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18 Feb 2011

We love the looks of this car, we really do. But the sci-fi 3D applications probably need to be seen to be believed...

If you think this concept BMW looks dramatic, you ought to hear what they have planned for the driver.

The two-seat Vision ConnectedDrive - appearing at the Geneva motor show - has a shark-like nose and totally new body "surfacing", together with new headlamps.

But the really interesting bit is the way the design study transfers information to the person behind the wheel. Instead of traditional instruments and warning lights, the BMW of the future will display key information in a three dimensional head-up display in the direct sight line of the driver, eliminating the need for his eyes to re-focus on dials inside the cabin.

Building on head-up displays already pioneered by BMW, future versions will be "layered", or superimposed on one another, allowing the driver to display the required information in the foreground, while making less relevant data fade into the background. By providing what they call "optical depth of field", engineers will be able to deliver a wealth of information without having to design additional features, such as screens, into the car's fascia.

Passengers will even get their own displays, out of the driver's field of vision, so that they can scan music, radio or satnav details on the move, and then pass them on to the driver with the touch of a finger.

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