Who are you and what did you do with BMW? Bimmer brings wacky concepts to LA Auto Show

I thought that BMW was a car company, but the concepts the Bavarians are displaying at the LA Auto Show seem to have other ideas.

Both the BioMINIcry and S.E.E.D. concepts are outlandish in the extreme, being inspired respectively by the LA River and extreme environmental conditions.

For the LA Auto Show BMW designers decided it would appropriate to address the traffic congestion of the vast urban sprawl that is Los Angeles. So what do you think they came up with? Mass transportation? A city car? Nope, it’s the BioMINIcry submarine for use in the LA River!

So why are they trying to wrest control of LA’s ‘waterway’ – that’s dry for most of the year – away from battling Terminators? One gets the sense that the normally dour BMW designers mostly wanted to do it because it would be pretty cool. On that much, we agree.

The BioMINIcry name is a portmanteau of ‘biomimicry’ and “Mini”. It gets this name both for marketing reasons and because the bioluminescent exterior can match its surroundings, you know, like a cuttlefish.  The Bavarian submarine would supposedly use special bacteria and saltwater to create electricity. It even has detachable “Mini” subs, which do … things.

The BioMINIcry concept is nothing but some Photoshop renderings but it is at least cool.

The S.E.E.D. might be even more outlandish, it looks like something you would take to explore Saturn’s moons.

According to BMW you wouldn’t be far wrong, because the S.E.E.D. is supposed to take BMWs where they have never been before: the deep ocean. You know, except for container ship accidents.

This combination of submarine, boat, and robot-walker can do everything from swim to jump, at least in the minds of the BMW designers. It runs on solar energy and can walk on the water by creating webs with its ‘legs.’

All of this might be pie in the sky. But it is part of what makes auto shows and concepts entertaining. Car companies – especially BMW – are normally humorless, dry collections of engineers and business people. So it is always a kick to see these gray-faced experts let their hair down and come up with something wacky.

My best guess is that we never hear about these things again, but, in the meantime, it’s good fun.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s friendly new A.I wants to figure out what you want — before you ask

Move over Siri and Alexa! Microsoft wants to build a new type of virtual assistant that wants to be your friend. Already making waves in Asia, could this be the future of A.I. BFFs?

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 

Every rumor about the PS5, including a new game from Luminous Productions

PlayStation 5 rumors have been circulating for over a year now but there's still plenty we don't know. Here's everything you need to know about the PS5, including rumors about its release, specs, and games.

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.

Honda will squeeze another model into its SUV lineup at the Los Angeles show

Honda will introduce a new SUV with a familiar nameplate at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show. It envisioned the 2019 Passport as a five-seater alternative to the eight-seater Pilot. The two models will share a platform and many tech features.

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.