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BMW's concept car puts next-gen interior in a sports car

Style and brains.

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CES is quickly become the place to show off concept cars. Not to be left out of the fun, German automaker BMW shared its vision of an autonomous car that is the complete antithesis of the driverless pod cars that have been shown off by Google. Based on the i8, the BMW i Vision Future Interaction (that's a mouthful) gives the driver the option of driving the car themselves or kicking back letting the car take control while you check out the gigantic 21-inch panoramic display that's controlled via gestures, touch or voice. It's technology wrapped inside the vehicle you want to drive down the coast.

Gallery: BMW's i Vision Future Interaction concept car | 24 Photos

The electric/autonomous concept car has three modes: Pure Driving when you want to actually drive. The Assistance feature actively intervenes when appropriate while Auto Mode is autonomous. When do you go full auto, the illuminated steering wheel retracts and the driver can start playing with that giant dashboard display via gestures, touch and voice control.

The new interaction method, AirTouch uses gestures and a confirmation button that's in the steering wheel, the driver can go through their contacts, navigation and the media center. When they go back into Pure Driving mode, the information on the giant screen is minimized.

In addition to the dashboard display that spans the center and passenger portion of car, it has a 3D instrument cluster and heads-up display (HUD). Holger Hampf, head of user experience at BMW said the concept car is "not about technology or features, it's about a new interior experience." Of course that interior experience is powered by new features and technology.

So while like all concept cars, we'll never be able to actually take this car for a spin, the ideas it contains will eventually seep into the carmaker's line up of vehicles. Let's just hope that in addition to a new interior experience the open top i8 is one the things that comes to life.

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