If there is one press release that we recommend, then this has to be the ONE. Longer than your usual read, BMW Innovation Days research paper outlines BMW’s latest technology. If you love electronics, gadgetry or design, then you can’t miss this one.

Here is an excerpt, followed by the PDF file to download and an extensive gallery of photos.

In the Car of the Future

Walking up to your car – particularly at night – the first thing you notice once you have unlocked the car by remote control is the interior lights coming on. And precisely this was the starting point for the BMW Group’s light designers, in asking what new technologies would be able to offer in this respect.

bmw innovation days 5 655x385Once you have arrived at your car, the seat is your permanent companion, generally remaining unnoticed, on every trip you take. So how can the car seats of the future be made lighter but nevertheless remain comfortable and safe? Answering this question, BMW Group experts have developed three different seat concepts, the best features of which will go into the series development of future seats.

Information and entertainment functions in the car are increasing in both magnitude and significance. So what must displays be able to offer in technical terms in future and how can they be integrated attractively in the car to meet these demands? Different display locations call for new technical solutions – and again, the BMW Group is perfectly prepared.

The acoustic experience in the car has a sub-conscious but significant effect on the driver and passengers. The research prototype by the BMW Group’s acoustic engineers therefore offers personalised and emotional driving experi- ence through active sound design.

Creating the Right Light Architecture within the Car.

Inspired by the use and presentation of light in interior architecture, specialists at the BMW Group have revised and updated the complete interior in terms of light
technology. For like in a building, light in a car may also structure spaces, set highlights, emphasise certain features or conceal others, guide the occupants through the interior, and even create powerful emotions.

An important source of inspiration in this context was the BMW Group’s cooperation with a strong partner company working so far only in architecture. The result is a brand-new world of experience in the automobile.

“The automobile is part of the world we live in. And, using light appropriately, we would like to make this world a pleasant place where you feel at home.”
(Hans-Peter Bailer, High-Value Light Design Project)

Specific, individual use of light may give the same interior a very different look and experience ranging, for example, from calm to dynamic. This is achieved by positioning light sources at appropriate points within the interior, by using different light colours and light intensity. Theoretically, each vehicle is able, through the style of illumination used, to present its particularly character also at night, helping to make the driving experience more intense. Today and in future new technical solutions offer greater choice and individual potentials light experts are carefully testing and introducing in creative style.

The new concept no longer makes do with just one central source of light. Instead, several sources of light arranged in different positions illuminate, say, the pillars in the greenhouse, the instrument panel, the centre console and the driver’s seat. This new light concept is astounding in its effect even from outside. Opening the car by remote control, the driver and passengers experience a welcome scenario with a stimulating feeling of generosity right from the start through the windows. Then, getting into the car, they will receive an even more positive impression, with everything looking bright, pleasant, and spacious.

“The welcome scenario virtually begs the driver to take a seat.” (Jan Seeburg, responsible for interior space design)

BMW Innovation Days 2009 –Interior, Infotainment, Mobility – PDF (14MB)