BMW unveils Dee prototype, “the subsequent stage of human-machine interplay”


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I Vision Dee BMW concept car in multi-color

BMW revealed a prototype for the i Imaginative and prescient Dee idea automobile throughout the automaker’s keynote at CES on Wednesday night. The four-door sedan got here out on stage in a crisp white, however later morphed into quite a lot of colours and patterns to indicate off Dee’s E-Ink know-how, which can enable automobile house owners to configure the automobile’s exterior with 32 completely different colours.

Dee, whereas an idea automobile, is emblematic of BMW’s subsequent era platform, Neue Klasse, which the corporate stated will launch in 2025 beginning with a dynamic sedan and a sporty exercise automobile.

The reveal featured a cutesy video involving Arnold Schwarzenegger reminiscing in regards to the relationship individuals had with their vehicles within the Eighties whereas the voice of Dee (which by the best way stands for Digital Emotional Expertise) tried to persuade the actor/politician that the vehicles of the longer term are actually the final word companions.

All through the keynote, Dee’s voice served to personalize and humanize the automobile. At one level, BMW stated that Dee has a “digital soul, a character not solely with a voice however with facial expressions, too.” This level was actually pushed house by the next quote from the movie “The Terminator”: “The unknown future rolls towards us. I face it for the primary time with a way of hope, as a result of if a machine, a Terminator, can study the worth of human life, perhaps we are able to too.”

So what’s BMW attempting to inform us right here? Nicely, Oliver Zipse, BMW’s CEO, went as far as to name Dee “the subsequent stage of human-machine interplay, an idea that can not be merely dismissed as science fiction as a result of it would encourage our Neue Klasse.”

Ever because the “software-defined automobile” started to take maintain, automakers have been angling for brand spanking new methods to make use of that software program to create a extra personalised expertise for drivers and passengers. CES all the time gives a  smorgasbord of examples. Final yr it was all about Amazon Fireplace streaming coming to autos and Google Residence integrations, this yr it appears to be about in-car gaming. However BMW is taking it up a notch by positing not simply an emotional connection between human and automobile, but additionally a automobile that has feelings of its personal.

I Vision Dee BMW concept car in multi-color

Dee’s E-Ink exterior means the automobile can grow to be 32 completely different colours and quite a lot of patterns. Picture Credit: BMW

A method BMW hopes to show that imaginative and prescient into actuality is by combining software program and {hardware} growth for a seamless digital expertise, in keeping with Zipse. This concept manifests in Dee’s head-up show, that includes 4 ranges of interplay, which BMW calls its “combined actuality slider.”

Degree one brings all of the drive and navigation information a driver would wish. Degree two helps with communication by exhibiting textual content messages and calls. Degree three brings the options of Ranges one and two and augments the navigation information to your windshield, together with collision warnings and doable obstacles highlighted. It additionally visualizes social media.

Degree 4 goes “manner past actuality.” What does that really imply? We’re not absolutely positive, however the speaking Dee stated that you possibly can convey all your mates into your automobile nearly.

“Your mates, your loved ones, even your pets with out one single animal hair on the seat, which I completely love, in an limitless digital world,” she (?) stated. “You may meet play, discuss, love, hate. You may even go sightseeing collectively, proper inside your automobile. You wouldn’t consider what suits in your automobile sooner or later. It’s like being in your individual private drive in cinema. However the film is your life.”

After all, this may doubtless be in a world the place the home windows may very well be blacked-out and the automobile drives autonomously.

The purpose, although, is that BMW, like different automakers, is attempting so as to add a lot spectacular, seamless tech to its autos that folks actually do begin seeing their vehicles as their final companions — pal, lounge, private assistant and vogue help multi functional. Freaky, isn’t it?

Read more about CES 2023 on TechCrunch

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