Blurring the line between what’s real and what isn’t, BMW wants to turn your car into a video game controller. The M Mixed Reality experience will be available to customers starting this fall, and to get a taste of what’s to come, a new ad was “shot” on Mars. Starring the Red Bull Driftbrothers, the commercial features a 3 Series E46 and a 5 Series E39 drifting on the red planet.
We then see an M4 G82 drifting on a wet skid pad while the driver experiences what it would be like to drive the high-performance coupe on Mars. How is that possible? The BMW M Mixed Reality combines virtual reality (AR) with augmented reality (AR). Developed by Varjo, the VR headset works in conjunction with AR-Tracking’s Smart Track device to overlay a virtual track onto the real world.
It goes without saying that it takes more than just these two devices to make it happen. For the BMW M Mixed Reality to work as advertised, the car must be fitted with a plethora of sensors and GPS tracking tech to accurately pinpoint the vehicle’s location at every move. Using the VR device, the driver sees the real steering wheel and dashboard but everything else is a digital overlay.
The BMW M Mixed Reality will be initially available only for the M2 and M4 but there are plans to extend the program to electric vehicles as well. In the meantime, the technology will be made accessible to customers at the BMW M Driving Experience starting this fall.
If that’s too much to take in but you still want to have fun behind the steering wheel while killing time, casual games are coming to select models equipped with iDrive 8. BMW has teamed up with AirConsole to turn your smartphone into a video game controller while the screen is the car’s 14.9-inch display.
Source: BMW M / YouTube