Because that’s a good idea.
Feast your eyes on the BMW i Vision Future Interaction in all of its glory. The German automaker’s latest concept was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and looks extremely similar to a BMW i8 Spyder—but sans doors. As the concept’s name implies, the topless and doorless vehicle displays all of the automaker’s latest technology that’s supposed to make the sports car even more luxurious. The interior of the vehicle is dominated by a 21-inch screen that can be controlled by gestures from either the passenger or driver.
The massive screen makes autonomous functions easier to execute. The gesture control system, AirTouch, is an evolution of the system that debuted in the 2016 BMW 7-Series and gives users control of the navigation, communication and entertainment functions using gestures. The new system in this concept, however, is even more advanced. Making a phone call while driving in the concept’s self-driving mode will result in a Facetime-like video until returning to regular audio when the driver takes the wheel again. The rest of the concept’s interior is aimed at the new autonomous craze, with the steering wheel able to retract and the seats adopting a "lounge" design.
According to BMW, “the objective is to enable drivers to make relaxed and effective use of the freedoms offered by highly automated driving.” The concept utilizes BMW’s planned autonomous driving system with three different modes: Pure Driving (the driver is in charge), Assist (the system intervenes on occasion) and Auto Mode (fully automated). All of this sounds like the driver is being taken out of the vehicle, but BMW insists that the car will still be fun to drive, if you'd actually want to do that. For the enthusiasts out there that are interested in driving, the BMW i8 Mirrorless concept ditches its mirrors in favor of a host of cameras, the aim being to improve visibility and aerodynamics.
The side mirrors and rear-view mirror are gone in favor of three cameras that project an image onto the car's various displays. According to BMW, the cameras eliminate blind spots and cover larger viewing angles. The system also evaluates the images and provides users with a response to imminent hazards. All of this sounds and looks pretty damn cool. We wouldn't be shocked to see some of this tech, albeit in a slightly toned down form, on the next generation i8. The hybrid sports car seems to be BMW's showcase for new tech. Before all that, though, can the automaker just release the damn i8 Spyder? Enough concepts!