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BMW unveils Vision Next 100 concept

by Justin King

The futuristic car reflects BMW\'s vision for an ideal autonomous vehicle.

BMW has revealed the Vision Next 100, a futuristic concept car that celebrates the company's 100th birthday.

As the name indicates, the concept represents BMW's glimpse into the next 100 years of automotive innovations. The company envisions a future in which drivers will desire a seamless transition between piloting the vehicle and enjoying autonomous operation.

Combining a coupe-like profile and the spacious interior of a sedan, the Vision Next 100 is designed to enhance both vehicle- and human-controlled operation. 'Boost' mode focuses on the driver but uses computers to indicate the ideal driving line, steering point and speed.

'Ease' mode transforms the interior, retracting the steering wheel and center console. Headrests turn to the side, while the seats and door merge to form a single unit that allows the driver and front-seat passenger to face each other and converse.

"If, as a designer, you are able to imagine something, there's a good chance it could one day become reality," said BMW design head Adrian van Hooydonk. "So our objective with the BMW Vision Next 100 was to develop a future scenario that people would engage with."

The car's styling appears to take inspiration from the i8 hybrid, though BMW's prophecies include no mention of what powertrain could propel such vehicles of the future.

BMW plans to send the Vision Next 100 on a world tour with stops in China, the UK and the US. Additional 'Vision' concepts will be unveiled for the MINI and Rolls-Royce brands at an event in London, while a BMW Motorrad motorcycle concept is slated to debut in Los Angeles.

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