MINI Showcases Supermini Of The Future
Future MINI strengths include autonomous operation, sharp handling plus personalisation options, brand said.
MINI VISION NEXT 100 explained
MINI VISION NEXT 100 is the brand's predicted supermini of the future and capable of autonomous, nobody on-board, operation. Passengers might, therefore, instruct it via a phone to collect them from (say) Victoria Coach Station, tonight, at 2:30AM. On this basis, it is shared by numerous motorists rather than owned by one.
The MINI is electric so emits no pollutants as it autonomously takes such passengers to their destination. It is reasonable to assume that it navigates via digitally stored maps and – based on live information from the internet – picks the best route based on traffic, etc. It interprets its surroundings with sensors/cameras.
But there is more to autonomous operation than convenience for passengers. The MINI travels – empty, of course – to an electric charging station then parks above a wireless hotspot which energises its battery. Alternatively, it sets course for a cleaning station or parking bay if not required, the manufacturer explained.
Front passengers sit on a large, single, bench and have a full-width, uninterrupted, footwell without a centre console. MINI said this enables motorists to enter from the left or right without first choosing which side to sit. When parked in a tight spot, doors open automatically but not so far they hit anything adjacent.
Furthermore, in autonomous mode the steering wheel sits in the centre of the dashboard between the front passengers. Getting in and out is easier when it is in this position, the manufacture argued. It can, however, move to the right should a passenger take manual control and elements in the seating move to provide support.
Plus, as now, taking manual control of such a vehicle should be entertaining. MINI argued: “Various aspects of the MINI VISION NEXT 100 will take the go-kart feeling to another new level. Cleared of many controls and screens, the interior has a pure, uncluttered, style and the glass front end opens up a dynamic view of the road.”
The “Cooperizer” is a centralised, circular, instrument and illuminates “like a kaleidoscope”, MINI argued. This interface enables motorists to select personalised set-up preferences that relate to: entertainment, communication, autonomous operation and interior ambience. The “Inspire Me” button, in contrast, scans downloaded user data then presents related information of interest.
Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design, summarised: “The MINI VISION NEXT 100 shows how MINI’s unique take on the world could look in the future. The driving experience remains the emotional centrepiece, with effortless and seamless services grouped around it.”