Most people have heard about Google testing their self-driving cars where the passenger simply steps in, tells the computer where they want to go, and the car assumes all driving duties. Now BMW has decided to engineer their own self-driving vehicle.
Many people are as amazed by the technology required to realize the dream of safely-driven cars that are handled by a computer. Surely, a computer-driven vehicle will keep passengers and vehicles safer on the road? But many questions arise as to how this will all work out.
Will these self-driven cars be meant only for specific roadways? How do we keep the regular driver vehicles off of these roads? Or is there some way to have self-driven and computer-driven vehicles on the same streets? Could these self-driven vehicles ever be allowed on highways or freeways?
Perhaps BMW can’t answer these questions, but the Vision Next 100 may at least provide answers about what the vehicle will look like and the technology it may have. This vehicle looks a lot like a sports car with the sleek, flat design, distinctive slender headlights and the two double grills in front. The interior is domed.
This automobile is supposed to be adaptable to the driver’s needs. The vehicle can still be driven by a human, but it can also assume all controls as well. The interior of the vehicle will change according to which mode is chosen. If the driver decides to allow the car to assume all control, the steering wheel and driving console will retract into the body of the car. All four seats will now face each other, so passengers can interact.
BMW believes that it won’t be that far into the future where all vehicles on the road can be self-driven. They believe that people’s lives will be even more mobile than they are now. What could that mean? That we could take a day trip to Paris perhaps?
BMW still wishes to keep vehicles driver-focused. They have no plans to create only a self-driven vehicle. Part of the fun of driving is actually being at the wheel, particularly for those drivers who can afford the latest BMW.
Some drivers may occasionally choose to have the vehicle take over at certain points. It could be beneficial for those travelling with smaller children who need care, or perhaps business people could hold discussions in the vehicle without losing the input of the driver.
In the past BMW has called their vehicles “The Ultimate Driving Machine”
but now wish to focus on the driver as “The Ultimate Driver”. Their aim is to make better drivers.
If you’re excited to learn more about the BMW Vision Next 100, you can see their concept at upcoming car shows in Beijing, London, and Los Angeles.
It will be exciting to see how far BMW has taken the concept—will they have an actual vehicle to show or will it still be in the design stages?