The BMW Mixed Reality will join the BMW M Driving Experience in the upcoming Fall of 2023. Building upon our previous experience with Mixed Reality on the BMW M2 last year, we now venture to the picturesque setting of Sokolov, Czech Republic. Here, at the state-of-the-art BMW Future Mobility Development Center, we have the privilege of once again experiencing the cutting-edge technology, this time on the remarkable M4 model.

What is the BMW M Mixed Reality?

BMW Mixed Reality is a new technology that combines virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to create a unique driving experience. It uses a VR headset to overlay a virtual track onto the real world, allowing drivers to experience the thrill of racing on various tracks without ever leaving their car. The VR headset, made by Varjo, and the Smart Track device from AR-Tracking, ensure a high refresh rate and low latency, essential for a smooth and immersive experience.

Abundant car sensors and GPS tracking technology work in unison within the system, enabling precise monitoring of the car’s every move, destination, and current location. With this comprehensive data, the BMW Mixed Reality system seamlessly facilitates a unique driving experience, blending the virtual and physical realms into a track experience. BMW emphasizes that the MR system integrates every single movement executed by the BMW M4, enhancing the overall driving experience.

How Real Is It?

In the immersive world of Mixed Reality, the driver experiences a fascinating blend of reality and virtuality. Through their VR-covered eyes, they witness their hands gripping the actual steering wheel and the dashboard before them. However, when looking to the passenger side, from the A-pillar backwards, and the rear of the cabin, the surroundings transform into a digital display.

Driving the BMW M4 in the Mixed Reality World

Driving the BMW M4 in the world of Mixed Reality proved to be an adrenaline-pumping adventure that surpassed even the thrilling experience with the M2. Undeniably, the M4’s enhanced power and performance took the driving sensation to new heights. The virtual track we experienced in Lisbon had undergone significant improvements. Not only was it longer now, providing an extended and immersive lap, but it also presented a heightened level of technicality and engagement. Negotiating sharp corners and executing daring drifts added an extra layer of excitement and skill to the MR ride. The graphics were also improved, looking a lot more “real.”

Competing against a pool of BMW drivers and seasoned journalists that day, the stakes were high. Proudly, I secured an impressive second place, clocking in at 1:03 minutes for the lap. The top driver clocked in at 1:01 minutes. Having experienced the BMW Mixed Reality setup twice before, I confidently strapped the VR headset onto my head and prepared to embark on the thrilling adventure ahead, reassured by my familiarity and trust in its safety.

Why Should Anyone Use The BMW Mixed Reality?

BMW says that the Mixed Reality could be used in the area of vehicle development and professional instruction for dynamic driving experiences. For example, the team highlighted the use case of adding the Mixed Reality component to existing simulator driving. It can be used in the real world to perfect the ideal line and braking points, for example.

What’s Next?

The Mixed M Reality will expand beyond the M2 and M4 models, with future electric BMW vehicles taking advantage of this technology as well. Customer will first get their hands on this tech at the BMWM Driving Experience this fall.