The Rolls Royce of 2116 is an autonomous cocktail lounge on wheels

Back in March, BMW unveiled the Vision Next 100 concept to celebrate its 100th birthday, and announced that the futuristic vehicle would be just the first in a series of four concepts. Now, BMW possession is getting its own Vision Next 100 concept, and it looks like something from the world of Minority Report.

Also called the 103EX in keeping with Rolls’ naming scheme for prototypes, the Vision Next 100 is the automaker’s first concept car that doesn’t directly foreshadow a new production model. It’s a futuristic flight of fancy from one of the industry’s most traditional marques.

The Vision Next 100 is about the same size as today’s Phantom Extended Wheelbase, but it looks completely different. Bucking decades of car-design precedent, the wheels are separated from the body, and encased in aerodynamic cowlings. The body itself is shaped like a boat’s hull, and features a much sleeker roofline than anything you’ll see on a production Rolls. While it looks futuristic, the styling also recalls prewar car designs, where fenders and headlights were also distinct from the body.

Rolls looked even further back in time for the Vision Next 100’s party piece. Feeling that having to stoop even slightly is an indignity customers shouldn’t have to endure, designers tried to recreate the egress experience of a high-roofed horse-drawn carriage. The roof is hinged on the passenger’s side to create a canopy, which opens in concert with the single rear-hinged “coach” door and a step housed in the side sill to create a wider aperture. The car even projects a red light, creating a virtual red carpet.

Clearly, the Vision Next 100 is peerless when it comes to helping its passengers show off, but how it actually gets them from place to place is another matter. Rolls was short on specifications, only saying that the Vision Next 100 has a zero-emission powertrain, and that it is fully autonomous.

Read more: Rolls sends off two-door Phantom with Zenith Collection specials

Instead of a human chauffeur, passengers interact with “Eleanor,” a virtual assistant that uses artificial intelligence to do things like check schedules, plan routes, and actually drive the car. The interior features the same high-quality materials as current Rolls-Royces, including Macassar wood paneling and a silk-upholstered bench seat, but with a minimalist design. The one bench seat faces a massive OLED screen that handles infotainment functions. Is that what wealthy consumers of the future will want? Or will the future be somewhat different from Rolls’ vision? Only time will tell.

Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is is your starting point. Check out our picks for the best headphones under $100.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Cars

Jaguar’s rally-ready F-Type roadster is happiest off the pavement

Jaguar is celebrating the XK120's 70th birthday by turning the F-Type roadster into a rally warrior. Built to FIA specifications, the model receives suspension and braking upgrades plus a full roll cage to protect the occupants.
Cars

Ford teams up with Walmart to study consumer response to autonomous delivery

Last week it was Ford and VW, and this week Ford and Walmart are signaling a desire to work together on autonomous vehicles solutions. Ford and the giant retailer will study consumer reactions to self-driving delivery vehicles.
Cars

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.
Cars

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.
Cars

Out of juice? Learn how to jump-start a car with this quick guide

Jumping a car is a simple procedure, but not everyone knows how to properly do so. To make things easier, we've put together a quick-hit guide on how to fire up your vehicle using jumper cables and a second power source.
Cars

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.
Cars

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.
Cars

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.
Cars

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.
Cars

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.