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The new BMW Vision ConnectedDrive concept car will debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The two-seat roadster presents the automobile as a fully integrated part of the networked world in both its design and technological innovations.
Despite its awkward name, the Vision ConnectedDrive employs a layering principal in its design that is said to demonstrate the bond between the driver, passenger, vehicle and the surrounding environment.
The interior is divided into three layers - comfort, infotainment and safety - each with a corresponding light installation. Each layer is defined by a color, rhythm, motion and texture and, through the transparent surfaces, the path taken by the information can be seen via fiber optic lighting.
The first layer focuses on safety, with a red light wrapping around the driver and coming together in a cone on the hood. This represents the flow of safety-specific information and the driver's focus on the road ahead.
The second layer encompasses the safety layer and extends to the passenger cell, focusing on infotainment. This layer promotes active social exchange between the driver and passenger and is outlined by the blue ribbon of light. The final layer, defined by green light, concentrates on the interaction between the vehicle with the world around it. The emphasis is on the outside of the vehicle, starting and ending with the two antennas, in place of door mirrors, providing the data link to the surrounding environment.
The layering principal in the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive requires individual components to perform a number of roles. This can be seen in the headlights and rear lights with their integrated sensors monitoring the traffic and external environment, which feed information directly to the driver allowing him to take appropriate action.
The concept embodies BMW design language with its long wheelbase, set-back seating position and long hood.
The sliding doors, inspired by the BMW Z1, disappear into the body. This allows the Vision ConnectedDrive to be driven with the doors open, emphasizing the link between the vehicle and its environment.
The car showcases current and future capabilities of BMW's ConnectedDrive technologies. Advanced Head-Up Display takes the technology currently available in production BMWs even further, placing a three-dimensional display of key information in the direct sight line of the driver, eliminating the need for the driver's eyes to refocus.
The three-dimensional display allows the real view to be overlaid with virtual information, highlighting hazards allowing the driver to assimilate all of the information quickly and take appropriate action.
Additionally, it is equipped with a programmable instrument cluster to provide the driver with information, optically emphasized to a greater or lesser degree. While for the first time, passengers get their own information display, out of the driver's field of vision, allowing them to evaluate information, music or navigation details and pass them onto the driver with the simple touch of a finger.
The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive demonstrates the interaction between the driver and the passenger and shows how networking with the environment can reach new levels - alternatively, they could talk to each other, but in the future that may not happen!