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BMW's CES concept is based on its i8 electric sports car (Photo: BMW)

LAS VEGAS -- BMW showed a concept vehicle based on its electric i8 sports car at the CES consumer electronics show here and said the study aims to show how tomorrow's personal mobility can retain the "sheer driving pleasure" the company has as its motto.

The BMW i Vision Future Interaction is an open version of the i8. The study "shows how the interior can enhance sheer driving pleasure and, at the same time, create a space for communication and interaction," said BMW R&D boss Klaus Froehlich.

At a press briefing here, Froehlich said the car's seating configuration and infotainment system offers "the possibility of using time in the car for oneself or with your passengers in a meaningful and relaxed way."

The CES show car, among other things, showcases BMW's gesture interaction technnology, the so-called Air-Touch display, which can recognize 3D movements and relay them to the interface. This next step in gesture control will open up new possibilities, Froehlich said.

The BMW executive, in his briefing, touted the connectivity features BMW has been rolling out for many years and said that cars are already "becoming an integral part of the internet of things."

He provided several examples of how BMW expects digitalization to disrupt the car industry. Among these, he said, are:

  1. The greater convenience and safety provided by automotive IT, which will eventually lead to fully autonomous cars
  2. Drivers' increasing demands for seamless integration of their cars into their lives
  3. The new possibilities IT provides to change the nature of interior and user interfaces of cars
  4. The new competitors that are entering the automotive arena as barriers to entry are lowered.
-By Arjen Bongard