At the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, BMW announced the BMW i Vision Dee, a color-changing prototype car that enables communication and interactions between humans and vehicles. Dee, which stands for Digital Emotional Experience, accompanies drivers through real-life situations on the roads and in their digital environment.
The German car company describes Dee as the ultimate companion. As Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, explained, “With the BMW i Vision Dee, we are showcasing what is possible when hardware and software merge. In this way, we are able to exploit the full potential of digitalization to transform the car into an intelligent companion. That is the future for automotive manufacturers…”
The concept car debuted during BMW’s CES keynote onstage with Knight Rider’s KITT, Herbie the Love Bug, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. A short film with Schwarzenegger was also released, featuring the actor and Dee speaking to each other as friends.
To fully personalize Dee to each driver, there is a welcome scenario that combines graphical elements and light and sound effects. The concept car’s headlights and closed BMW kidney grille even form a physical and digital icon to allow the vehicle to produce facial expressions. The car can also project an image of the driver’s avatar onto the side window to further personalize the welcome scenario. According to BMW, “This means BMW i Vision Dee can talk to people and, at the same time, express moods such as joy, astonishment or approval visually.”
BMW Mixed Reality Slider and Heads-up-Display
An integral part of Dee’s emotional intelligence is the BMW Mixed Reality Slider which works in combination with the advanced Head-up-Display. The mixed reality slider allows drivers to decide how much digital content they want to see. The five selections range from analog, to driving-related information, to the communications system, to augmented-reality projected, to entry into virtual worlds.
The Head-up-Display displays projection across the entire width of the windscreen to allow for information to be displayed on the latest possible surface. Even though the BMW i Vision Dee is a concept car, the standard-production version of the BMW Head-up-Display that extends across the full width of the windscreen will be used in the models of the NEUE KLASSE in 2025 and beyond.
Full-Color E Ink Technology
Dee also improves upon the color-changing E Ink technology that BMW showcased at last year’s CES that allowed the car’s outside to switch between black and white pigments. As shown at the conference, the more advanced technology can now alternate between 32 colors on the 240 E Ink e-paper segments, all of which can be controlled individually. To do so, the concept uses E Ink’s Prism 3 film that contains tiny microcapsules whose pigments change when electricity is applied.