BMW shows automotive speeding up toward AR future - Main 1

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As if an eclectic car with a curved display was not enough, BMW has added AR features to some of its latest iX models, showing other automotive manufacturers the way

Quick read

➨ BMW has rolled out AR features for some of the latest models in its iX electric range
➨ The first of these AR features is an information overlay for navigation
➨ BMW iX drivers are shown turning manoeuvres and lane recommendations in a new curved display

The story

Few automotive manufacturers are as enthusiastic about virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) technology as Germany’s BMW. Just last year, the company’s brand for Formula E used VR as another means to engage with sponsors and guests alongside live events.

And now Finnish software company Basemark has revealed that BMW has rolled out AR features for some of the latest models in its iX electric range.

The first of these AR features is an information overlay for navigation, utilising the BMW iX’s new curved display that replaces a traditional cockpit setup. See the display in the video below (although the AR feature is not shown here).

Using this feature, BMW iX drivers are shown turning manoeuvres and lane recommendations in the curved display.

The car’s front-view camera automatically sends live footage to the display, where interactive arrows appear to show the driver exactly where they need to go. The map also remains visible thanks to a split-screen functionality.

BMW shows automotive speeding up toward AR future - Main 2
BMW iX drivers are shown turning manoeuvres and lane recommendations in the curved display

AR features designed to help with navigating busy city roads and parking are also in the works.

Commenting on BMW’s adoption of AR for the iX range of cars, Tero Sarkkinen, chief executive officer and founder of Basemark, which worked with BMW to develop the feature, says they “set a new standard for driver experience, comfort, and safety”.

Explaining Basemark’s role, he continues: “We are delighted that Basemark’s leading automotive software know-how resulted in AR implementations that fulfilled the concept of the BMW Group and asset requirements with great technical feasibility and high performance.”

“We also collaborated to improve the BMW Group’s asset creation and delivery process, empowering both designers and developers, resulting in reducing time spent on development. The work also included providing support for concept exploration and simulation development of AR concept features.”

The automotive sector is a keen adopter of immersive technologies, so it is no surprise to see the likes of BMW rolling out AR features in their vehicles.

There is a growing consensus that immersive technologies will come to cars and other vehicles in the near future, further expanding where the ‘metaverse’ is likely to touch our lives.

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Images: Basemark and BMW

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