As a provider of premium mobility products and services, the BMW Group is constantly in search of answers to the question: what will move us (forward) in the future? In the past, the BMW Group has already presented pioneering solutions for future individual mobility with a range of different concept vehicles as well as the visionary studies presented to mark its centenary. As part of the stratgey NUMBER ONE > NEXT and in view of the challenges to come, BMW Group developers are working on visionary mobility solutions that go well beyond established conventions.
Beyond the conventional vehicle context
The world of individual and sustainability mobility faces enormous challenges in conurbations. As urbanization progresses, more and more people are crowding into cities, so conventional mobility concepts and local public transportation are reaching the limits of their capability. Congestion and high levels of air pollution are the result, which in turn leads to constraints on the quality of life.
The BMW Group’s “Research, New Technologies, Innovations” division is a unique competence centre that is devoted to addressing this and other challenges.
“Our goal is to link sustainable and efficient mobility with a high quality of living in cities. We use new technologies as well as our creativity in order to create innovative approaches as the BMW Vision E³ Way,” explained Gerd Schuster, senior vice president for Research, New Technologies and Innovations.
The “BMW Group Technology Offices” in Mountain View (California), Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul guarantee proximity to the world’s technological hotspots, while a central department for trend and technology scouting collates and supplements the insights acquired in the field. Once challenges and needs have been identified, they are then fed into concrete research projects.
Emission-free two-wheeler mobility at a new level
Developed at the BMW Group Technology Office China in Shanghai, the BMW Vision E³ Way project shows a visionary mobility concept that is designed not just to specifically address the challenges faced by megacities – such as traffic congestion and air pollution – but to provide a solution that is both simple and effective. It consists of an elevated road concept for electrically powered two-wheel vehicles which links key traffic hubs in urban conurbations. The three E’s stand for “elevated”, “electric” and “efficient” – the concept’s defining properties. The use of roadways that are elevated above existing roads means the project generates additional traffic capacity. The BMW Vision E³ Way is explicitly conceived for locally emission-free single-track mobility concepts only (‘electric’), such as e-bikes, the BMW Motorrad Concept Link and the recently presented BMW Motorrad X2 City – likewise developed by the “Research, New Technologies, Innovations” division.
The elevated road is simple and modular in design, economical to build as a result, and provides a fast, direct link between key traffic hubs, making it the perfect alternative for commuters travelling up to 15 km. This makes use of the elevated road very efficient not only in terms of cost but also as regards travel time (‘efficient’).
“The BMW Vision E³ Way opens up a whole new dimension of mobility in overcrowded conurbations – efficient, convenient and safe. It works by simply creating space for two-wheel zero-emissions traffic,” explained Markus Seidel, director of BMW Group Technology Office China.