BMW iFACTORY and “Dee”: The future is “DIGITAL”

The DIGITAL pillar concludes the video series on the BMW iFACTORY. The BMW Group is continuously developing innovative, digital solutions and applying them in their production. The future vision “BMW i Vision Dee” gives a glimpse of the future.

The three pillars of the BMW iFACTORY: LEAN, GREEN, DIGITAL. The BMW Group has published a video on all three to illustrate the BMW iFACTORY’s goals. The video on DIGITAL completes the series.

The BMW Group use their self-developed digital solutions throughout the entire production network. One example is the virtualisation of workplaces. Here, all workplaces and production lines are recreated with the help of realistic 3D images. VR glasses are used to dive into this virtual working world and find approaches to improve and optimise real workplaces 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is used for quality assurance as cameras permanently record the vehicles. This product data ends up in an AI system and thus ensures constant control. “It’s basically a continuous check,” says Britta Erdmann, assembly manager at the BMW Group plant in Regensburg. The employees download the appropriate application via a self-service and configure it for their specific case.

Another example of increasing digitalisation is Predictive Maintenance. The BMW Group collects additional data from machines and evaluates it. If, for example, the power consumption of a component increases above average, an indication of failure is detected. The employees can then replace it directly and prevent a complete breakdown. Production thrives on permanent improvement and optimisation. “With digitalisation, really big steps are made. And that’s fun,” says Erdmann.

„BMW i Vision Dee” – Step towards NEUE KLASSE

Innovations in the production plants create space for innovative products that will ultimately be seen on our roads. This is where the BMW Group’s vision of the future comes into play. In the form of the “BMW i Vision Dee“, the BMW Group presented its interpretation of a joint dance of digitalisation, technology and artificial intelligence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023 in Las Vegas. The name “Dee” stands for Digital Emotional Experience, in other words . an even more intensive relationship between man and automobile in the future. 

What could better embody the “DIGITAL” aspect of  the BMW iFACTORY than that  vision, whose future digital functions extend far beyond the currently known level of voice control and driver assistance systems? The “BMW Mixed Reality Slider” is the “Dee’s” central control element: it, has a five-level selection ranging from analogue, to driving-relevant information, to content of the communication system and an augmented reality projection, to entry into virtual worlds. In addition to an enhanced head-up display, which will find its way into the NEUE KLASSE from 2025, the BMW Group vision shines with a world premiere for full-colour E Ink technology. In other words, the car can change both the colour and patterning of its outer skin. The BMW i Vision Dee’s body surface is divided into 240 E Ink segments, each of which is individually controlled. This allows an almost infinite variety of patterns to be generated and varied within a few seconds. A required laser separation process (in collaboration with E Ink), the electronic control design and the adaptation to the curved surfaces of the vehicle as well as the programming of animations are proprietary developments of the BMW Group, enable a form of individualisation that is unique in the automotive sector worldwide and show how “LEAN” the BMW Group proceeds in this process.

“With the BMW i Vision Dee, we are showing what is possible when hardware and software merge. In this way, we are exploiting the full potential of digitalisation to make the vehicle an intelligent companion. This is the future of an automobile manufacturer – and this is the future of BMW: the fusion of virtual experience and genuine driving pleasure,” says Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

Watch the new video explaining the importance of DIGITAL for the BMW Group here: 

Don’t miss the premiere of Dee: