It’s not a production version of the BMW i8 Spyder, but BMW’s concept car for CES is essentially a topless version of the company’s hybrid sports car. Called the BMW i Vision Future Interaction, this i8-based concept shows off BMW’s ideas for autonomous driving, along with a completely new user interface called AirTouch.
Without doors or windows, the Future Interaction concept doesn’t look any closer to production than the previous BMW i8 Spyder concept first shown three years ago. Instead, this new design study is meant to show how BMW might further integrate gesture controls into its interiors. The so-called “AirTouch” system uses a variety of sensors to let the driver interact with the car’s giant display screens, as we detailed a few weeks ago. The new 2016 BMW 7 Series already offers gesture controls, so expect to see BMW continue to expand this technology in the near future.
The BMW i Vision Future Interaction Concept also highlights some new autonomous driving modes that emphasize simplicity. The basic “Pure Drive” mode gives the driver full control, while an “Assist” mode allows certain active safety features to intervene. The fully self-driving “Auto Mode” represents completely autonomous driving, and all three modes are selected by controls on the steering wheel.
BMW isn’t offering up any information on the concept car’s powertrain at this point, but we do expect to see a production version of the i8 Spyder in the near future. The last we heard was that this car had gotten the green light, possibly with a battery upgrade over the existing BMW i8 hybrid sports coupe.
Keep an eye out for more news from BMW’s “i” division on the upcoming droptop, and check out the photos of this concept in the meantime.