BMW i Vision Dee is the world’s first colour-changing car

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If you’re buying a new car, choosing which colour to go with can be a difficult decision – one you’ll probably have to live with for years. However, BMW has a solution.

A car that changes colour.

The German car manufacturer rocked up to last year’s CES with what could arguably be described as the most jaw-dropping piece of technology at the show; a concept car dubbed the iX Flow that could change colour from black to white.

Well, the chameleon-like concept is back, with the new colour-changing skin applied to a concept called the BMW i Vision Dee – which stands for Digital Emotional Experience, in case you’re wondering.

This time, however, it’s ditched the monochrome styling for 240 individual E Ink panels that can display up to 32 different colours with endless possibilities for different patterns. The idea behind the design is to provide a much more personal and customised driving experience that can be adapted to suit your style, mood, or even your outfit.

But there’s a lot more to this all-electric sedan than simply changing colour.

The colour-changing BMW i Vision Dee (Picture: AP)
The exterior can be customised to show different colours – and patterns (Picture: AP)

To compliment its ever-changing exterior, its entire windshield acts as a clever heads-up display, offering different levels of augmented reality visuals that will allow you to keep your eyes firmly fixed on the road. This can be anything from connecting to friends and family and visualised social media, to augmenting navigation and pulling in digital imagery that extends beyond reality to enhance your driving experience.

Designed to fuse the physical with the virtual worlds and make the car more personal and fun, it also uses interior projection technology that allows your avatar to be displayed on the window that can greet anyone when approached. The doors will even automatically open when the car senses the driver is about to step inside.

Stella Clarke, the project lead behind BMW”s colour-changing car (Picture: Reuters)

BMW says this is as much about being a digital experience as it is an emotional one, which explains why an artificially intelligent digital assistant that can talk back, and a kidney grille that displays various facial expressions, completes the features line-up.

It also explains why BMW brought out two of the most iconic human-like cars in automotive history – KITT and Love Bug’s Herby –  to pull back the curtain on its latest concept.

Can’t decide which colour to choose? Pick them all (Picture: AFP)
Herbie the Love Bug and KITT from Knight Rider joined the BMW i Vision Dee on stage in Las Vegas (Picture: AP)

‘Pushing the boundaries between physical and digital perception, Dee embodies the next level of human-machine interaction’, says BMW’s board chairman, Oliver Zipse, who also calls it ‘the perfect digital car of the future’.

BMW’s Dee concept represents the company’s vision for ‘a true digital and emotional experience’, and while this car very much sits firmly in concept territory, the exciting news is that BMW says it’s hoping to have full-windscreen heads-up display capabilities on its production of ‘Neue Klasse’ vehicles arriving in 2025. 

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