BMW's Plug-in Hybrids Will Incorporate Gamification, Automatically Switch to EV Mode in 2020
Next year, BMW plans to equip all plug-in hybrid models with a standard function that automatically switches the automobile into electric mode whenever it enters an area designated for emissions-free driving. While the change is universal, the feature won’t get much action in the United States where government-mandated electrification is less pervasive than a Europe or China.
Still, that’s a sizable chunk of the brand’s global market. Hoping to appeal to it, Bavarian Motor Works went on an electric kick for Tuesday, announcing the electrically powered Motorrad Vision DC Roadster motorbike, Vision M Next Concept, testbed “Power BEV” drive units, upgrades to the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, and a bunch of other tech hand picked for the unsettlingly trendy #NEXTGen event.
However, the “eDrive Zone” PHEV geofencing system was one of the few items that has been scheduled for production. Unfortunately, it’s going to incorporate some gamification into the driving experience — making us suspicious of BMW’s ultimate goal.
Shades of Tomorrow: Mercedes-Benz's 'In-Car Gaming Challenge'
The Mercedes-Benz-sponsored “In-Car Gaming Challenge” isn’t exactly breaking news. Daimler made the announcement almost a week ago, with the story only gaining traction online thanks to a slower-than-usual news cycle. Frankly, we originally planned to ignore the topic entirely — until we realized no one discussed the broader implications.
That probably sounds more ominous than it should. Essentially, Mercedes is trying to diversify its business by getting into video games. But the potential ramifications stemming from that change could be felt across the automotive industry in the coming years. Daimler isn’t just seeking game-related business ventures — it’s trying to figure out how to make life inside an autonomous vehicle more appetizing.
Honda Dream Drive: In-car Shopping, Marketing, Gamification
Expanding on last year’s concept, Honda is reintroducing “Dream Drive” for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Previously a platform intended to provide passengers with augmented and virtual reality experiences, Double D now focuses primarily on in-car purchases. In fact, the service seems identical to General Motors’ Marketplace.
That’s right, Honda is entering the dark realm of in-car consumerism and twisted corporate partnerships.