“There are two main driving modes. The first, called ‘Boost’, is where the driver is in charge. The second, known as ‘Ease’, lets the machine take over”
ASSISTED AND AUTONOMOUS DRIVING
The BMW has two main driving modes. The first, called ‘Boost’, is where the driver is in charge. The second, known as ‘Ease’, lets the machine take over. The design of the whole interior very much follows on from these states.
In Boost mode, the driver faces straight ahead, with the steering wheel and centre console in the positions we’d find familiar today. Conventional instruments are nowhere to be seen. Instead, the entire windscreen functions as a head-up display.
It doesn’t just project familiar information such as speed and navigation instructions, either. It adds augmented reality, for instance superimposing into the field of view a line for the driver to follow for smoothest cornering, and the ideal braking point – in effect driver coaching.
It also projects, in a representation of their real position, hazards which the car’s external sensors and cameras can see but which are still obscured from the driver’s field of vision. That ability will be enhanced by the car’s extensive external networking.
For instance if the car in front, around a blind bend, skids on a patch of ice, it will broadcast the position of the ice back to your BMW. At city junctions, the same system would warn of other cars before they came into view, or point to a cyclist hidden behind a truck. It could also simulate the view ahead when reality is blanketed in fog, and assist with night vision.
So Boost would make you a better and safer driver. But if you don’t want to drive at all, switch to Ease mode. The steering wheel retracts into the dashboard, the centre console glides backward and the front seats change shape and position, turning into a more conversational, lounge-like V-shape formation.
The car becomes fully autonomous. Because the driver needs far less information, the head-up display takes on a new role, as a connected entertainment and media centre.