Like a cross between a car and an alien spaceship, BMW has unveiled the MINI Vision Next 100 – a prototype of the vehicle some of us might be driving in a few decades’ time.
The chauffeur ... has retired, I have to say. His seat has been removed and you now have the perfect view out of the front of your car and the car will predict your every wish
The futurisitc MINI retains some of the distinctive look familiar to its established fans, but it incorporates a whole raft of artificially intelligent (AI) features.
The car will learn its driver’s schedules, preferences, and the roof and interior lighting can even change colour according to the owner’s mood.
Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design: “The key feature on the MINI Next 100 is, in our view, the MINI-typical proportions. Basically it means very small footprint for urban areas that will take you into the narrowest of streets and still really get you there in style.
“But it also gets you there on time because the car will be in complete tune with your life, with your daily calendar and it will take you there and let you know where you need to be, when.”
The 103EX Rolls-Royce is designed to be the ultimate concept car – with AI at is heart.
Chauffeurs will be a thing of the past. There isn’t even a steering wheel and the car is to be piloted by a digital system called ‘Eleanor’.
Giles Taylor, Director of Design for Rolls-Royce, says: “Rolls-Royce is very much known for its sense of grand sanctuary, of being coccooned and cosseted in this rich haven of beautiful materials, silks and lovely macassar (ebony) woods for example. And this vision car has absolutely those crafted traditions intact.
“But what we bring to this menu, let’s say, this probe into the future in a digital fusion. We start to bring in artificial intelligence and the key story behind the car that you see here is autonomous. The car will drive itself. The chauffeur which is very synonymous with Rolls Royce finally has retired, I have to say. His seat has been removed and you now have the perfect view out of the front of your car and the car will predict your every wish.”
Both these cars are decades away from appearing on our roads. So why produce the prototypes now?
Peter Schwarzenbauer, Chairman of MINI and Rolls-Royce, explains: “In order not to show you just some nice slides of what we think the future will bring, we basically developed these ‘vision’ cars, where we integrate everything what we think will be important for the future.”