BMW gives us a sneak peek at the technology it will release in 2021

BMW iNext teaser

BMW is in the process of developing its most high-tech model to date. Called iNext internally, this rolling showcase of automotive technology will be electric, it will drive itself in certain conditions, and it will pack state-of-the-art connectivity features. We haven’t seen it yet, it’s not scheduled to arrive in showrooms until early in the next decade, but BMW is gradually releasing morsels of information to whet our appetite.

The iNext — which could wear the name i5 when it reaches showrooms — will come with the next generation of BMW’s infotainment technology. The software will be displayed on a wide, curved touchscreen that encompasses both the infotainment system and the digital instrument cluster. The display will be oriented toward the driver, but the front passenger will still be able to interact with it. BMW explained this layout creates a visual link between the iNext and its classic models, which have historically featured driver-focused center consoles while making the interior more ergonomic.

While BMW released a photo of the screen, it reveals almost nothing about the car it’s in. However, images of a pre-production model undergoing cold-weather testing somewhere frozen and well north of the Arctic Circle reveal it will arrive as an SUV about as big as the X5. The controversially styled iNext concept gave us an approximate preview of the model, though stylists will tone down the design as it transitions into a production model.

BMW previously confirmed the model will be entirely electric, though it hasn’t published technical specifications, and it announced Level 3 autonomous technology will be able to handle driving when the right conditions are met. What remains to be seen is how BMW will offset the weight of the electric powertrain. The current members of BMW’s i sub-brand (the i3 city car and the spaceship-like i8) rely on carbon fiber to keep weight in check; the iNext could, too, or it could ditch composite materials in favor of lightweight metals for cost reasons.

The iNext — which BMW proudly calls its technology flagship — will enter production in 2021. The Munich-based company will release additional information about it over the coming months, and British magazine Autocar learned it’s tentatively scheduled to make its public debut during the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. If that’s accurate, we expect it will reach showrooms in time for the 2022 model year.

Mobile

Samsung, T-Mobile to recycle an old phone for every S10e sold in the Netherlands

A Dutch company called Closing the Loop has persuaded Samsung and T-Mobile to trial an offsetting scheme whereby new phone purchases are offset by the recycling of old scrap phones that would otherwise end up in landfill.
Mobile

Amazon Kindle Oasis vs. Kindle Paperwhite: Which ebook reader is best for you?

If you're in the market for a new ebook reader, then Amazon may well be your first port of call, but which model should you choose? We compare the Kindle Oasis and the Kindle Paperwhite here and explain the differences to help you decide.
News

Digital rights group Fight for the Future wants to ban facial recognition

Fight for the Future, a digital rights group, announced a campaign on Tuesday, July 9 calling for a complete ban on government use of facial recognition surveillance software. The campaign website, BanFacialRecognition.com, asks visitors to…
Cars

Mini’s first EV lands at the intersection of electrification and driving fun

Mini introduced the 2020 Cooper SE, its first series-produced electric model. The battery-powered hatchback shares many powertrain parts with the BMW i3, though its range hasn't been announced yet.
Cars

End of an icon: The last Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the production line

The Volkswagen Beetle is finally dead. The last one rolled off the production line July 10. While the original Beetle became a cultural icon, Volkswagen has failed to recapture that success with its newer models.
Cars

Uber driver becomes unwitting getaway driver for a gas station robber

A rookie Uber driver unwittingly played the part of getaway driver recently for a man who robbed a gas station. The first he knew about it was when cops surrounded his home and demanded he come out with his hands up.
Cars

ABS brakes helped airlines make more money before they helped you stop

ABS -- a technology that prevents cars from skidding under heavy braking -- has been around since the 1950s, when it was first applied to airplanes. Chrysler and Bendix jointly get credit for developing four-wheel electronic ABS in 1971.
Product Review

BMW gives the M4 CS additional performance cred, but it comes with lots of tradeoffs

Splitting the difference between the standard M4 and the hardcore track setup of the limited-production M4 GTS, the CS brings with it a sharper look to match its sharper performance, but there are some caveats involved.
Cars

Lexus will reinvent its design language as it electrifies its full line

Lexus plans to release an electrified version of every nameplate in its lineup by the year 2025. The term electrified is broad; it includes hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, and hydrogen cars.
Smart Home

Amazon cuts prices of ChargePoint, JuiceBox, and Siemens home EV chargers

Amazon cut the prices on ChargePoint, JuiceBox, and Siemens Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) home chargers to help plug-in vehicle drivers recharge their car batteries much faster than plugging into a regular home electrical outlet.
Cars

The Rev-1 delivery robot is fast enough to hit the bike lane

Tootling into view is yet another wheel-based delivery robot, this one from U.S. startup Refraction A.I. The Rev-1 is designed for last-mile deliveries and is said to be faster and cheaper than many of its rivals.
Cars

Volkswagen and Ford confirm partnership on electric cars, autonomous driving

Volkswagen and Ford have confirmed a major tech-sharing deal. It will give Ford access to VW's MEB platform, which will underpin many of the German automaker's future electric cars. The Ford MEB electric car launches in 2023.
Cars

2020 Buick Enclave three-row crossover will give you a back massage

The 2020 Buick Enclave gets a number of small updates, including massaging front seats and a new infotainment system compatible with SiriusXM's 360L streaming service. The updated Buick Enclave goes on sale later this summer.
Deals

Amazon Prime Day 2019 deal dishes 15% discount on the Garmin Dash Cam 55

Amazon Prime Day 2019 promises great discounts on lots of items. Aside from the usual gadgets and appliances, deals for the Garmin Dash Cam 55 and other automotive tech products are also popping up.