BMW: In the future, will we still love our cars?

What makes cars (and, perhaps, people) today different than those in the past? That’s the question this video from BMW attempts to address.

It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and the BMW i Vision Dee, “the first BMW with a digital soul.” The video also features cameos from David Hasselhoff, KITT from Knight Rider and, of course, an old-school BMW.

Duke MegaDork
1/5/23 1:36 p.m.

I sure don't love current BMWs now.


NickD MegaDork
1/5/23 2:06 p.m.

Not if they look like that.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
1/5/23 2:11 p.m.

I mean, I already talk to my car, so why not give it the ability to talk back to me?

frenchyd GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/5/23 2:37 p.m.

We agree on that Duke.  

Driven5 UberDork
1/5/23 2:38 p.m.

A car with AR windows and an AI chatbot... So BMW is still focused on marketing to people who live in their own world and don't have friends?

While the simple interior and exterior styling is admittedly somewhat refreshing, the implementation still just seems like next-gen soullessness to me. If they want me to think this of this technology as having any kind of 'digital soul' it should have a real type of personality to it: Be feisty and temperamental with me if I'm neglecting it or having not enough (or too much) fun with it, be the devil on my shoulder whispering encouragement in my ear and rewarding my driving enthusiasm, my autox/track instructor providing feedback to where I can push harder and where I should back off, and my commuter co-pilot helping with things like planning lane changes and spotting/timing gaps or finding short cuts to 'beat' the rush hour traffic patterns.

Duke MegaDork
1/5/23 3:37 p.m.
Driven5 said:

A car with AR windows and an AI chatbot... So BMW is still focused on marketing to people who live in their own world and don't have friends?

Well, they sure as hell aren't focused on building "the Ultimate Driving Machine" any more.


JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
1/5/23 3:46 p.m.

The message of this commercial seems to be "We used to build awesome cars, but I guess we're doing whatever this is now, so let's just go with it."

Still, I watched the whole thing. It just seemed weird as a narrative that Arnie started out talking about the emotional connection of the past, the robot BMW lady started off talking about the technological connection to the future, and neither of them ever really had a journey into understanding the other one's point of view. Maybe the sequel will explore that.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/5/23 4:57 p.m.

In reply to J.A. Ackley :

This thread isn't complete 'til someone points out it was an E21, not an E30. cheeky (Unless you're talking about a different cameo further along)

I made it a couple minutes in, but that's all they got before I started feeling well into the "that's time I'm never getting back" phase, though I can see why it was worth posting. I guess this is BMW trying to figure... BMW's marketing department trying to... I dunno. Maybe there are the seeds of realizing that they've disconnected from some of the attributes that created the cachet BMW trades on. Or maybe it's just trying to hang onto the buyers who know or care about that era for one more cycle.

Error404 HalfDork
1/5/23 6:10 p.m.

Do you love your phone? Do you love your smart, wifi connected, bluetooth enabled, LED screened refrigerator? Do you wake up in the morning just wishing that your car had the personality of your late model LG washing machine? If you answered yes, you will love your future transportation appliance as much as you love all your other appliances, when they're not down for updates or making you late for work so you can review ToS before changing your passwords.

RaabTheSaab Reader
1/5/23 6:50 p.m.

The car is fine. But Jesus Christ, what the hell is the rest of it? 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/5/23 9:54 p.m.

1. The actual silhouette shape of that thing is actually pretty cool. Reminds me of an 80s hatchback/notchback. I wish there was a *real* car that had a shape like that these days. The rest of it is totally uninteresting. It makes a 1990 Camry look interesting by comparison (realizing this is only a concept).

2. In a world of BMWs with dumb names, this one may take the cake. It's cool to tell your coworker you drive an "M3" (though many these days probably have no idea what that means, in truth). Less cool to say "oh, I have a "Eye Vision D."

3. Putting an e21 in there is cool (as someone who has owned an e21). But putting an e21 in there also pisses me off, because it reminds me of when cars were actually fun. 

4. If one is such a loser that they need a non-living object as a companion, a blow-up doll and an Alexa are a lot cheaper, and just call Uber if you need to get someplace. 



J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
1/6/23 9:07 a.m.

In reply to Jesse Ransom :

Thank you for the correction! All I saw were the four round headlights, and then Dee kept distracting me because she just wouldn't stay silent. laugh

eastpark HalfDork
1/6/23 9:25 a.m.

I'll be 60 in a couple of months. Watching that video makes me want one of these even more:

Also, get off my lawn:

volvoclearinghouse UltimaDork
1/6/23 9:37 a.m.

I don't hate the body lines.  Most modern cars are overwrought design exercises that look like some sort of insect.  The simplicity is refreshing.

The connection between ourselves and our machines is a curious one.  How did humans develop this ability to see ourselves in everything?  Movies have given human traits to everything from animals to toasters.  We "love" things that have no capacity to love us back.  

And yet...there does indeed seem to be some return on our attention.  We pet a dog and it wags its tail and pants.  We tune up a car and it runs better.  We put a new bag in a vacuum cleaner and it sucks more.  We plant a seed, water it, and it grows.  We respond positively to non-human things that seem to respond positively to our efforts.  Conversely, when we put forth effort, and the thing turns around and bites us, or breaks, or works worse, or dies, we respond negatively.  

How this will change as we move forward and devices are less and less repairable and less and less understandable certainly is a question.  

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/6/23 7:01 p.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:

I don't hate the body lines.  Most modern cars are overwrought design exercises that look like some sort of insect.  The simplicity is refreshing.

Don't worry, they'll add a ginormous (fake) kidney grille to it before production

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