Transforming Cars of the Near Future

Transforming car from Mercedes

Morphing cars that adapt to the driver and driving conditions.

Evolutions in automotive design  have started to incorporate more efficient technologies into the mainstream such as electric powered motors. The Tesla cars area real world example of this with phenomenal results, a rapid uptake and increasing demand.

Evolutions in heads up displays and augmented windscreens to improve safety and the driving experience are already started to feature in a handful of cars today, we can however expect significant further developments in this tech, as highlighted in the videos following.

The next evolution of these cutting edge vehicles can expect further developments in significant morphing of the cars bodywork, as highlighted in both the Mercedes-Benz and the BMW,  adapt to  driving conditions and the driver. We do however see this technology in cars of today, and have for sometime, with the likes of rear wings emerging as speed increases in aid in down force. Guess the hurdle will be due to governmental constraints with road laws before the true morphing vehicles become part of our every day commute.

BMW interior

Both Mercedes-Benz and BMW have both created dynamic intelligent designs to take motoring to the next level.

BMW launched a concept ‘Vision Next 100’ car that embodies the direction it wants to take going into its next 100 years of building cars.

 “My personal view is that technology should be as intuitive as possible to operate and experience so that future interactions between human, machine and surroundings become seamless. The BMW Vision Next 100 shows how we intend to shape this future.”

Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design

A significant element of the BMW Vision Vehicle is another innovation dubbed as Alive Geometry. It consists of a kind of three-dimensional sculpture that works both inside and outside the vehicle.

It consists of almost 800 moving triangles which are set into the instrument panel and into certain areas of the side panels on the car. They work in three dimensions, communicating directly with the driver through their movements, which are more like gestures than two-dimensional depictions on a display.

BMW Next 100

Even the slightest movement is perceptible to the driver. In combination with the Head-Up display, Alive Geometry uniquely fuses the analogue with the digital, attempting to merge the driver intuitively with the car,  predicting an imminent real-time event.

Mercedes-Benz “Concept IAA” (Intelligent Aerodynamic Auto-mobile) uses its body technology to switch from design mode to aerodynamic mode automatically when the vehicle reaches a speed of 80 km/h. Numerous aerodynamic measurement alter the shape of the vehicle or at the touch of a button. A significant focus on the innovations in this vehicle are focused on improvements to the drag coefficient, in turn – real world efficiency!

Core innovations from Mercedes-Benz in their Concept IAA include:-

  • A retractable tail-end “boat-tail” extension. This modification has the biggest influence on the improvement to the cd value. Together with the diffuser, the extension, which is extendable by up to 390 millimetres, ensures that the air flow hugs the vehicle more closely and that the after-flow zone behind the vehicle’s tail end is substantially smaller. This results in a considerable reduction in drag. The rear extension consists of eight segments produced in CFRP in a sandwich structure which extend to form a closed ring.
  •  From the sporty 5-spoke wheel to the aerodynamically exemplary rim – this visual transformation is achieved by the Active Rims. With the help of centrifugal force they reduce their classification from 55 to 0 millimetres.
  • In the front bumper, what are known as the front flaps sit on the sides in front of the wheel arches. In the aerodynamic mode they move 25 millimetres to the outside and 20 to the rear up to the rear edge of the wheel crescent. This substantially improves the inflow of air to the wheels and the flow of air over the front wheel arches.
  •  On the front side of the bumper there is a slat at the bottom. It moves 60 millimetres backwards and improves the flow into the underbody.

In addition to this there are numerous further aerodynamic optimisations such as discs flush with the outer edge of the body, no door openers, lowering, extensive underbody panelling plus an adjustable radiator grille shutter.

So there’s much spin about the wind, but the result is impressive: with its dynamic form (“drop shape”), the elegant overall design plus the numerous technical innovations the four-door coupé saloon is

“A symbiosis of desirable forms which intelligently showcase aerodynamics.”

stated Gorden Wagener – Head of Design.


Mercedes interior

A significant step towards future car technology integrates the autonomous car in the true sense of the word. The driver-less car. With the likes of Alphabet (Google) putting a lot of energy into this foray, many others are also invested heavily in this evolution.

Guess we may not have to be concerned about how many beers we have had before “driving home” in the future. 😉

The future is indeed looking very interesting for the daily commute!

Tags: Cars