Recently, at the 81st Geneva Motor Show, BMW launched its new concept car – The Vision Connected Drive (VCD). The VCD has a futuristic, curvy body – a departure from traditional BMWs with a long wheelbase and bonnet that blends seamlessly with its frame-less windscreen. The VCD’s electro-mechanical sliding doors, which disappear into the vehicle’s body, enhance this futuristic look and they eye-shaped headlights and L-shaped rear lights, which have in-built sensors to monitor traffic, make it look like a car that you would find in a Star Wars movies.
The VCD is split into three ‘layers’
The safety layer is displayed by a red ribbon of fibre optic light which flows from the cabin to the bonnet. It displays driving related information such as speed, fuel consumption and navigation information.
The infotainment layer, displayed by a blue ribbon of fibre optic light, runs from the driver’s cabin to the passenger’s cabin. It primarily comprises a passenger information display – a touch activated screen that allows the passenger to watch movies, listen to music, access the internet and communicate with the driver.
The comfort layer, defined by a green fibre optic ribbon that extends to the exterior of the car, focuses on the car’s interaction with its surroundings. This layer can (conceptually) enable the car to connect to the internet, find a parking space, drive to it and park iself – all without human interaction.
The VCD is designed to “connect and network” the car, its driver and passenger with the surrounding world. Using a smartphone link, the car’s computer can connect to the driver’s mobile device, providing access to messages and applications.
No wonder then that the VCD is being hailed as “the ultimate social networking machine” by car enthusiasts.