BMW unveils ‘i Vision Dee,’ a talking car with a ‘digital soul’ that shifts colors like a chameleon
In what the German luxury automaker called “the next level of human-machine interaction,” BMW today unveiled a prototype for its i Vision Dee concept car during the automaker’s keynote at CES on Wednesday evening. The four-door futuristic sedan talks like a human being, changes colors to suit the driver’s mood, and has no screens on its dashboard.
The futuristic car, which would be put into production in 2025, came out on stage in a crisp white, but later morphed into a variety of colors and patterns to show off Dee’s E-Ink technology. BMW said car owners would be able to configure the car’s exterior with 32 different colors.
BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said the company plans to launch a new lineup of electric vehicles, which it is calling the Neue Klasse, or new class. During the presentation, Dee’s voice served to personalize and humanize the car.
At one point, BMW said that Dee has a “digital soul, a personality not only with a voice but with facial expressions, too.” This point was really driven home by the following quote from the film “The Terminator”: “The unknown future rolls toward us. I face it for the first time with a sense of hope, because if a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe we can too.”
One of the most striking features of the concept car was the lack of screens on the dashboard. Instead, the dashboard has one digital slider that controls images projected on the car’s windshield. At the highest level, the windshield could show a digital, virtual world instead of the reality of city streets.
“The headlights and the closed BMW kidney grille also form a common phygital (fusion of physical and digital) icon on a uniform surface, allowing the vehicle to produce different facial expressions,” BMW said in a news release. “This means the BMW i Vision Dee can talk to people and, at the same time, express moods such as joy, astonishment, or approval visually.”
Zipse even went so far as to call the concept car “the next level of human-machine interaction, a concept that cannot be simply dismissed as science fiction because it will inspire our Neue Klasse.”
You can watch the video below,