March 8, 2016
BMW turned 100 years old yesterday. The company decided to celebrate with a Carolesque view of its lifespan. To properly conceptualize their forecast of the future, they decided to make a car for the year 2116, the BMW Vision Next 100. The concept pictured above is not just a product of imagineering. That word being used in the literal sense one would infer from the portmanteau, not as an implication that BMW and Disney worked together. Though could assume there was some collaboration after seeing the pageantry of their Next 100 years ceremony (first 30 minutes omitted). Instead, the concept was conceived after countless hours of futurology research. Every aspect of the car is meant to represent a facet of the future of transportation. Moreover, it is appropriate that BMW released the concept this year, because this year may be the most influential in automotive history. Many mannerisms of mobility are on the brink of becoming obsolete, while others are on the verge of functionality. Clearly, the most momentous implementation in the near future is auto autonomy. There are dozens of brands engaged in the race to make mobility a passive experience. Pole position (in terms of mass employment) is likely Google and/or Ford, but technically it could be a reality today. Like the Mercedes F-105, the BMW Vision Next 100 revolves around the application of autonomous autos. Thusly, it has two separate driving modes, Boost and Ease; Ease being full autonomy. Even the interior conforms when this driving style is selected. In ease, the seats swivel to the now rider’s volition, so he or she can more comfortably converse with the passengers. However, given the fact that drivers may be inclined to be riders even when alone there will be more options for the captain of the vessel. It was not explicitly mentioned by BMW, but the Vision Next 100 will (in concept) take advantage of 5G if not 6G internet connection. As mentioned by the burgeoning tech/transport company Faraday Future, 5G connections are not of the distant future, it is immediately inevitable. Therefore, companies (particularly those in the auto industry) should be preparing for their ((in the case of cars) leading) role in the internet of things. 5G will need to process and project data to and from a myriad of machines. Much more than a phone is capable of even broadcasting much less storing and/or analyzing. It is likely that one’s car will be the new hub for exploring all of that information. The next generation of apps will be auto based. Commuters will have the option either a motorized office or a portable playpen. The company’s Vision Next 100 also features a connected “Companion.” It will be a “gemstone” -like “[symbolizing] the intelligence, connectivity and availability.” BMW was vexingly vague about a practical and feasible addition to even a contemporary car. So allow me to elaborate in another article. BMW’s Vision Next 100 of the future is interesting, especially when comparing it to the Mercedes F-105 concept. Both serve as an embodiment of each automaker's particular philosophy. Mercedes tends towards total luxury, as such the F-105 focused on spaciousness, social media, and sophistication. Ironically, the normally pragmatic and provocative BMW, came across as more sophist and specious by not clarifying further on their futuristic ideas.