The future of mobility is electric, circular, and digital, BMW chairman and CEO Oliver Zipse said during his keynote at CES 2023, one of the largest tech trade fairs hosted annually.
Showcasing the fusion of hardware and software, Zipse lifted the curtains on The BMW i Vision Dee — a fully electric mid-size sedan that features color-changing technology (up to 32 colors), augmented reality projection, and voice and phygital icons.
“It’s all about embracing the future while honoring the past. Digital leadership in the car is not about who has the biggest screen, the highest processing power, or writes the most lines of code. The only thing that really counts is what the user feels and experiences,” he added.
As an acronym to Digital Emotional Experience, “Dee” is BMW’s way of transforming the technological experience from having an assistant to a companion, a technological platform that better understands the motivations and needs of its users.
“Mobility is becoming more human. Dee reminds us that you always have to consider both the product and the digital aspect together as a whole. I strongly believe that you cannot separate software from hardware development, otherwise you won’t create a seamless digital experience,” Zipse explained.
The BMW i Vision Dee features a mixed reality slider for the VR experience, the BMW Head-up Display which acts as a central operating control, an instrument panel with touch sensors, dimmable windows, the full-color version of E Ink technology, and avatar projection.
This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is the first version to feature a dedicated theme revolving around the role of technology in addressing global issues, specifically in the area of human security, automotive and mobility, digital health, sustainability, Web3, and the metaverse.
“New automotive technology has generated excitement and moved markets at CES for many years, but this year thanks to BMW… we are taking another step forward. BMW has been at the forefront of a push for electric mobility which is the key to lowering our environmental impact and embracing more sustainable living,” remarked Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association.
For the fourth quarter period of 2022 alone, the BMW posted 651,798 vehicle sales globally, 10.6% lower versus the same period in 2021. Despite the slowdown in overall vehicle sales, plug-in electric car sales hiked 56% year-over-year, blowing past 150,000 units and clocking a new quarterly record for the group.
“By the year 2030, at least half of the BMW Group’s vehicle deliveries worldwide are set to be fully electric models. BMW’s work is also helping us reimagine what’s possible, merging the real and virtual worlds using digital twin and VR technology to plan and develop the driving machines of the future,” he continued.
Meanwhile, BMW AG’s Pieter Nota attributes the strong performance of the electric vehicle line-up as a response to a challenging environment and expects 2023 order intake to continue growing.
The BMW i Vision Dee only represents the tip of the iceberg for BMW as the company plans to bring the features of the concept car to its new generation of vehicles under the Neue Klasse portfolio which it will shed further light on over the course of 2023.