BMW Is Reimagining Car Interiors As A New Kind Of Living Space

BMW Is Reimagining Car Interiors As A New Kind Of Living Space

Driving duties will become secondary to an interior that facilitates relaxation, work and entertainment activities

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 12 january 2017

Unveiled at CES 2017 was the BMW i Inside Future, a concept sculpture that previews what the car interior of the future might look like as well as what the space could be used for while traveling.

The exterior design of cars has held the position of leading actor for decades. Interiors conversely are more like a supporting cast: they aren’t as prominently seen and tend not to be as dramatic. A vehicle interior’s function also hasn’t changed fundamentally over the years. It generally consists of one driver seat and a couple more for passengers with controls and instruments sitting on a dashboard. The tech influx into the auto industry is about to have a profound effect on the design and use of vehicle interiors.

Autonomous driving has the potential to redefine not just how people travel but how they use their time while traveling.

Interior design will be increasingly influenced by the desire to control a growing number of functions easily, safely and intuitively.

That’s a quote from BMW’s press release that gives some context to the I Inside Future’s concept.

It isn’t a pod with a lounge chair. BMW believes there will still be occasions when the driver will want to control the car themselves, and other times when that won’t be necessary.


In other words, car interiors will till be something of the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ tagline that’s still relevant in this day. What will be different are the living space functions and influences being integrated into their evolution.

The interior of the future will function as a place of retreat, an office or a recreational space for entertainment, as required.

This living space influence is most reflected in the back seating. It resembles furniture more so than anything you’d picture as car seating: floating headrests incorporate separate speakers that create distinct audio zones for each occupant. There’s also space for a small garden and library.

Back passengers can also watch content on a widescreen display that folds down from the headliner.

In place of a traditional instrument cluster, a widescreen display spans the entire width of the dashboard. The display can deliver vehicle and driving information or entertainment content depending on whether the car is being driven or in autonomous mode.

Car interiors BMW_i_inside_future_sculpture_ces_2017_11.jpg
Known for experimenting with control interfaces, BMW introduced HoloActive Touch. The system produces full-color, interactive displays in free-floating form. It uses cameras, ultrasonic pulses and image projection similar to a heads-up display to generate visual and tactile impressions in thin air.


+BMW i Inside Future
+car interiors
+CES 2017

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