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Source: BMW Group Munich. With the “MINI Vision Urbanaut”, the MINI brand is presenting a completely new version of a spatial vision at #NEXTGen as a world exclusive. This digital vision vehicle offers such a large and versatile interior space as never before – and it continues to do so in a minimal traffic area. “The MINI brand has always stood for ‘Clever Use of Space’. In the MINI Vision Urbanaut we extend the private space far into the public space, which creates completely new and enriching experiences, “explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design. MINI Moments.” In future, MINI sees itself primarily as an enabler and companion for unforgettable experiences – the so-called MINI moments. The MINI Vision Urbanaut uses three curated MINI moments ‘Chill’, ‘Wanderlust’ and ‘Vibe’ to show what a wide variety of usage scenarios could look like. The moment ‘chill’ makes it possible to pause and linger in the here and now. The vehicle becomes a place of retreat, is used for relaxation or for concentrated work on the go. ‘Wanderlust’ is the only MINI moment in which the MINI Vision Urbanaut is driven or drives automatically. The ‘Vibe’ moment focuses on spending time with other people in all its facets, ”continues Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. Depending on the MINI moment, the exterior and interior change in order to offer an optimal stage for the experience. A holistic user experience design, sustainable materials and a purely electric drive complete the overall concept. The interior design – More Creative Use of Space. As an innovative space concept, the MINI Vision Urbanaut was literally designed from the inside out. Even before the exterior was developed, the designers conceived the spacious interior experience with the help of floor plans, furniture and a model made of wooden frames as a size reference. In the course of the project, a digital model was created in augmented reality and systematically optimized. Thanks to the innovative height, the MINI Vision Urbanaut creates a versatile space with a completely new freedom of movement over a total length of just 4.46 meters. New interior options thanks to the electric drive and automated driving functions. The consequent “purpose built” design based on the electric drive and automated driving functions gives the MINI Vision Urbanaut additional design freedom in the exterior and interior. “As early as 1959, the very first Mini initiated a small revolution in vehicle construction with its transversely installed engine. With the MINI Vision Urbanaut we were able to completely rethink the layout of the entire interior and thus the usable floor space in the interior in relation to the footprint, ”continues Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. One room – many possibilities. The interior of the MINI Vision Urbanaut is just as ideal a driving environment as it is the destination of the journey, which can be turned into a living room in just a few simple steps as soon as you arrive. The innovative interior is entered through a large sliding door on the side. The innovative slide and swivel mechanism is ideal for urban conditions with little space. There are no other doors on the driver or passenger side. Driver’s area with “daybed” and “street balcony”, “cozy corner” in the rear. A highly flexible, four-seater layout forms the basis of the bright interior. The two front seats are designed to be rotatable, while the backrests of the generous seat area in the rear can be folded down manually on the left and swiveled on the right at the rear. The dashboard lowers when it is stationary. The driver’s area becomes a cozy seating area – the so-called daybed. In addition, the front window can be opened upwards when the vehicle is stationary, creating a “street balcony”. It ensures interaction with the environment and an even more generous feeling of space. The darker rear area, the “Cozy Corner”, offers a quieter place. This area invites you to be for yourself. A bow (“loop”) covered with knitted fabric spans the bench and can be used thanks to LED backlighting. The open and airy central area is located between the Cozy Corner and the driver’s area. It offers quick access to all seating areas. You can even sit on the floor when the door is open. Opposite the entrance, a small, integrated table with a plant rounds off the interior. The table defines the new center of the vehicle – the place where the passengers can meet and face one another in exchange. User interface and interaction design – “Analogue Love – Digital Connection” as the guiding principle. Intuitive, discreet user interface solutions make common control elements such as switches or buttons unnecessary. This creates a reduced, homely spatial experience with simultaneous complete networking. The principle of the uncomplicated operation “natural interaction” emphasizes the “analog”, haptically tactile experience when it is triggered, for example with the direct-touch operation in the loop above the rear seat bench. The round instrument is now in the middle of the vehicle, the new center of the vehicle, and brings the information to the place where people meet. The “MINI Token” – the digital-analogue interface to the MINI moments. The so-called MINI Token is the core of the MINI Vision Urbanaut’s worlds of experience. It is roughly the size of a hand flatterer and initiates one of the three preconfigured MINI moments “Chill”, “Wanderlust” or “Vibe” by inserting it into the recess provided in the table in the middle of the vehicle. Other MINI moments are also conceivable, such as B. “My MINI Moment”. Here, the MINI token can be programmed for a further personalized experience, in which the user can configure and directly call up his personal favorite scenario consisting of scent, ambient light, music, etc. The exterior design – the spirit of the brand in a new form. The puristic design The mono-volume of the MINI Vision Urbanaut gives the motto “Creative Use of Space” a new look. The flush, almost seamless surface work creates a modern atmosphere. High-quality details set carefully selected accents. As is typical of MINI, the wheels are located on the outer “corners” of the body, short overhangs round off the compact, agile appearance. A new MINI face. Grille “. The front lights are behind a milled aluminum structure with an elongated hole pattern. They are only visible when they are activated. When implemented as Multicolor Dynamic Matrix Light, they allow the display of different, multicolored graphics and thus a new form of communication between the vehicle and its surroundings – individually for each moment. Together with the “grill”, the lights create the friendly front graphics that characterize every MINI. The closed grill is now octagonal and thus further develops the traditional hexagonal shape. Since the MINI Vision Urbanaut does not have an internal combustion engine that requires cooling air, the grill now has a new function: It serves as an intelligence surface for automated driving. Analogous to the front, the lights are displayed as Dynamic Matrix Light behind a milled aluminum panel in the rear a new aesthetic and a different