The shift from using conventional, internal combustion engines to electric powertrains is forcing car makers to become technology companies rather than keep being defined as automakers. That’s why BMW, for example, is claiming to be a technology company these days. As such, events like the Consumer Electronics Show are becoming more important than ever for companies such as BMW, as they offer the perfect platform to showcase their latest findings.

At this year’s CES, hosted as usual in Las Vegas, BMW will offer visitors a special experience aboard the iNext concept. The car will be brought out and it will showcase the way you’ll interact with it in the future, thanks to a virtual test drive. The vision vehicle will be displayed alongside a sophisticated mixed-reality installation that, for the first time, provides a virtual and immersive impression of what it is like to drive – or, better said, be driven – autonomously in the BMW Vision iNEXT.

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will also be an integral part of this installation as it will suggest an agenda for the day and it will plan the activities for the trip to the second. With virtual reality goggles and a specially-designed spatial concept, visitors are able to immerse themselves in the virtual world. Initially, they drive the BMW Vision iNEXT themselves, but the vehicle soon takes over the driving function. In autonomous “Ease” mode, the driver interacts with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, which makes suggestions and controls various digital services for the driver – from videoconferencing, to shopping, to smart home functions.

Visitors will also be able to explore the fundamental design principle referred to as “Shy Tech” – discretely integrated technology that only becomes visible when needed. This will be doable thanks to two further exhibits outside the vehicle. Also outside the BMW iNext Vision Concept car visitors will get to see presentations from the BMW Motorrad division, such as a self-driving BMW R 1200 GS as well as take a trip in the new BMW X7 on a specially created track.