What do Arnold Schwarzenegger, KITT and a color-changing, AI-enabled EV concept car have in common? All three were on stage during the opening keynote for CES 2023 with Oliver Zipse, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW in the driver’s seat for this wild ride.
“We tore down the boundaries,” enthused Zipse as he introduced the audience to BMW’s ‘Neue Klasse’ EV concept car, the i Vision Dee. Dee stands for Digital Emotional Experience and “embodies the next level of human and machine interaction.”
As a high-production value movie about Dee blended from the screen onto the live keynote stage, telling a story of love, companionship and cars, CES attendees were treated to celebrity appearances from KITT of TVs Knight Rider and Herbie from Disney’s The Love Bug — vehicles both known for their capacity for “human” emotion. Actor and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger also made an appearance on-screen and in person.
“When BMW told me about their new vision for i Vision Dee, I loved it…A machine that actually cares?” quipped Schwarzenegger, relating being approached by BMW to experience an AI automobile that could become a person’s close companion. “From cloning to artificial intelligence to travelling to Mars, my movie career covered it all. And we’ve seen so many of those things that were science fiction back in the ’80s and ’90s that have become science fact. I have to be honest with you, I was a little unsure because, in most of my movies, machines were the enemy. But today, we’ve found ways to use technology as an ally.”
Dee’s interactivity and sleek looks are inspiring, but the real stars of her showcased features were the “Mixed Reality Slider,” which adjusts to five levels of a customizable, expansive head-up display (HUD) that can stretch across the length of the entire smart glass windshield, and its amazing color changing capabilities that wowed the audience as she flowed with a palette of 32 colors.
At CES 2022, BMW unveiled the BMW iX Flow, a vehicle capable of changing color between black and white by utilizing BMW’s E Ink technology. Fast forward a year, and, like a chameleon, Dee can use her 240 E Ink panels, which can be controlled individually and include the wheel trim, to change color at-will to suit your mood or surroundings.
“Dee gives you the first glimpse of how a car is a companion that not only moves your body, it also adds new facets to your life,” added Zipse. “It makes mobility easier and more joyful. In short, it gives you more freedom. Everything you saw, felt and experienced tonight is much closer to reality than you might imagine. To create a digital and emotional experience with your car as an ultimate companion — that is the future of the BMW Group.