EASE and BOOST: BMW design shaping your ultimate future of mobility

by Hans Henzen

passengers will be able to choose whether they want to be driven autonomously or drive themselves in the future, says BMW‘s design team. with the advancements in self-driving, connectivity, electrification and service technologies, this idea opens new opportunities for your mobility whilst also reassuring those who love the sheer pleasure of driving that this feeling will not only continue but be enhanced further. driving in the future will still be the ultimate experience in all BMW models.

these new innovations – from self-driving to connectivity – will open up, explore and invent new experiences for the user as well as further enhance the age-old but much loved feeling of driving. you will still feel your foot against the pedal, the control of the car at your fingertips, and all your senses alive to the dynamic environmental surrounding you. however, you will choose when, where and how this experience unfolds – with even more control over the machine than ever before. this is thanks to BMW’s EASE and BOOST modes, and is the basis for every future model from the brand.

with all the technological advancements in the automotive field, BMW values design as the key to unite this future; its gives shape to these innovations and brings them to life. EASE encompasses all user experiences while the vehicle is autonomously driving. it offers a comforting, secure place for relaxation, interaction and entertainment for passengers. in contrast, BOOST further enlivens BMW’s famed feeling of driving, heightening an even more pure and active experience for the user. it provides the ultimate of dynamism, from entertainment through to increasing your adrenaline and concentration.

what these experiences could look like in the future are exemplified by two prototype concepts: the Vision iNEXT and Vision M NEXT.

first unveiled at the LA auto show in 2018, the BMW Vision iNEXT amazes onlookers with an ever-changing and ageing exterior color of greyrose copper. its palette of tones adds dynamism to its sculpted surfaces, which feature few but bold definitive lines. most noticeable on the side view, the results distinguish an elegant SUV that still appears dynamic. following the undulating edges of the windows and the LED strips around the body, design details hint at the car’s electric drive and its connection to the BMW i family.

its carriage doors open to reveal an expansive, light-filled interior as unique as its exterior. bathed in a nude, calm color, the cabin is an undefined place of endless opportunity. to start, its lounge-like furniture and driving equipment adapt and recede when the car is in full control of driving. this enables you to change the space to your needs, whether to interact with other passengers or to stretch out and relax. shy-tech is embedded throughout, most importantly on the rear bench that has been upholstered using a jacquad technique. intelligent materials are weaved into the fabric to create a digital interface for users to control their surroundings, such as the lighting, music and even projections

offering the opposite experience, the BMW Vision M NEXT exemplifies BOOST and the future of sporty driving. debuting at the brand’s annual next gen event in june 2019, the design builds upon both their renowned classic and contemporary sports models, such as the M1, turbo and i8. the low-slung front with its integrated bumper introduces new and super thin interpretations of the BMW headlights, sitting either side of the dramatically colored kidney grille. this matt-neon red shade continues to then ‘break up’ the surfaces of its dominantly silver exterior, which concludes at a wedge-shaped rear.

within, the dark minimalist interior ensures your whole experience is focused on the pleasure of driving. as if cut from a single mould, the cabin wraps around the driver with its shell-like seats that feature shape memory foam. called the BOOST pod, the cockpit is then arranged with three distinct visual tiers in the driver’s field of vision: a horizontally-aligned steering wheel with a small display set atop, a glass OLED that curves along the dashboard, and a full-surface augmented reality head-up display in the windscreen. the most important journey and car information adapt and shift up these tiers as your speed increases and vice-versa as you decrease. as it guides your attention to the road and only the vital details at all times, the design ensures a unique, pure and ultimate experience is offered.

we believe in the power of choice,‘ explains domagoj dukec, head of BMW design. whether this is EASE like the Vision iNEXT or BOOST like the Vision M NEXT, BMW customers will always be able to choose which mobility experience they would like in the future. stay tuned to designboom for our next feature as BMW’s chief designer further discusses the future of automotive design, from BMW’s vision cars and driving modes to the influence of new technologies and the role of design when creating user-centered mobility experiences.

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