BMW's CES sculpture forecasts our in-car future

At CES, BMW unveiled what it calls the Inside Future sculpture, a concept of what the cabins of its cars might look like in the future.

Along with research leading to self-driving cars, automakers also consider how we will spend our time in cars when we don't need to drive. BMW's Inside Future, a full-size car cabin concept, explores this idea.

BMW calls the Inside Future concept, unveiled at CES 2017, a sculpture. Unlike a traditional concept car, it only hints at exterior elements such as wheels hood, and the window openings lack glass.

BMW shows off what future car cabins might look like when self-driving becomes possible.

BMW

The cabin contains four comfortable-looking, wide seats covered in a beige cloth, even adorned with a throw pillow in the second row. Rather than the bulky seats of modern cars, the Inside Future's seats use a slim design. The light colors and slim seats lend to the cabin's airy and open look.

A steering wheel remains ready for the driver to take control, as BMW imagines that its future self-driving cars will offer both automated and manual modes, called Ease and Boost in BMW parlance.

Rear seat passengers get tablet-style touchscreens mounted on armrests, while a long LCD stretches across the dashboard.

BMW's recently announced HoloActive control technology serves as the showpiece for the concept. With HoloActive, the car projects a 3D image of its controls over the console. Gesture control technology, already available in the BMW 7-series, lets drivers select infotainment and vehicle features without touching physical buttons or switchgear.

This cabin concept echoes the idea from other automakers, such as Chrysler and Honda, that cars of the future will offer more comfortable, open spaces inside.

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