Track days are fun, but BMW is taking that to another level by bringing in gaming elements into the fold. Introduced at the 2022 Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, the BMW //M Mixed Reality technology aims to revolutionise your M2 experience with a combination of real-world driving and virtual reality, bringing a real car into the virtual world.
Using Unreal Engine, a 3D computer graphics game engine developed by Epic Games, the German marque allows drivers and their vehicles to immerse into the virtual world while driving an actual BMW M2. This is the first time that the automaker has introduced such a combination, but not the first mention of a video game integration in a Bimmer.
Gallery: BMW //M Mixed Reality Experience With The M2
The technology is made possible with the use of VR/MR glasses while mastering challenges at high speeds as in a racing game.
That said, the BMW M2 serves as the controller – a very powerful and fast controller at that – considering all movement and rotary axes of the M2. Drivers or players will manoeuvre the car within a real track while immersed in an integrated virtual world.
And just like in video games, the virtual world involves avoiding obstacles and collecting virtual "coins," among others, reinforcing the immersive in-car experience. To get a better grasp of the concept, the short video above shows how it works.
"Anyone who asks what virtual experiences in the automotive sector might look like in future: That is the answer. People must be able to experience this new feeling — and with ///M Mixed Reality, we offer them a suitable solution for this," says Frank van Meel, BMW M GmbH CEO.
BMW says that it has laid the foundation for this tech two decades ago by integrating modern communication technology in a car. This was then developed into BMW's ConnectedDrive which was introduced in 2008.