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BMW unveils new HUD, ‘digital soul’ concept & provides more detail on Neue Klasse models

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Market Trends | Technology
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The new BMW head-up display (HUD) called BMW Panoramic Vision will go into production in 2025 with the first Neue Klasse models including a sports activity vehicle and 3 Series sedan.

Neue Klasse, referring to BMW’s 1960s models, is the OEM’s new technology platform that is currently in development that will set new standards in digitalization, sustainability, and design for electric vehicles (EVs), according to a BMW news release.

The HUD will project across the entire width of the windscreen and create a unique interaction and information surface for all occupants.

“The windscreen becomes a single large display with our new BMW Panoramic Vision, opening up completely new possibilities for the design of our vehicles,” said Frank Weber, BMW AG Board for Development member. “The driver decides which information they want to display in their own field of vision, or that all occupants can see the entire content. The revolutionary projection and the significantly more clearly structured cockpit give an impressive new feeling of space and driving. We are taking our proven ‘eyes on the road-hands on the wheel’ commitment to a new level.”

The display will show relevant information for both the driver and passengers with higher light intensity and contrast onto a dark-coated area at the lower edge of the windscreen. BMW says this will create an extremely sharp image that is always visible across the full width of the windscreen.

On-board computers with digital displays first appeared in the BMW 7 Series in the 1980s. The first BMW iDrive in 2001 reduced the number of switches and buttons like no other control system before, creating a modern, uncluttered interior, the release states. The first series production of BMW HUD displays followed shortly after.

BMW has also unveiled its i Vision Dee — a fully EV with a voice, facial expressions, and “true personality” — at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year. Along with the extended HUD, the OEM showed how i Vision Dee can be used for display control design and an immersive user experience in the future.

“The study demonstrates the fusion of reality and the virtual world by turning the windshield into a projection surface,” the release states. “This technology will now become reality in series production with the Neue Klasse with the introduction of the BMW Panoramic Vision.”

The concept would allow drivers to change the vehicle’s exterior color whenever they wish to through E Ink technology. Four sensors would also be used to project augmented reality scenes to full virtual worlds onto the windshield. Calling Dee “as smart as she is soulful,” BMW says on its website the future concept would create “the feeling of being thoroughly seen and understood. The satisfaction of life coming together seamlessly. The familiarity of a friend who can communicate with and without words. This technology is more than a device. It’s Dee.”

On March 15, BMW shared that its main growth drivers this year will be fully-electric BEVs and models from the high-end premium segment, including the new BMW 7 Series, the updated BMW X7, and the Rolls-Royce model family. BMW says growth in the mid-double-digit percentage range is expected for that segment of vehicles during the current financial year, and BEV models are likely to grow in the high double-digit percentage range. Overall, the BMW Group expects its deliveries to customers worldwide to increase slightly in the segment this year.

In the past year, BMW has more than doubled its BEV sales to more than 215,000 units. With its range of around a dozen fully electric models already on the market, steep growth trajectory is expected in the coming years, starting in 2024. At least one in five of BMW’s new cars will have a fully-electric drive train next year and by 2025, every fourth new vehicle delivered should be a BEV. By 2026, around one in three will be fully electric.

And Neue Klasse “has the potential to further accelerate the market penetration of e-mobility with its convincing product substance,” BMW said.

“Depending on the market conditions prevailing in the second half of the decade, the development of raw material prices and availability, and the pace at which a comprehensive charging infrastructure is being built, the BMW Group expects to reach more than 50% BEV share well ahead of 2030,” BMW said.

The BMW Group aims to deliver 2 million fully electric vehicles to the market by 2025 and by 2030, 10 million fully-electric vehicles.

“Proven strengths, future-oriented technologies and the NEUE KLASSE — that is our recipe for success in the coming years,” said Oliver Zipse, BMW AG Board of Management chairman. “With this combination, we are in the right position to be able to respond precisely to different developments in the various regions of the world.”

The start of standard production is slated to begin in the second half of 2025 with at least six Neue Klasse models produced worldwide during the first 24 months.

Based on a vehicle architecture uncompromisingly designed for electric drive trains (BEV-only) and featuring a new design language, Neue Klasse will be characterized by three central aspects: a newly developed wiring harness with a new UX/UI concept; a newly developed, high-performance generation of electric drive trains and batteries with significant efficiency improvements, and a new level of sustainability throughout the lifecycle. The underlying technology will form the basis for the entire BMW model range to follow.

At the IAA Mobility 2023 in September in Munich, BMW will share the next steps and new details about Neue Klasse, including new control and information elements.

BMW also announced last week that its eighth generation 5 Series will make its debut in a few months.

The new model will be more dynamic and more comfortable than ever, with a fresh interpretation of its signature, elegantly sporting design, according to a BMW release. The new 5 will feature BMW Operating System 8.5 with the BMW Curved Display, innovative digital services, and, for the first time, a purely electric drivetrain in the form of the BMW i5.

The flexible powertrain architecture means the new BMW 5 Series can be offered in all-electric and plug-in hybrid variants alongside highly efficient internal combustion engines with 48V mild hybrid technology.

At the BMW Group Annual Conference 2023, Zipse said the 5 Series would also be made available as an all-electric BMW M Performance model.

“The all-electric BMW i4 M50 shows how BMW blends dynamic performance and electric mobility to perfection,” he said. “It was the best-selling BMW M model worldwide in 2022. A fully electric Performance model from BMW M GmbH will also be included in the new BMW 5 Series line-up.”

The arrival of the BMW i5 Sedan in the premium executive segment will see BMW continue the systematic expansion of its all-electric range. The worldwide launch of the new BMW 5 Series Sedan will get underway in October.


Featured image: BMW Panoramic Vision head-up display driver’s view in the Neue Klasse Driver. (Credit: BMW)

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