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BMW Vision ConnectedDrive: BMW’s Automotive Information Future

Thu, 03 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0800

BMW Vision ConnectedDrive at Geneva

When the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive first crossed our path we did wonder if it would be a concept version of a small BMW Roadster, A sub Z4. A BMW Z2, perhaps.

But it soon became clear that even if the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive did point towards a new BMW Roadster, is was far more about showing how BMW are trying to communicate an ever increasing amount of information to the driver.

So the Vision CD gets stuff like 3-D HUD (heads up display) which will be programmable to provide whatever data the driver wants or needs. To be honest, there seems to be no demonstration of this going on, but it’s a smart attempt to visualise everything from SatNav instructions to low tyre pressure.

BMW are telling us that the Vision CD is about comfort, safety and infotainment. They are working hard to integrate all the systems in to an easily manageable in-car network of information and entertainment.

There’s also much talk of the layering principle, seemingly both in the physical sense on the bodywork and interior, but also in the information structures available to the driver and passenger.

There’s stuff like sensors integrated in to the lights to monitor traffic and environment and antennas instead of door mirrors to send data and images to the screen in the car.

All of this is possible now, but the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive seems to be about finding the best way to harness the possibilities for the benefit of the driver, and in a way that doesn’t detract from the core task.

Clever stuff. And we do love a gizmo or three. Especially when it’s wrapped up in a fine-looking roadster that looks a bit like a 21st century take on a 1930s Silver Arrow. All long bonnet and open cockpit.

Really rather appealing. The tech and the car.

By Cars UK