Self-Driving BMWs Without Mirrors - i8 Mirrorless And Vision Future Interaction Concepts
|   Wednesday, January 27, 2016
BMW exhibited at CES electronics trade fair in Las Vegas an advanced technological alternative to the classic side mirrors. Also on this occasion, the Germans have publicly presented the first i8 which drives itself.

Tired perhaps of customers who have been complaining that the side mirrors were stolen, BMW officials came up with an ingenious solution at CES 2016 which took place in Las Vegas. Joking aside, the Germans are preparing to bring to series production video cameras that will replace side mirrors.


The technology has been exposed in the concept stage on the most advanced model in the range, the i8 supercar. The prototype is called the BMW i8 Mirrorless and has two video cameras mounted on the aerodynamic supports instead of mirrors. The car benefits from a third video camera, mounted on top of the rear window.
All images taken by the three video cameras are combined into a single one projected on a screen that replaces the rearview mirror. BMW officials argue that the resulting image provides a larger viewing angle than traditional mirrors.

Using this solution allows proper use of signaling too. The mirror warns the driver when he intends to change lanes and is not properly secured.
Alongside the i8 Mirrorless, the engineers from BMW exposed the i3 Extended Rearview Mirror, which has an operating principle similar in terms of visibility. According to BMW, the concept has a video camera found on the roof. Its images are still displayed in the rearview mirror to expand the viewing area of the driver.

Philipp Hoffmann, BMW Project Manager for this system, stated that the cameras actually improve the car's aerodynamics by 3 percent, which increases by about 1 percent the range. BMW will start tests with the system on European roads sometime this year; approval for testing in the US is likely to be given by the US Department of Transportation in 2017.

Perhaps inspired by Rinspeed's idea that transformed an i8 into an autonomous car, baptized Etos, the engineers from BMW have decided it is time to embrace the idea of a car that drives itself as well. The concept is called the BMW i8 Vision Future Interaction and is based on the convertible version of the hybrid supercar (the i8 Spyder), which is still at concept stage.

Because we are talking about a car that can drive itself BMW has redesigned the passenger compartment by offering time-consuming solutions for all passengers. In the dashboard we have a 21-inch screen mounted on the passenger side. It serves as a huge entertainment system, through which the driver can check email, browse the Internet or even watch movies.

In order for the driver and passengers to easily move manipulate screen functions, BMW has installed an improved AirTouch which quickly reads all gestures. There is no need to touch the screen of the car, for example, the hand pushed ahead will be synonymous with the push of a button, of a function.
The concept BMW i8 Vision Future Interaction is offered with three different driving modes: Pure Drive is the normal driving experience, Assist intervenes when a crash is imminent and Auto Mode assures a fully automatic experience.
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