representation of the lights in the different driving modes or the MINI Moments. At second glance, the typical vaulted surfaces are also reminiscent of the previous MINIs and the Classic Mini. As a small detail, the contour of the rear window quotes the shape of the “front grille” and underlines the consistent appearance. The clear shape of the exterior gives the colors, materials and details an ideal stage. The matt exterior color Zero Gravity changes between a metallic green with a blue flop to a slightly tinted gray. On the windows, a pattern in the color of the car, which decreases in color from bottom to top, creates a harmonious transition from the vehicle body to the window and roof area. At the same time, it ensures a certain level of privacy and privacy without having to tint the windows dark – the interior remains bright. Illuminated skateboard wheels add visual accents. A visual highlight on the side are the wheels of the MINI Vision Urbanaut in the color Ocean Wave, a turquoise blue that evokes associations with the sound of the sea and the beach. The abstract Union Jack profile evokes British heritage, while the shape of the wheels is reminiscent of that of skateboards. They further emphasize the maneuverability as well as the non-conformist twist of MINI. At the same time, the wheels are part of the vehicle’s external communication. Transparent and illuminated from the inside, their display varies depending on the MINI moment.MINI Charms – Tactile Loveables.In the C-pillar on the driver’s side, the so-called charms are exposed. They are souvenirs of places you have traveled, festivals or events in the form of pins or badges, which are presented there as a graphic collector’s item like in a showcase behind glass. At the same time, they are an expression of “wanderlust” and show what has already been experienced with the MINI Vision Urbanaut, similar to how the stickers on mobile homes or the emblems on hiking sticks used to be. One MINI Charm is dedicated to the #NEXTGen format, on which the MINI Vision Urbanaut celebrates its digital world premiere, another has a QR code. By scanning the code, the page opens, for example, so that the exterior also shows the connection between the analog and the digital world. The expression of the MINI moments in the interior and exterior. When the MINI token is placed in the recesses of the table, a activated by the three MINI Moments, this is shown on the exterior by the display on the front and rear surfaces as well as the rims. In the interior, the entire geometry with seats, dashboard / daybed design and backrest position can be manually adjusted to the selected moment. The playing in the round instrument also changes. Furthermore, the fragrance, sound and ambient lighting enhance the prevailing mood of the MINI Moment.MINI Moment “Chill” – an oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city. In the MINI Moment Chill, the MINI Vision Urbanaut becomes a private retreat, an urban oasis. While the rear bench (Cozy Corner) enables various sitting and lying positions, the backlit loop above creates a dimmable display inspired by a green canopy of leaves. Ambient music and atmospheric sounds from nature are also played. In the central area, the round instrument folds down and becomes a table lamp, so that no display and no switch are reminiscent of the automotive environment. From the outside, the MINI Moment “Chill” shows itself through the representation of an abstract canopy of leaves in the headlight area, rear area and the rims. MINI Moment “Wanderlust” – the joy of being out and about together. “Wanderlust” is the only one of the three MINI moments in that the MINI Vision Urbanaut drives. Here the interior becomes the ideal place for driving or being driven, and lets the occupants rediscover the romance of traveling. The user interface on the central round instrument changes its appearance into a travel world that is inspired by tourism posters from the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to an animation of the route, further travel information such as B. Sightseeing or arrival time visible to all passengers. The loop above the rear seat bench illustrates the feeling of movement through an implied blurring of the surroundings in an orange-turquoise color scheme. If you want to steer yourself, you can extend the steering wheel and pedals with a tap of the MINI logo. A slight shift in the display in the dashboard provides directional information or indicates obstacles. There are no other driving-related displays on the dashboard. During automated driving, the steering wheel and pedals are retracted and the driving display disappears from the dashboard. On the exterior, a different display of the headlight graphics in the matrix LED areas in the front and rear indicates the automated mode or self-driving. MINI Moment “Vibe” – celebrate community, share moments. In the MINI Moment “Vibe”, the MINI Vision Urbanaut opens up to people and the environment. He lets experience community and interaction. The open door on the side and the folded-up front window form an inviting gesture that blurs the boundaries between inside and outside. In a color scheme of magenta and black with turquoise accents, the MINI Vision Urbanaut forms a meeting point – from quiet to loud. The central round instrument becomes the media control center, and an animation of the music played on surfaces in the front, rear, rims and the loop, based on an equalizer, creates a pleasant club atmosphere. If you want, the vehicle can even become a “boombox”. Digital services for the MINI Vision UrbanautThe concept of the MINI Vision Urbanaut also includes digital services that make the use of the vehicle an enriching and seamless experience. The Urbanaut opens with a smart device, making it accessible to everyone within a defined circle of family or friends as a mobility offer of the future. On the go in the MINI moment “Wanderlust”, tailor-made playlists, audiobooks or podcasts can be discovered to match the route and the moment. The personal travel planner provides individually tailored tips and points of interest (PoI), which can be suggested and accessed or selected as recommendations from the MINI community. Sustainable materials and a “responsible mindset”. The MINI Vision Urbanaut is characterized by a responsible approach to Resources. In addition to the maximum space available in a small traffic area and the purely electric drive, the MINI Vision Urbanaut also relies on the responsible use of resources with regard to the use of materials. This happens not only through a reduced number of components in the exterior and interior design, but also through the possibility of dual functions such as the dashboard / daybed. In addition to the use of recyclates, this also means ensuring that the implementation is chrome and leather-free. The predominant material in the interior is knitted textile. It combines comfort and quality with softness and comfort. Thanks to its natural feel, cork on the steering wheel and parts of the floor sets a special accent and naturally creates a pleasant room climate.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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