Vision Next concept reinvents the car for BMW's100th birthday

Crazy concept car ditches the dash, drives itself

It’s not often centenarians are planning what they’ll be doing in 30 years’ time – but that’s exactly what BMW has been up to for its 100th birthday.

The Vision Next 100 Concept was revealed today at the German car maker’s Munich HQ. It’s an absolutely bonkers idea of what cars might look like in 2050.

I mean just look at it – this is the future, getting ready to take you for a spin.

That’s not just a windscreen up front; the whole glass panel is an augmented reality display, which lets BMW ditch the dashboard entirely.

The steering wheel looks more like a plane’s flight yoke than something you’d drive a car with, too.

We’re happy to hear BMW thinks we’ll still be doing at least some of the driving ourselves in the future. When you want to take the wheel, you can using Boost mode.

This draws an optimal driving line on the windscreen in real time, and makes the 800 polygon shapes embedded in the dash react as you drive – something BMW calls Alive Geometry.

No, we’ve got no idea what that means, either.

Switch into Ease mode and the steering wheel retracts back into the dash. The seats move to make it easier for driver and passenger to talk, and the windscreen turns into a big screen TV while the car does all the driving.

The Concept goes one step further than autonomous driving though.

The “Companion” learns about your driving over time, to the point that it’ll be able to do routine jobs like parking itself in your garage overnight, or driving to work automatically in the mornings.

When the car is in autonomous mode, it’ll signal to pedestrians when it’s safe to walk in front of it, too.

Before you get too excited, barely anything shown on the Concept is anywhere near production-ready. BMW reckons it could be 30 years before this becomes mainstream.

With 100 years under its belt already, Bavarian Motor Works is clearly planning on sticking around long enough to see if it can turn into reality.