dynamic piece of all. This is where we really get to see who can rethink the car from the wheels up.”

Zipser said he wanted to clear up a few myths, or cliches.

“Digital leadership in the car is not about who has the biggest screen, the highest processing power, or who writes the most lines of code. The only thing that really counts is what the user feels and experiences, what you feel and experience when the car welcomes you… when you see how your car literally gets excited to hit the road with you, when you cannot tell the difference anymore between what’s real and what’s virtual when you are driving. Because we tore down the boundaries when your car transforms from a helpful assistant into faithful companion. Because it gets to know you better day after day. Sounds like mobility is becoming more human.”

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